Good Time To Read & Updates.

A time to sit in and a time to read

The weather in many parts of the world is often quite bad, but in the UK lately what feels like a never ending series of storms has caused a lot of problems. There has been weeks of very high winds, so much rain that large areas in the UK are being terribly affected by flooding, and those who are lucky enough to escape the flooding are stuck with weeks on end of none stop rain and cold.
It is the first of March this coming Sunday, and usually this signals the coming of Spring and better weather. With it we see the first flowers of the season, enough dry and warm days to put our washing out to dry and perhaps even the chance to open our windows or doors to allow in some fresh air. As things are it’s difficult to see such an outcome at the moment, but no doubt before long things will recover, warmth will return, and once again we can shed the heavy clothing and venture out without the shield of an umbrella.
The one thing we all share in common throughout the year is our love of reading. When it is cold and wet outside, there is never a better time to stay in and read, to catch up on that new book you just bought or even simply pick up a newspaper or magazine and read.
Personally I often enjoy going and either sitting in a soft, padded chair or laying a blanket out on the grass and enjoying the warmth, under a parasol, and with a good book. Have a drink beside me and a pillow to rest on, and I can easily spend hours reading and losing myself in the worlds and events of a good book.
So as awful as it is outside, as bad as the weather can get, we will always have the sanctuary of those wonderful books we read and the way they make us feel and think.

New Dog Book

I am just finishing up with the last of my new dog book. It was going to be a short novella, nice and simple, a fun read, but as I got into it I ended up writing more and more and I just don’t know when to stop. Of course I will though, and expect it to be done this coming week, then off to be edited and then on sale. No matter that it will be much longer, it will still be a nice price of 99 cents US or 99p UK, and similar price other countries.

Coming Next

I have had a lot of good feedback from my full length novel Missing, although reviews are slow to appear, it has been well received and continues to be popular. It was always intended as a series of books, and because I enjoyed writing it so much and because it continues to do well I have decided that my next book to work on will be a sequel to that. It is one of my larger titles and takes longer to write, but I know where the series is heading, so I am certain it won’t take long to write. I will keep everyone posted on the progress, and as my new newsletter will be coming out soon for everyone to subscribe to for free I will post snippets of my writing on there for people to enjoy and comment on.

Thank You

Thanks for all the support I have had from my readers, it has been immense and so much has happened over the past eighteen months it’s been quite a whirlwind! I can’t imagine where things are going to go over the next eighteen months and beyond, but it’s a huge amount of fun, and I hope to always ensure that you as readers enjoy that as much as I do.

Bye for now

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk
https://www.instagram.com/djcowdall/
https://twitter.com/djcowdall
https://www.facebook.com/DJCowdall
www.davidcowdall.com

My New Book & More

I’m sat here in my usual spot writing. It’s cold outside, but clear and bright blue skies. The weather has been a real challenge for most people in the UK, with freezing rain, flooding, strong winds and bitter cold. It’s certainly not a time to be out if you can help it, and all I can say is right now I’m glad to be inside.

Thankfully I have a heater on in here, so all I need to think about is what I am writing.

Anyone who has had a dog of their own will know enough about them to understand how attached we get to them, and what impact they have on our lives. Actually writing about them really brings it home, and gives a great insight into the small things we go through with them every day. Often things will happen and we will laugh about it, but in time other things will happen and we tend to forget about what it was that made us laugh. Writing about them is a great way to relive those times and moments, from whatever age, and share some of the joy we have for the company they keep with us.

The new dog book I am writing isn’t intended to be a long one, and should hopefully be on sale at the end of February. It will have a much lower selling price, but is still a full and complete, self contained story, one which is built on joy and happines, not to menetion all the fun we take from a new dog, and share with them,

It isn’t really like work, doing something like this, it’s just having a bit of fun and putting it into words.

I fully intend to set up a new newsletter all about my work and writing, my books and short stories, in fact everything I do connected with it, and will launch this all new venture soon. There will be a lot of free short stories, free full length books and constant snippets of books and things I am working on, and they will all be available free to my newsletter subscribers. Watch out for that.

