The Spa in Me interviews Dawn James about Costa Rica retreats


Interview with Dawn James, Director, Publish and Promote, and Retreat Designer, Host, and Wellness Entrepreneur

Dawn James is a mentor, musician, entrepreneur, wellness practitioner, author, and publisher. She is on a mission to raise the frequency and consciousness of the people she meets through her courses, events, and retreats.

She is also the Managing Director of Publish and Promote where she assists other writers with sharing their story and connecting to their best audience. Dawn James also hosts an annual writers’ retreat in Costa Rica called The Right Place to Write.

Thank you so much for joining us in this conversation. We would love to know your back story. You are a writer and a wellness entrepreneur. What are some of your earliest childhood memories of writing? Did writing fill you with joy as a child?

My love for writing started as a young girl with a vivid imagination who took to journaling. As an adult, I had the good fortune to work in the publishing industry (newspaper, magazine, books). I love writing and teaching and combined both passions to form Publish and Promote, where I have mentored and served writers and aspiring authors since 2010.

How did you find your way to hosting retreats?

You never know where life will evolve once you start writing books. I published my first book in 2010 and began holding workshops across North America. The workshops evolved into weekend retreats. A few years later I was invited to cohost retreats in Mexico and the UK. My love for music (former member of the Royal Conservatory of Music) and spiritual journey led me to become a certified sound healer while studying wellness and healing arts. Today, I enjoy designing and hosting wellness, empowerment, and writers’ retreats in tropical places.

What happens during your retreats?

For our writers’ retreats we create a supportive space for writers to get clarity on their book outlines and their WHY. We offer four educational workshops so they leave with the confidence to not only publish their book, but strategically market their book to their BEST reader.

For our wellness/empowerment retreats, we design heart-centered programs and activities to help attendees positively transform aspects of their lives and return home with the commitment and tools to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Costa Rica is the location of your retreats. What do you find special about this destination?

There are many things I love about Costa Rica – from the friendly people, consistent temperature of 80 degrees, 12 hours of sunshine each day, fresh organic food, etc. However, if I had to pick just one thing, it would be the natural beauty and feeling of serenity that allows one to feel at peace, yet creative and energized at the same time.

Are there any special stories that you can share about a person that was impacted by attending your retreats?

At my signature retreat, Your Ideal Life: Design it, Live it, Love it, three of the ladies who attended did not swim and had never zip lined before, yet we participated in kayaking on the river as well as zip lining in the rain forest near the Pacific Coast. These new experiences were exhilarating and life-changing for them, and it fueled their self-confidence to get out of their comfort zone. Part of this retreat program includes participants creating a 90-day action plan to start living their ideal life. During my 30-day post retreat follow-up with the ladies, everyone had moved forward with their goals, and I am happy to say that the three ladies achieved their personal and business goals within six months of the retreat.

In 2021, at The Right Place to Write retreat, one of our attendees wrote 15,000 new words in three days and set a publication date for Spring 2022. He was focused and tells me that our workshops, group sharing, and being in Costa Rica, cocooned by the majestic rain forest, helped him get into the ‘writing zone.”

What do you find satisfying about the work you do now?

I feel blessed to be able to hold space and gently guide others to a healthier and more fulfilling state of being. From a young age, I’ve always encouraged others to reach new heights and I get immense satisfaction when working with new writers, co-creating a professionally edited and designed book, and sharing in their excitement once their book is published.

How do you want people to remember their experience at the retreats you offer? 

I want them to remember that happiness and health is our natural state and to make that a priority in their lives. When attendees return home, they will forever hold the memory of what our retreats bring them – which is the feeling of pouring into yourself and enjoying a calmer pace of living – that they can consciously choose to recreate.

What is your favorite life quote and how do you apply it to your life?

The first words I heard flowing in my spiritual awakening were: All You Need is Within You.

When I wrote my autobiography, Unveiled, in 2020, I shared several challenges I faced from a young age – both physically and spiritually. I also share what it means to live life with the knowing we may not always have the answers in front of us, however, we are fully equipped and capable to handle whatever comes our way because all we need is within us.

Thank you for this meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success. 

For authors and writers, you can learn more about the writing services offered by Dawn James at:

For wellness seekers, you can find information about upcoming wellness retreats offered by Dawn James at:  


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