If you read this whole interview with T. Cooper and don’t get as excited for Real Man Adventures as I am, then, well… You’re not a true nonfiction lover.
Okay, maybe you still are. But seriously? Can’t wait for this book to be released.
VV: How did the mosaic-like structure of Real Man Adventures come about? Did you start conducting the interviews with other people (your wife, ReDICKulous, parents of other transgender children, and others) before you started writing the book, or while you were writing it?
TC: The structure reflects pretty much how my brain originally envisioned the book. I never thought of it as a “start at point A, end at point B” type of narrative, and I don’t think I could ever have written it as such. Okay, maybe if writing it that way would eradicate wars and violence and starvation I could do that—but it wouldn’t be a very good book.
As for the interviews, I’d conducted a handful with various people over the last couple years (my brother, his FTM [female-to-male transsexual] colleague on the Los Angeles Police Department, the FTM who was assaulted on a college campus in California), thinking,I’ll use this for a magazine piece or something, but then that didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, and I realized that those voices could be brought in to the overall conversation I wanted to have in the book (but transformed and updated, of course). Other interviews (with people like my wife, the male stripper ReDICKulous, Kate Bornstein, and my friends’ mother and father), I conducted as I worked through the draft and noticed places for them. It probably sounds a little lofty to say—and I definitely don’t mean it that way—but my aim was to sort of conduct a chorus of different voices chiming in on the over-arching subject of the book, which is essentially masculinity in our culture.