Author's bootcamp in the Charente

What is bootcamp?

Bootcamp allows you the space and time to focus on your writing with no distractions. You’ll stay in a small village in the Charente in self-contained accommodation and have the services of an experienced editor, writer and mentor – that’s me – on hand to help you develop your book.

 

Who am I?

I’ve been working in publishing for more than twenty-five years. I started as a fiction writer – yes, I did publish a best-selling novel – but have moved into non-fiction, editing and mentoring. I am known by various names, including Genghis Karen, because of my ability to get authors to focus and complete their projects.

Where are we?

We live in a village close to the market town of Chalais on the border of the Charente and the Dordogne. We’re surrounded by glorious countryside, the weather is good and there are plenty of places such as Aubeterre and Riberac market to visit when you need some down time (or inspiration, as we writers call it).

 

What does bootcamp include?

Everything. We’ll collect you from Angouleme, Limoges, Bergerac or Bordeaux airport; if you don’t want to fly, the new Paris–Bordeaux express passes close by: Eurostar to Paris or Lille, TGV to Angouleme and forty minutes to here. You will stay in a self-contained gîte in our courtyard and eat with us – though for the real recluses, we’ll leave your food at the door. Food and wine are all included and there’s good whisky for creative crises. There’s plenty of room for two people if you’re bringing along a partner. You will have as much help with your work from me as you need. We’ll also take you around the local area so you can get a change of scene when you feel you can’t write another word. This is good walking country, we have bikes and there is a lake nearby for swimming.

 What is a typical bootcamp day like?

You’ll have breakfast and then we’ll work together to plan your writing schedule. That gives you chance to discuss any problems and decide what you want to achieve during the day. You’ll work on your own until lunchtime when we’ll get together again to check your progress (and eat). In the afternoons we take a couple of hours off to rest or take a trip out, then you’ll work until seven pm when it’s time for an aperitif and dinner. After dinner, we’ll review your progress, explore any issues that have arisen and do some forward planning. If at any time during the day you need additional assistance from me, I’ll be there.

 

What about partners and spouses?

They are more than welcome. This is a good place to relax, read, walk – and sit and smell the roses. They will join us for meals and are welcome to potter around with my husband while we are working. We have two very friendly border collies (and a fat cat) who are always up for some company.

 

How much does bootcamp cost?

We charge £200 (€220) per day. That covers everything – transport to and from local airports, accommodation, food and drink, local sightseeing – and my mentoring and editing services. For non-writing partners, the fee is £85 (€100) per day.

 

To find out more, you can email me on karenholmes05@gmail.com

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