It sounds like this castle property is owned by a famous actor – but he took out so much debt renovating a nearby castle that he defaulted on his loan. The bank sold his debt to a vulture fund, who tried to liquidate assets to recoup the loan… but the proceedings have been halted as the owner tried to get more funding, so the property is no longer for sale.]]>
I just always feel more creatively inspired if my surroundings are inspired.
We’ve spent falls in Europe for the past 3 years – and I’m going to be focusing on running more writing retreats so I can hang out with authors and help them sell more books.
This year (2017) I’m partnering with Esther Jacobs, the author of Write a Book in a Week, for a writing retreat in Mallorca focused specifically on book marketing for indie authors.
Esther already knows Mallorca well and found us a nice villa (it’ll be my first time but it looks amazing).
I know book design and marketing, and Esther is a “no excuses” coach and co-author of 21 books. We’re both avid nomads who speak at conferences and events around the world.
If you’ve published a book but want to reach more readers, come to our retreat and we’ll help you double your sales.
Can I really finish a book in a week?
While it’s possible to finish a short non-fiction book or novella in a week, I think you’ll find the time better used for the planning and outlining stages. Almost always, the real problems authors face is with a book that just doesn’t hook or resonate with readers.
Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want your next project to be, but you’re sure you want it to be a bestseller that your readers love. We can help you comb through your vague ideas and find the diamond in the rough – then polish it up and outline it until it’s a very strong roadmap.
In a week, you can have a finished outline, the back cover or sales copy (for positioning and branding), the keyword and competition analysis, and the introduction or first chapter.
That’s a very successful week.
Or if your book is finished in manuscript form but you have no idea what to do with it next, we can help you with that too. We’ll figure out the best ways to design, publish and market your book, and can even help you launch to #1 bestseller while you’re enjoying the sun by the pool.
Sounds pretty good, right?
We only have room for ten people, so if you can make it to Mallorca at the end of September, sign up now!
Click here to view all the details of the writing retreat.
You can also do it by country:
If you’re looking for cabins, use this:
For chalets, you can use
If you’re looking for cabins, use this:
This year, I’m going to keep things a little more casual. I won’t play up the luxury angle – as you might imagine, a month in a castle isn’t necessarily luxurious or comfortable. It is, however, a once in a lifetime experience… one I’d love to share with you!
Watch the video to see my top choices…
Here’s where I need your help.
The castle I really want to rent is in Austria. It’s glorious – on the outside. Inside, the rooms are comfortable but sparse. It might be cold in November, and there aren’t as many indoor social spaces for coworking or group dining. It would be an unforgettable adventure, and the pictures would encourage more shares because holy cow that castle is incredible. More shares means more media coverage and visibility for all of us, though the actual experience may not be completely comfortable.
So recently I’ve been considering option 2.
It’s in Spain, not far from Barcelona. It may still be chilly in November, but probably not as cold as Northern Austria. There’s more space and a rustic charm. It’s not as impressive on the outside, but still pretty darn cool. (Plus, we don’t actually get ALL the rooms and spaces in the big castle above, so the one below may actually have more room – and since Spain should be warmer in November, we could spend more time outside).
Day trips could include some of the best-preserved Medieval towns in the world.
I would like to live in both of these castles, and it is possible, if we get enough interest, to do them both… but mostly likely I’ll choose one for this year and save one for next – or possibly do Spain for Nanowrimo and try to rent the other one in the spring or summer.
Which one do you like best?
Comment on my Facebook page!
Most writing retreats focus on craft – they help you tell the story you want to tell in the best way possible. I’m much more focused on reader-centric results… which means telling a story readers will love (and pay for). The vast majority of authors lose money publishing their books, and I want to help writers make a living with books that sell themselves. There won’t be a fixed program, but I will be sharing a lot of content from my Guerrilla Publishing course:
Your hosts, Derek and Lanna.
I’ve managed dozens of retreats and event spaces, including hiring staff and cooking for hundreds of people. This retreat will be well-organized and I’ll make sure your stay is amazing. However, since you’ll need to pay for your own ticket to Europe, I wanted to keep prices low.
Most writing retreats charge around $2500 for just one week.
You’ll get your own bed (and possibly your own room, depending on timing) and half board: which means we’ll take care of most breakfasts and lunches, and there will always be plenty of snacks available. We’ll have a car and go shopping at least once a week, you’re welcome to join. There will also be excursions to local areas. Guests will take turns planning and cooking one dinner a week.
