Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Advice To Writers & Jon Winokur - big thanks

Belated shout out to Advice To Writers and its owner Jon Winokur for publishing my recent Q&A style interview, covering how I started out as a writer, my influences, my best writing advice to others and many more topics. It's always flattering to be invited to participate in promotional activities such as this, especially under a banner "Writerly Wisdom Of The Ages".

Here's the link: -

Monday, 17 April 2017

Another storming review - this time for Craven Conflict

Thanks once again to Jonathan S for another Amazon/Kindle review, this time for Craven Conflict: -

“Thoroughly Enjoyable

"If you are not interested in the workings of our legal system in general, civil litigation, skulduggery and disability discrimination at work in particular, then this book is not for you. If you don’t like the emergence early on of pompous and treacherous central characters who you just hope get their comeuppance, then this book is not for you. However, if any or all of these chime with what you look for in a novel then this book is most definitely for you.

"This is the third novel by David Cooper and each one presents real people facing very real but adverse legal situations, and is written with insider knowledge that makes every page thoroughly believable and involving. If you know someone with Asperger’s (as I do) you appreciate how even the simplest tasks and everyday situations can become overwhelming, and at one point you see it all unravelling for Paul Craven, but the way he battles with disability, the skill of a razor-sharp barrister, and an ending where justice prevails, make this a thoroughly enjoyable page turner. Can’t wait for the next one from this author.”

Once more, what can I say, other than “here’s the link”?

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Storming review for Hatred Ridicule & Contempt

Thanks to Jonathan S for posting the following review of Hatred Ridicule & Contempt on Amazon: -

"This was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long, long time. You have to be interested in the legal genre but don’t need to be a lawyer to savour a story with two distinct but interwoven themes.

There’s a successful, mid-size provincial law firm run by a management committee that you just love to hate, butting heads with a newly appointed partner with the clarity of thought and purpose to cut through the pomposity and, ultimately, corrupt behaviour of his colleagues, and a thoroughly involving libel case which moves from running in the background to occupying a well-deserved centre stage position.This book moves along at a cracking pace and while there’s a lot of legal detail, the narrative is easy to read and makes for a real page turner.

As I got near the end of the book, I felt a genuine sense of loss that I would soon finish such a great read, so I consoled myself by buying David Cooper’s other two books which promise all the quality of his first novel. Really worthy of a 5-star review."

What more can I say, other than "here's the link"?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

RIP Peter Sarstedt - and a Richard Littlejohn tribute

Farewell to Peter Sarstedt, the artist behind one of the most unlikely one hit wonders of the Sixties, combining acoustic guitar, accordion and the tale of a jet setter who rose from humble origins. There is no doubt that Where Do You Go To My Lovely will be a memorable legacy.

One jet setter who rose from less humble origins is of course our former Prime Minister Tony Blair. His claim to the contrary sits somewhat uneasily with the fact that his supposed football hero Jackie Milburn had retired long before Blair could have cheered him from the terraces at St James' Park. Likewise the public school education. But at least this has inspired Richard Littlejohn to portray Blair as the central character in a rewrite of the song, no doubt by way of tribute to Peter Sarstedt: -

You walk like George Dubya Bush does

In jeans ball-crushingly tight

You dance like Gordon Brown’s sidekick

On Strictly on Saturday nights.

(Yes, you do.)

You bought an overpriced mansion

In fashionable Connaught Square

Where you keep your Rolling Stones records

Even though you never go there.

(No, you don’t)

So where do you go to my lovely,

When you’re not in your Bayswater bed

Do you ever feel the slightest bit guilty

Over some of the things that you’ve said?

(Do you care?)…
Great. Make sure to read all the way to the end in the link if you want to find out where RL knows the lovely Blair goes to. But I still think that my Essex Girl version of the song from September 2013 is better by far: -

You talk like Denise Van Outen
And you dance nothing like Fred Astaire
Your clothes are all made by Primark
And there’s bling and fake pearls in your hair, yes there are

You live in a run down apartment
On a Brentwood council estate
Where you keep your R&B records
And you play them full blast when it’s late, yes you do

But where do you go to my chavling
When you've thrown up in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I won’t find much inside your head, no I won’t

I see you’ve no qualifications
From the bog standard school down the street
And the picture you knocked off from Poundland
Your lack of taste stands out a treat, yes it does

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Club Med for the booze
With your carefully designed string bikini
You show off your frightful tattoos, on your back and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you'll party in Essex
With the others of the chav set
And you neck down your Bacardi Breezers
You spill them and get your tits wet, yes you do

But where do you go to my chavling
When you've thrown up in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I won’t find much inside your head, no I won’t

Your name is heard in low places
You know a baron from Tilbury Dock
He gave you a vajazzle for Christmas
And you keep it just for a shock, for a laugh, ha-ha-ha

They say that when you get married
It'll be on reality TV
And they’ll certainly know where you came from
So OK! will fund it for free, yes they will

But where do you go to my chavling
When you've thrown up in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I won’t find much inside your head, no I won’t

I remember the back streets of Harlow
Two teenagers dressed in fake tat
Both touched with a burning ambition
To get pregnant and a new council flat, yes they were

So look into my face, Chardonnay
And remember just who you are
Then go live your mad life forever
But I know you still bear the scars, deep inside, from your tattoos

I know where you go to my chavling
When you’ve thrown up in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
`Cause I can’t find much inside your head.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Craven Conflict: a pre-Christmas bargain

For the run up to Christmas, Craven Conflict is going to be half price on the Kindle Countdown deal.