Spring isn’t far off, thankfully, which means getting back out into the garden and enjoying the times with family, not to mention our dog! Roll on.

Feel free to follow me on Amazon, or on any of the below social media and of course I am always happy to hear from people, and always respond to any contact I have.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk
https://www.instagram.com/djcowdall/
https://twitter.com/djcowdall
https://www.facebook.com/DJCowdall
www.davidcowdall.com

Back To Writing

I’m Back!

Well hopefully everyone enjoyed their Christmas. I was busy and have been busy afterwards. Before Christmas I released the conclusion to The Dog Under The Bed Trilogy, and the 3rd part was titled What Happened Next.

I had to do that, because I have had so many requests from people asking for it, and a lot of reviews said they wished they knew how it went for the family, and so I decided that was what was needed.

The three books have been a work of love for me, and given people a lot of laughs, as well as tears. That’s dogs for you, always making us feel something, every day that we’re around them.

More Dog Books

Of course after the release of The Dog Under The Bed 3: What Happened Next I’m not finished with our lovely pooches. I am currently working on a short novella about a very new and very different dog, which I hope will be full of laughs and intrigue.
The difference this time is this new dog book will be released at a lower price of just 99p, but as a special offer will be offered for free to anyone who subscribes to my newsletter.

My Newsletter

I intend to make some big changes to my newsletter soon, which will be a revamp and will offer the chance to get not only this new book free, but regular short stories and snippets of what I am currenty working on. I’ll update on here very soon with what is happening and much more detail.

The Year Ahead

Big changes coming for me this year, including hardback copies of books, audiobooks including for the Dog Under The Bed Series, and even a YouTube channel.
I will be sure to explain all on here very soon. Watch out for news, and especially my new newsletter. I hope to have this novella finished by end of February, so watch out for all that.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk
https://www.instagram.com/djcowdall/
https://twitter.com/djcowdall
https://www.facebook.com/DJCowdall
www.davidcowdall.com

New Premium Novel – On Sale Now!

The Dog Under The Bed 3: What Happened Next!


 

Welcome home Arthur!

Finally, the lost little dog has found his forever home. He has been lost, he has been forgotten and nobody loved him.

A sweet little dog went from being pampered and loved until something changed in his life, and out he went onto the streets. Arthur learned how to be wily and cunning, and survived, but couldn’t find anyone to love him, until he found his way under a little boy’s bed.

Then, the inevitable happened, discovered, shocked, surprised, amazed. A family finds a dog hidden under the bed, but what do they do? What would you do, if you found this loving, sweet little pooch hiding under your bed, shivering, tired, scared, and only wanting someone to love?

Would you give a dog a home? Would you open your arms, your heart and your home to them?

The Dog Under The Bed: What Happened Next, tells us just what did happen, when Stan, Nancy, Abigail and Billy find Arthur, hiding, looking out at them, his small eyes staring, watching to see their reaction.

Read on to see how they all adapt to each other, as Arthur has his first proper bath with his new family, kindly sharing it with them! Check out his antics as he runs amok in the house, always finding his way back to where he knows he belongs.

From Chaotic walks in the park, to snowball fights in the garden, from family teddy fights to madcap attempts to climb kitchen counters for food, Arthur lives it all as he finds out just what it is to be loved again.

Life for a new dog in a family is often difficult, and for this family it is no less, but through their love for one another they determine to overcome, and come together for the sake of a wonderful dog.

The Dog Under The Bed 3 is the loving conclusion to the series, as Arthur not only comes to terms with his new family, but finally confronts the past, ready for a loving future.

Filled with laughter, tears and joy, What Happened Next show us just why we love dogs so much.

Welcome Home Arthur, forever.