We will have classes on writing craft, publishing and book marketing, and I can personally help you with your book idea, plotting or outlining, or fixing up your author website or funnel, as needed: I’ll also be working on my own books, but we’ll have “quiet time” hours for work and optional “social time” where we can chit chat and I can help you with whatever you need.
Other than that, you’ll have zero obligations.
Dates: November 1st ~ November 31st.
This retreat would be perfect for someone who’s been “stuck” on their book and needs help organizing, outlining or plotting it; but it would also be useful for established authors with multiple books out who aren’t seeing the sales they want. In both cases, I’ll be able to figure out what’s blocking you or your book sales, and we can probably fix the problem during the event.
A few lucky writers will be winning a free stay, but I’m also going to invite some authors to help split the cost. Space is limited, so I’ll be taking applications this year. If selected, you’ll need to pay a 50% deposit (refundable until October 1st) and the rest two weeks before the trip.
If you’re interested in joining, either for a week or the whole month, fill out this form:
If chosen, we’ll ask you to pay a 50% deposit and the rest 2 weeks before the event. Deposit is 100% refundable until October 1st. Travel to Europe not included.
PS. Feel free to email me with any questions – I will set up a more official page with all the details, if I need to, though I expect the rooms to sell out this week.
PPS. If you’d rather relax on a Spanish island, there’s still a few spaces in the Mallorca writing retreat I’m running in September.]]>
Parador Oropesa has served as a refuge for all kinds of people, from monks to travellers. The castle was restored in the 15th century, and this restored version still stands today. The castle has its own restaurant, which specializes in a lot of interesting and delicious local dishes, and the chef will recommend some of them, including a partridge stew and their version of cream puffs.
Guest comments on the Parador:
We had a fabulous two night stay at Oropesa on the way down to Mijas. The parador and staff were excellent.
– Alison Staniforth
We arrived at the Parador of Oropesa having travelled through the Gredos mountains and as ever had a good welcome. The room as always was most satisfactory. The public areas were very interesting. The food was good and the hotel has an excellent position near to the town. The staff throughout were as usual helpful and happy. This will be another Parador we would visit again.
– M. Winborn
All photos are from the parador’s webpage gallery. Visit the site here.
Parador de Mazagon
Parador de Mazagon is located near Huelva, Spain. This beautiful castle hotel is named after Christopher Columbus, or Cristobal Colon, who, for a time, lived in the area. The Donana Nature reserve and the Mazagon beach front are found nearby. The hotel’s restaurant serves all kinds of food, but specialties include fish dishes, particularly shell shrimps, prawns, and cockles found in the area. A lot of interesting places surround the parador – churches like the church of San Pedro and La Merced, and the Monestary of La Rabida, are places worth visiting.
My wife and I spent a lovely week here in September this year and would recommend it it anyone. The location is stunning, the room was superb (with a terrace overlooking the gardens and pool for reading and sunbathing). The staff were welcoming and always friendly and helpful.
– John Costello
As usual the Parador hotels are excellent and the staff are also very good and attentive to your needs. Rooms are excellent and we had a sea view. Easy car ride into Huelva which has good night life and restaurants. many local places of interest and a day trip to San Antonio also recommended.
– Mr. and Mrs. Berry
All photos taken from the parador’s webpage gallery. Visit the site here.]]>
1. Raby Castle
One of the best-preserved castle’s in North East England, Lord Barnard’s home provides over 600 years of history and a glimpse of life throughout the ages. With examples of fine interiors and architecture spanning the Medieval, Victorian, Georgian and Regency periods providing a magnificent backdrop for the stunning art collection.
– from the castle’s website
Credit: “Raby Castle (spring)” by GlenBowman – Flickr.com. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Credit: “Raby Castle, County Durham” by Hugh Mortimer – geography.org.uk. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
2. Auckland Castle
Steeped in over a thousand years of history, Auckland Castle is one of the most important episcopal palaces in Europe, and the magnificent home of England’s only Prince Bishop.
