Editor’s note: We had such an animated conversation with Author Cooper that the original write-up was too long! So here is part 2, as promised.
Walk a mile …
Let’s talk about Alpha Swap. Oh wow, alpha swap. That opening. If my sister had not recommended the book. I don’t know if I would have read Alpha Swap all the way through. The first few chapters…
Yes. Do you know? I wouldn’t have read it. It’s not the kind of book I normally write, and I hated it. Every part of the beginning of that book.
But you had to do it. It was part of the process.
Yeah. It was hard for me to write it. I hated it. Cause he’s awful. Yet you couldn’t get to the part that I was trying to get to without having that first part where you really saw what a terrible person he was, and he didn’t know he was a terrible person, which was just, I mean, that was kind of important.
He needed to not know how bad he really was, and he needed to be just a terrible person. So, yeah.
Yeah, he had to really suck.
Yeah, yes, yes, he did. He did.
Thank you, Author Byant!
Why did you write this book?
The reason I wrote it…I read a book by another author, Bryant. And she had written a story – I can’t remember which book it was in now (editor’s note: Warrior’s Redemption) – but Clement was this horrible, terrible guy. Couldn’t stand him. He was a horrible guy. And then she wrote his story. And I was like, how did you make me like this guy?
Like, I really liked him. And I was like, I wonder if I could do that. Could I make a character that was so awful that people despised him, and then by the end of the book, they were rooting for him?
So, I wanted to try my hand at that. I wanted to see, can I, can I start out with a character that no one likes that is really just a horrible person, and by the end of the story, people are just rooting for him and really want him to, you know, to win.
So that was where that story sort of stemmed from. Can I have that redemption arc and make it believable for my readers?
He had to feel and understand what it means to not have any control and to be at the mercy of the people who do have control.
So, is there anything that you would like people to take away from your book (Alpha Swap)?
So, what do I want people to take away from Alpha Swap? I think I would say with Alpha Swap, I think it’s not always that way, but people can change. If they choose to become a different person, if they choose to change who they are, then I think that, for me, that was the biggest takeaway because that’s what Tereshan did.
He walked the mile in somebody else’s shoes, and he realized what it was like to live the way that he was forcing people in his pack to live. And he didn’t want that when he finally realized what was happening in the truth that was going on in his pack. He didn’t want that, and he changed who he was. So that he could be a better man, not just for Claire, but for his entire pack. And that he respects himself.
Fight the power!
Right. You mentioned breaking the mold. Some norms drive me batty, like why the omegas are always so oppressed in so many stories. Why do they have to be oppressed? They can be weak. But they don’t have to be beaten up all the time. What norms did you break in your stories?
I do think that, In Alpha Swap, I started out more in that kind of norm, and I think, again, that was part of why I struggled to write it in the beginning because it was just not my normal kind of story.
But in most of my stories, The Claiming is a good example. Jara was a strong female, to begin with, and she stood up for what she believed in.
She fought against the system. And she helped those who maybe weren’t as strong as she was to not let the system oppress them and bring them down, and so that was that was, I think in some ways that’s probably the biggest heart, the biggest battle of what I fight.
The Mate Bond
Clarify for me. How do mates find each other in your worlds?
It depends on the book, and it’s never the same. I won’t say it’s never the same.
So Dragon Series. They feel the mate bond. They can feel the pull, but it also depends on the type of shifter they are. There are all different animal shifters. It’s not just werewolves, it’s not just bears, it’s not just dragons.
For some of my werewolf novels, they don’t have one. In The Claiming, they didn’t have mate bonds.
And so what they felt they didn’t recognize is a mate bond. They felt more just a draw to someone. So if you were in a relationship with someone and you knew that you had feelings for them, that you felt strongly for them. It was more like that they actually really liked that person and wanted to be with that person. They had respect for them. They were building a love for them.
And then there are some, where it is like what would be considered the true mate bond where they see each other and they recognize the true mate bond where they see each other, and they recognize right away that you know via the scent via, just the feelings that come with seeing that person that is their mate.
So I changed it. I don’t keep it the same for all of my books. I change it, in, all of my books depending on, I guess, the characters, and how I want the book to move forward. How important and impactful is the mate bond, and how much do I want the mate bond to have an impact on the relationship of the folks, the people who are in there?
Okay, so you have no formula that is consistent in, let’s say, for example, in your werewolf books versus in your Dragon books.
Yes, it’s different. It’s different every time.
No two women are the same
How do you compare Claire and Jara?
Jara, I created her first. A lot of people have said The Claiming is like the mate bond version of The Hunger Games. And that’s probably true because they have, you know, the arena of sorts that they have to go into.
But Jara was one; she was the last remaining alpha female. So she was the most – she was the one that all of the males wanted.
She wasn’t the most sought after, and she was also especially having had the history with her sister having died at the hands of her mate that caught her claimed her. She had no interest in being involved in that process and no interest in having to not have a say in her life, if you will.
With Claire, I think Claire was more accepting of her situation. She was more, understanding of her position in the pack.
While I think that she would have been if Tereshan had accepted her right away, I think she would have been excited to have found her mate. I think that was important for her. But I also think that she would have been just as happy if her mate had been outside of the pack and she’d have been outside of the pack and she’d have been able to escape from that.
My two cents …
Any advice for aspiring authors?
I would say if you’re an aspiring author, you If you really want to be an author, you have to You have to come at it as if it’s a job. It may be a job that you love, but you have to give it time. You have to sit down, and you have to write. You have to push past writer’s block. It happens to all of us. You have to really think about you know how you’re gonna move into that next phase of the book.
So, I think dedicating the time and having a plan for what your book is going to look like.
Where can your readers get in touch with you?
I have a Facebook page, Author Cooper, and then I also have a Facebook group, which is Cooper’s pack.
So that’s where most of my readers are. They can talk about the chapters and the books and, you know, kind of interact with each other.
Where can they buy your books?
My Guardian series is on GoodNovel. Alpha Swap, The Claiming and the spin-offs, and Heart of a Queen are on iReader, and then my dragon books are on GoodNovel, iReader, and iStory.
You can check out the following reviews from our sister website, slvrdlphn.com, to pique your interest. Click on the link in the image below to bring you directly to the review.