If you're searching for a good legal suspense drama, and you've already read every one of John Grisham's novels, or if you'd rather read something set in the UK, look no further.

Here's the Amazon link:

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Yellowstone National Park: a near near death experience

No, that’s not a clerical error. All will be revealed shortly. But let’s set the scene first.

Yellowstone National Park is dangerous. An unwary visitor could be eaten by a bear. Or fatally gored by a bison. There are plenty of opportunities to plunge to inadvertent doom from high places, such as the lava terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs or the cliff edges at the Park’s own Grand Canyon. And of course there is the option for a scorcher of a demise via the endless supply of boiling water and steam from the geysers, not forgetting the volcanic hot spots lurking beneath the surface.

But it would be a travesty to think of Yellowstone as Beelzebub’s Backyard in all but name. For the thousands of sensible visitors who take the trouble to make the journey to the far north west corner of Wyoming, it’s a sightseeing spectacular. Few would need to be told that it is inadvisable to step too close to a wild animal or a steep drop. And for anyone not quite tuned into the risks involved in straying off limits on a geyser basin, where the danger is sometimes more latent than visible, the boardwalks and their signs ought to bring the point home beyond all reasonable doubt.

Or so we thought…

It did not take long to realise, on our first full day in the park, that the “selfie” craze had arrived on an industrial scale. I will simply observe that the vast majority of its perpetrators were tourists for whom English would not have been their first language, and leave it at that. What made it so bizarre in a place like Yellowstone, as they poured off the coaches and homed in on the viewpoints with their weapons of mass observation primed for attack, is the plentiful supply of scenery that surely cries out for silent admiration and the occasional well judged photo to preserve the memory. Ideally, with as little human presence in the frame as possible. How much true enjoyment of an adventurous holiday destination can seriously be preserved in hundreds of grinning face smartphone shots is one of those impossible conundrums. “This is one of me, my other half, and a few more of my friends at Yellowstone National Park – no idea what that steamy thing is behind me…”

So there we were in the Upper Geyser Basin, heading off on a late afternoon walk that began on the boardwalks reaching out from the Old Faithful Inn, hoping to reach Morning Glory Pool and return before the daylight ran out. On the far side of the Firehole River, looking back towards the Inn and the eponymous geyser, the photo opportunities are plentiful. A point that had clearly not been lost on the group of overseas visitors whom we walked past, as they continued their quest to crowd as much human flesh as possible into their smartphone screens without completely losing all of the grey mist and the rocky thermal crust. What was that feature in their immediate foreground, with the Inn and the most famous of the geysers distantly visible? Oh yes, Dragon Spring, how very…

But what on earth? Is that really one of them marching out over the crust, smartphone in hand, towards a crater that has the unmistakable look of a geyser outlet or a thermal pool? Is he seriously glancing back to make sure his companions are framing him in a good shot? And are they making moves to step off the boardwalk too? Yes, yes and yes…

What happened next is something of a blur. I can just about recall that after the first few seconds of utter disbelief, we combined frenzied gestures and forceful exhortations to stop them in their tracks and persuade them to get back on the boardwalk with a degree of considerable alacrity. Whatever damage their feet may have inflicted on thousand year old fragile thermal crust in the process, they made it. In a later Facebook post, I noted that “DANGEROUS!” ought now to have become part of the main culprit’s limited knowledge of the English language. My wife had the last word: “Dangerous wasn’t the only thing you shouted.”

Following a few nods and mutterings that we took to be thanks, we left it at that and decided to put as much distance between us and them as possible. Had there been a convenient “Report A Blissfully Ignorant Suicidal Moron” hotline to the Park Rangers within easy reach, we would have made full use. But with a citizens’ arrest not being a sensible option (is this available on US soil for one foreign visitor to carry out on another?), we had little choice other than to draw a line under our near near death experience – now you’ll get it – and move on. It was at least well worth then making the trek out to Morning Glory Pool before the blizzards set to work on the way back to the Inn.

To conclude on a sober note and dispel any suggestion of exaggeration, here’s a link to a June 2016 fatality at the Norris Geyser Basin, another thermal wonderland not far from Old Faithful. Key sentence: “Efforts to recover the body…..were suspended…..after rangers determined there were no remains left in the hot spring.”

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Craven Conflict: free download today

That's right - an end of summer promotion, for one day ahead of the Bank Holiday. Use the links on the right for Amazon, or read the prologue first via the page links above.