“Arthur leaped at the sausages, trying to grab one to gobble it up, as Billy did the same. It was a battle, where only the strongest would survive, and get a sausage. Billy grabbed at them quickly, giggling so much his sides hurt. Each time he tried to get another Arthur naturally grabbed at the same one, as if it were a pop up game where they needed a mallet to hit the mole before it disappeared”

“Arthur was a sensible dog, well trained, not inclined to do the wrong thing. Or so he thought, until he ran and jumped like a gazelle onto the large armchair in the corner. As he landed on it he bounced, like a child on a bouncy castle. He looked one way, then the other, as if he were a lion surveying his kingdom”

“Freedom clearly had a price, one that involved shivering and being lonely. As joyful as it might well be being able to run anywhere and do as he pleased, it was difficult to make a sensible case for anything other than warmth, a fully belly and being loved”

On Sale Now Exclusively From Amazon Worldwide

Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books And Stories Are Released.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk
DJ Cowdall – Twitter
DJ Cowdall – Facebook
DJ Cowdall – Goodreads

Holidays Are Over, sadly. however…

Sorry, I know you didn’t need me to tell you that. Oops. Back at it, for all of us. Today is the first day of Autumn, and it seems as if Summer was here and gone in the blink of an eye.

Swings and roundabouts, because now I get back into my Summer House (Autumn house?) and knuckle down to finish The Dog Under The Bed 3. I’ve had a lot of requests for it, as people really want to know what happened next to Arthur. It is the conclusion of it all, the end of the trilogy, but I aim to make it a good one, and a bumper end to what has been a superb adventure, hopefully for the reader, but also for me as a writer.

I noticed a Youtube video from someone working to write and sell books. they showed advertising on Amazon, and other places. It made it clear that a lot of people don’t realize the cost of those ads. When someone sees a book they might be interested in, and clicks on a book cover, the author usually has to pay for that click. Prices for clicks can range from a few cents to over three dollars! For each and every click. So if people are just looking around and clicking on a few interesting items, it can soon add up for authors!
Without adverts our books never get seen by readers, so simply do not sell. It’s just an unfortunate part of the deal, but the cost can often be prohibitive.
Goodreads is the same, with an option to advertise, you might see small scale pictures of books, but when you click on those they tend to cost the author money, per click. I believe around $.50 per click, so obviously books need to sell otherwise the author can make quite a loss.

One thing about the weather and seasons changing, darker nights and all that, is we tend to stay in more, and frankly it’s a good excuse for us to read more books. I prefer being outside, in the garden and reading in the sun, but you still can’t beat being inside on a cold winter’s day, reading an enjoyable novel.

Who knows, you might like reading one of mine!


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books, Blog posts And Stories Are Released.


DJ Cowdall on Instagram
DJ Cowdall on Twitter
DJ Cowdall on Facebook
DJ Cowdall on Goodreads

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk

Where is the best place to write?

Personally I have written in all sorts of places. OK, so not the toilet or in the bath, because it could get kind of messy, but most places. Reading, well that’s a different story, I have read books, magazines and newspapers pretty much everywhere you could imagine, because if you love reading, well where doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t. Why shouldn’t it matter? Because if what you are reading is truly engrossing and you lose yourself in it, then where you are should melt away into obscurity.

Writing however, can be affected by all sorts of things. Imagine trying to write an emotional piece about the death of an important character, while sat on the tube clattering along while being nudged by others. Imagine trying to write about a peaceful and beautiful place while you’re sat on a bucket at a building site, while Bob the Builder hammers a wall with a pick axe. OK, I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean.

Naturally if we were so limited in our ability to take flight with our imagination then we would have to be wrapped up in cotton wool or actually have to experience the things we write about, and end up sounding more like we were giving a presentation than creating worlds of the mind, our minds.

It is good to experience things, new places, people and events, because they all add to our knowledge and even our wisdom. However there has to be a space within us to simply create something from nothing, otherwise what is our imagination for? It’s not enough to simply parrot what we have seen or heard, we have to reshape it and bend it into something the reader would hopefully not have experienced before.

The point about where we write, and where we create something, is more important to us as creators than for the reader, viewer or listener, because there does have to be a state of mind where we are open to new ideas and allow our minds to flow with interesting thoughts and ideas. Of course if we are writing a horror story, and we are in a place where something strange or weird occurs, then this can add to what we need to show, it can provoke a sense of something which we can incorporate, but often we just need a quiet moment to be able to tell the story.