– from the castle’s website
Credit: “Auckland Castle 8” by Pit-yacker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Credit: “Auckland Castle 6” by Pit-yacker – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
3. Cholmondeley Castle
The romantic gothic castle – a product of the early 19th century – stands on a high rise above a lake. The castle is surrounded by sweeping lawns and a variety of mature trees, including Cedars of Lebanon, Oak, and Chestnut. The gardens surrounding the castle provide a lovely mix of colour and height, with intriguing walks around the lake. There is a Temple Water Garden, Rose Garden, a variety of mixed borders. Plantings are planned to provide colour at all times of the year.
– from the castle’s website
Credit: “Cholmondeley Castle” by Peter Craine. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Credit: “Temple Gardens, Cholmondeley Castle” by Peter Craine. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]]>
1. Bonshaw Tower
Situated in 20 acres of private mature gardens and ancient woodlands, Bonshaw Tower is a new, exclusive and exciting wedding venue where you can choose to have your ceremony outside in the beautiful secluded gardens or inside the tower, either in the imposing Chief’s Room or down in the atmospheric barrel vault, complete with original prison!
– from the castle hotel’s website
Bonshaw Tower is an amazing castle hotel that can be booked for both wedding- and non-wedding-related matters. It is located at about ninety minutes away from Glasgow and Edinburgh, and gives access to a lot of other castles and museums to visit.
(For booking inquiries, go here.)
All images are taken from the gallery of the Bonshaw Tower website.
2. Carberry Tower
Carberry Tower, a sumptuous hotel, just 7 miles south of Edinburgh, boasts 30 luxurious bedrooms, tastefully furnished in keeping with traditional classical styles, but with a bright and spacious feel to create an atmosphere and aesthetic that truly is fit for royalty.
– from the castle’s website
This castle hotel is a great venue for weddings as well as corporate and social gatherings.
(For booking inquiries, please go here.)
All images taken from the castle hotel’s website.]]>
This dominating 13th Century Castle is located in the greater Alès area, in a village with all amenitites in the Languedoc Roussillon. This beautiful Castle with its yellow stone walls reflecting the sunlight has been in the current owners family for three generations. Very private yet just a short walk to shops and restaurants, this wonderful castle offers a stately home in the sunny South of France and presents many great opportunities. There are numerous outbuildings to be converted if desired and a pretty garden comprising of rambling shady areas under ancient trees.
– from French Property’s website
Check out the castle here. Check out the pictures below (they’re all from the castle’s French Property posting).
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.
We are a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 07447221, registered in England.
– from the website
You can visit their website here for more details.
Now for some castles!
1. Pendennis Castle
Credit: “Pendennis Castle”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –
Credit: “Plan of Pendennis Castle” by St. J. O’Neill, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office – Castles: An Introduction to the Castles of England and Wales. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –
This castle is a Henrician Castle at Falmouth in Cornwall. It was built by Henry VIII during the middle of the 16th century to defend the surrounding areas from threats of naval attacks by the French and the Spanish.
2. Barnard Castle
Credit: “Barnard Castle” by Ben Gamble. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
This is a ruined medieval castle found in County Durham, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The castle was besieged during the 13th century by Alexander II.
3. Chester Castle
Credit: “Chester Castle – geograph.org.uk – 1022086” by John Allan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Credit: “Agricola Tower” by BrianP. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Built in 1070 by the first Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus, this castle once served as a prison for some interesting people – Richard II and Andrew de Moray, to name a few.
4. Longthorpe Tower
Credit: “Longthorpe Tower1” by Julian Dowse. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
Longthorpe Tower is a 14th century tower housing a well-preserved set of murals, which were done at around the 1300s and depict religious and moral themes.
5. St. Catherine’s Castle
Credit: “Stcatherinescastle” by Ulli1105 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
This castle was commissioned by Henry VIII. It was part of the naval defense castles that Henry VIII had built during the mid-16th century.]]>
Credit: “Falaise chateau guillaume conquerant 2” by Ollamh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
This castle was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. Henry I of England began construction of the castle during the 12th century, starting with a grand donjon, and later adding a smaller keep. The 12th century tower built for the castle had a chapel, a hall, and a room for the head, but no other rooms.
1840 marks the beginning of the castle’s being a historical monument, recognized by the French Ministry of Culture. A restoration program for the castle happened at around 1870 to 1874. The castle suffered effects of World War II, though three of its keeps remain.
Credit: “Chateau de falaise 4” by Viault – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Credit: “Fenetre.donjon.Falaise”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons