09 Feb A Chat with Cooper Beckett
I recently had the pleasure of reading Cooper S. Beckett‘s first novel A Life Less Monogamous. It was a great read and I was thrilled with the opportunity to ask him a few questions about him and the book, but before we get to the questions, let me tell you a bit about the book…
His main characters, Ryan and Jennifer, are just like any couple you know; they love each other, but something is missing. This is the story of how they find what’s missing. It isn’t always sunshine and roses, sometimes it is painful; but in the end they grow stronger and more confident in their choices, their love, and their relationship. You’ll be enthralled in the sexy times, and brought to tears by the tough times. Comical, sexy, gut wrenching, hopeful, and tear jerking. This book has it all! It is a realistic and relatable expedition into the gratifications and agony of non-monogamy. I found the story to have reminders of my own challenges and triumphs in exploring an open relationship.
I just can’t say too many good things about this book! Now onto the juicy stuff!
Cooper, I enjoyed your first book My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory, it was great and I love memoirs. So I have to ask… What inspired you to start writing fiction?
“I’d done the memoir thing, and felt I had a lot more to say about that early period in the swinging lifestyle, especially the major mistakes that can be made right at that time. It seemed to just click making it fictional, since we could go into the minds of both of our lead characters and really see how confusion and conflict as well as passion and lust are born.”
Were your characters based on folks you know? Are you Ryan or Bruce?
“I realized about a third of the way into this story that the couple I thought were wholly invented in my head were actually a couple I’m very close to. That’s not to say I took their lives or identity and wrote them down, but as they’d make a decision I found myself asking what this couple would do. It was a wonderful realization.
“As for me, I’m very much Ryan, but I want to be Bruce.”
What is the most important piece of advice for a new swinger?
“Communicate. And when you’re done doing that, do it again. And again. Until communication never stops. It’s truly the ONLY thing that gets us through life, and so many of us are thoroughly mediocre to bad at it.”
What is the worst advice you’ve received as a swinger?
“Because condoms don’t protect against everything you shouldn’t bother wearing them. I pointed out that they protect against most of the things that can kill you…”
What do you wish “vanilla” folks knew about swinging?
“That what seems like a vastly different lifestyle than their own is actually similar in so many ways. Things that the vanilla community could learn from the swinging community: how to advocate for yourself, how to ask for what you want, how to say no, and the value of communication.”
What was the best part about writing this novel?
Being inside the mind of Jennifer really gave me a new perspective on the situation I was writing. I went in blaming one character for the major conflict in the novel and left blaming the other.
Should we expect to see more fiction from Cooper S. Beckett in the future?
“The next one will be called Approaching The Swingularity. It’ll be a sorta sequel, and will revolve around a certain swinger resort in Mexico.”
What’s next for Cooper S. Beckett?
“First I’m finishing the audiobook for A Life Less Monogamous, once I’m done with that I’m going to be launching an online class that is an Intro to Swinging, and writing a non-fiction book about going on sexy vacations. And as if I didn’t have enough to do, this weekend I decided to do a John Waters retrospective podcast called Flamingos Forever.”
Well, Coop, it sure looks like you’ve got some big plans! I can’t wait for the next installment! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!