Being creative with what we write isn’t enough, unless you’re dealing with absurdism, which might not need a defined narrative. Most readers will want a sense of direction, which requires plot, and character development, and actually going somewhere with it. If we write in a place which affects our ability to concentrate, then we will often miss things, create glaring errors, not to mention the ubiquitous spelling errors, and endless grammatical inadequacies. Readers are very quick to point these out, and of course they have the right to, because they pay for our work, and have a right to expect the best. If for no other reason, that should tell us all we need about the importance of uninterrupted writing.

Which brings me neatly to the original point: where is the best place to write?

For me, I mainly write in a small wooden summer house, windows at side and front, and double doors which open out. Beyond is a small yard which on either side has plants giving it a green and flowery sensation. It is quiet here, apart from a large tree overhanging, often filled with birds.

I find it a good place to be, and a good place to write.

I have written in other places, like my living room, but then there are distractions from letters arriving, and people coming in and out, or someone knocking for something. At least here, in the back, I can pretend I am not in, and perhaps the only person left alive, albeit thankfully for a short time.

I wonder what the real differences are between what kind of place we need in order to be able to enjoy our reading, and just how bad it could be as a writer for me not to be able to write.

I guess I’ll have to go into a war-zone or onto a building site with Bob the Builder and find out!


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books, Blog posts And Stories Are Released.


DJ Cowdall on Instagram
DJ Cowdall on Twitter
DJ Cowdall on Facebook
DJ Cowdall on Goodreads

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk

New Book Progress

I’m pleased to be able to say I am in the process of writing the third and final part of The Dog Under The Bed, which deals with what happened next after Arthur had found his new home.

I am at a crossroads of sorts, in precisely what to call the book. I am torn between sticking with What Happens Next as a subtitle, but I think there are better options, such as Arthur Finds a Home or similar. I’m sure I will know once it comes to launch time.

My aim is to finish the book and have it on sale by the end of August, but obviously it is typically holiday time and things such as life do tend to get in the way.

The first book dealt with a stray dog, ending up hiding under a little boy’s bed, and how he managed to avoid detection in the pursuit of finding somewhere safe to stay.
Its reception had been hugely rewarding, the sales, library reads, reviews and general appreciation.

The follow up, Arthur On The Streets has likewise been met with great success and appreciation, however naturally it deals with things in a less happy manner. Arthur finds himself on the streets and lost, and learns what it is to be a stray and unwanted dog. Life can be tough, but also a huge experience, as Arthur finds out.

I am pleased to say that the final part of the trilogy finds Arthur in much happier circumstances. Anyone who has taken in or adopted a stray dog will know that both we and our new dog have to adapt to each other. When I got my dog Scooby, on the first day he jumped onto my bed and soiled and wet it, which was a shock! I had a word with him, cleaned it all up, but the next day he did the exact same thing again! After that he wasn’t allowed onto my bed. Of course it is well known dogs like to mark their new territory, and that was what he was doing, but it is part of getting used to a new dog, especially as he was three when we first got him.

So book three will be all about how the family and Arthur adapt to each other, and all the fun and frolics they have. I believe it is going to be tremendous fun to write, and wonderful to read.

It is and has been a great journey, not only having dogs in my home, but writing about them too. Long may it continue.

Of course Dog 3 will not be the last of my escapades in writing about them, no chance. It is only just beginning!


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books, Blog posts And Stories Are Released.


The Dog Under The Bed

Arthur On The Streets

Two Dogs in Africa

DJ Cowdall on Instagram
DJ Cowdall on Twitter
DJ Cowdall on Facebook
DJ Cowdall on Goodreads

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk

How We Choose To Read

I got to thinking about how we choose to read, and in turn how I have done so, and changed over the years.

For me I tend to look at a hardback copy of a book and see it for the premium that it is. Quite why people choose hardbacks over softbacks or paperbacks is a mystery to me at times. You see some books which are charged at a much higher price, simply for how it is packaged, and often I can’t help but wonder if the extra cost is worth it. Still, they look good on a shelf!

Thinking about the ways I have read a book, it reminded me of a time when I read Stephen King’s Cell on an electronic PDA in the bath. It was a small device, around 5 inches by 3 inches, with a decidedly not HD screen. Slightly bigger than a smart phone, and lighter. It was a first for me, and well before the prevalence of smart phones and tablets. I did this every night for a week, laid in the bath reading it until I finished. I quite enjoyed the experience, and thankfully no mishaps, no dropped devices into the bath. However I haven’t done it since.

The thing about paperbacks, especially if it is raining out or we are in the bath is that the paper gets wet easily, it folds up and afterwards looks awful when stored, not to mention how it is when we want to read it again.

This brings us to the matter of reading books on electronic devices, such as Amazon’s Kindle and others. They are amazingly practical, and can store huge amounts of books on one tiny device. The screens are clear and bright, and often battery life can last months. So obviously they are perfect, and the natural future of reading.

Well, perhaps not. I have a pretty large collection of books, and lots of shelves to store them. At one time I decided to go all in, obtaining copies of all of my books in electronic format, and boxing up the books for the loft. People who know me were horrified, unable to comprehend the thought. To my mind I figured they were just being old fashioned, but looking back I can see their point. Yes, books wear out and are difficult in some circumstances, but a row of shelves with books on is something to be proud of, and are an instant visual reminder of being there, to be read again, our very favorites.

So now I am back at it, rebuilding my book collection, in paperback, and occasionally a hardback. I still have the electronic versions, but for me it’s good to have a choice.

Ultimately of course it doesn’t truly matter how you read, in whichever format, but we are lucky, in that we have a choice.

Then there are audio books, which stemmed from the old taped copies, often using six to ten tapes, on both sides. The sound quality on the recordings wasn’t great, but then along came books on CD, and now we have the likes of Audible, where you can use phones, tablets, laptops, even devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot to listen to our collection.

What it all means really is that our choice of how we enjoy our books is expanding continually. We are spoilt in fact, because there have never been so many ways to enjoy one of our favorite pastimes.

All that we need are a great selection of books to read, and for that we really are spoiled.


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books And Stories Are Released.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk

DJ Cowdall on Instagram
DJ Cowdall on Twitter
DJ Cowdall on Facebook
DJ Cowdall on Goodreads

Emotion In Books

When reading books we all go through a wide range of emotions. What and how we feel depends a lot on the type of books we read. When we read a thriller, this can open up a lot of differing feelings, however the primary element will be an increase in our heart rate due to excitement or tension, brought on my sudden events which cause abrupt changes. From this we can feel fear, a surge of adrenaline, or even simply being more aggressive within ourselves. For example if the primary character in a novel is someone we identify with, a good person perhaps fighting off some kind of evil or criminal actions, we can feel their aggression, their determination to succeed, and if and when this happens, we feel a sense of elation or joy. If we identify with a character that is evil, or carries out criminal acts and gets away with it, then we may feel an oddly similar kind of joy over this, or satisfaction borne of their odd success. I say satisfaction, because through books and our imagination we allow ourselves to act out that lead character, and do things with might never otherwise do in life.

A comedy can be different, in that we stand back, mentally, to look at the actions of people in the novel, and the things that happen to them. It is like watching something funny in real life, where perhaps something slapstick happens, like a cake to the face. We wouldn’t usually want to identify with that character, we don’t want to be the point of the joke, but we’re often happy to see others in that predicament. Still we feel emotions, humour tickles us, we smile and feel good, and are driven along, coupled with our imagination. There can still be other elements of emotion in what we feel when we read something like that, but our goal is to laugh, which tends to be why we might choose such a novel, knowing it is going to make us laugh.

Other novels, such as simple action novels, perhaps based on war or fighting, maybe makes us feel brave, allows us to imagine ourselves in situations of drama and risk without actually risking our lives or safety. From this we do still feel a sense of fear, but overwhelmingly we feel satisfaction when the primary protagonist succeeds in their work, no matter what it costs them.

Some novels make us cry, they expose us to emotions that we may otherwise shy away from, mainly because with a book we can close it, and go do something else, or interact with others in our lives. From this we have a reminder of how good our lives can be, as well as a peek into a world where others might suffer, another reminder of how life could be. We gain satisfaction in another way, a kind of schadenfreude, where others might suffer, and perhaps we might enjoy it, feeling better about ourselves without going through it first. That may sound negative, nasty even, but it is an element of human nature.

That then is perhaps what is most powerful about reading books, that they allow us to step into another person’s shoes, but to also experience everything they do and say, without cost, remorse or recriminations. We are a fly on the wall, a ghost sliding through the corridors of life, enjoying all the rampaging energy, the life, creation and destruction that writers expose us to. They are a doorway to everything else we can imagine, but don’t want to experience, and most of all they provide us with a route to a series of experiences from which we draw a full range of emotional experiences, all without cost. Why without cost? Because when we have had enough, for that day or that moment, we can close the book, and go back to our safe, normal lives.

Thank goodness for writers, for creators, and thank goodness for books.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/DJCowdall
http://www.davidcowdall.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15502553.D_J_Cowdall


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books And Stories Are Released.

 

Our shared love of reading

I think it’s fair to say we all share the love of a good book, but I sometimes wonder what it is that creates the perfect setting for a really good book. This got me to thinking about a range of things connected with reading, and what we need in order to enjoy it.
I thought about how I have read books, and in what manner in the past, and how these things have affected what I felt about the book, and even how I remembered it.

Back when Stephen King released his new book Cell , I recall having a digital copy of it on my small electronic PDA. This was before the widespread use of smart phones and tablets, when people used electronic PDA devices for everything that smart phones do, only back then not as well. The screens were not high resolution, and usually only black and white, but when it came to writing notes and even reading ebooks, they did the job. I spent an entire week, each night having a bath, laid in hot water, reading that book of Mr King’s. I will admit, it wasn’t one of his best, but it was enjoyable anyway, and I think all the more memorable because I read it while in the bath, and using this PDA, which was a first for me.

I got to thinking of all the ways I have enjoyed a book, and how the setting of my reading contributed to my enjoyment. That time in the bath was unique, and enjoyable, but mostly my reading takes place when I am in bed. I have a small night light on, by the side of my bed, and I am snugly comfy under the plush covers, propped up by some lovely pillows, with a drink and a snack if I can find the time to put the book down long enough to enjoy them. I have read countless books this way, and for me it is a moment of tranquillity and solitude, while I lose myself in a book, where my imagination can roam and my attention is lost within its world.

I know one family member of mine has a very large armchair, quite huge in fact. She gets a very large fleece, wraps herself in it, and curls up on the chair with her new book and reads it for hours.
The place where we sit or lay to enjoy our new book can become symbiotic with its enjoyment, as if we are cocooned within a shell, protected from disturbances, transported away so that our minds can truly connect with the characters and situations within.
So I think it is fair to say that how we prepare where we read is as important as anything else. It provides us with a base from which we can remain relaxed and focused on the journey into the next book.

I think where we are to do this is as important as any element in our experience as readers, so that through this we can soak up every word and every detail, unhinge our imaginations and enjoy all the thrills and emotions, good or bad from a novel, without having to worry about feeling uncomfortable or stiff, or cold, or how our surroundings keep impinging on what we are trying to experience.

I no longer read books in the bath, far too many curled pages from the steam on my beloved paperbacks. Now I mirror that of a family member, a lovely large leather chair, with a footstool, and a huge fleece which buries me. I even go so far as to wear ear plugs now! Because I take those first steps into that new world of literature, nothing can possible stop me!

We are spoilt in a way, so many choices, not only of the books we want to read, but how and where we can do it. That’s the beauty of reading; we can do it anywhere.

Email: djcowdall@gmx.co.uk
DJ Cowdall on Twitter
Facebook Pages of DJ Cowdall
DJ Cowdall on Goodreads


Sign Up For My Newsletter To See When New Books And Stories Are Released.