Split Personas ~ Outside the Margins with William Cooper

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William Cooper OtM

Last month, I turned 25. I graduated college three years ago. I graduated high school seven years ago. I signed my first contract with Dreamspinner Press when I was 19. And yet, I still have to hide half of who I am from most of the people in my life.

Very few people outside of the M/M world know who William Cooper is. My family doesn’t know and, for the most part, only my fellow authors/readers know who I am. Because of my family and where I live, I keep my real name a secret except to those who I’m close friends with.

Wonderful people like JP Barnaby and Brandilyn know who I am, along with a few others I’ve known for a while. But no one in my day-to-day life knows what I do for a living. None of them know about William nor about the naughty books I write.

I’ve been a huge advocate for author privacy, because I’ve had to be. There are people in my life who absolutely cannot know about William Cooper. My family is uber conservative and would flip their shit if they knew about me. Many of you know about the geeky young boy affectionately termed Munchkin that I mentor. If his family found out about William, I’d never see him again.


So I’ve been very conscious of who I tell my real name to and who I connect with on my personal social media pages.

About two years ago, Marguerite Labbe, her husband, and her son came down here to attend a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention I go to every year. One night while they were in town, I went to dinner with them along with two of my friends. We had a blast that night. About half way through dinner, Marguerite’s son called me “William.”

I can still hear my friend saying “Why did that boy just call you William?” and clearly remember my moment of panic.

Since then, for various reasons, my personal life and professional life haven’t crossed streams, so I haven’t had to worry about too much.


Until Memorial Day Weekend when I went with two of my friends to Animazement in Raleigh, NC. There, I was able to see Shira Anthony, Venona Keys, Jordan L. Hawk, and Z. Allora. For the first time since Marguerite came to town, my personal and professional lives were going to meet. And, to be honest, I was terrified.

I was supposed to be there with three friends, though one had to drop out of the trip for personal reasons. That left my two friends whom I’ve known for a few years now. My one friend, Sam, has always been pretty cool and has been dying to meet JP Barnaby since I first started working for her. My other friend would fit right in at a convent of nuns, and shuns anything sexual, especially gay stuff.

My male friend pretty much avoided the Dreamspinner table the majority of the time I was there visiting with everyone. Sam though, stood and chatted and absolutely loved meeting everyone. She was very intrigued by Shira’s merman book (and the little mermen she had decorating the table!)

On Saturday, Sam and I ended up having lunch together, just the two of us. Between watching episodes of the most ridiculous hentai show either of has had ever seen, we talked about a lot of things. We talked about me being bi, about her interest in BDSM, about all sorts of things.

And we talked about William. For the first time since I created this persona, I told one of my non-M/M friends about it. For the first time in five years, I had someone I could talk to about my real job, about who I really am.

While I’m still very protective over my identity, a lot has changed over these years. Slowly, I’m coming out of my shell. I’m getting closer to being able to support myself without relying on anyone. I’m getting more and more friends I can trust with who I am. And slowly, the split between my personas is getting thinner and thinner.

~William Cooper


About William Cooper

William Cooper has been writing and reading since he was little. In 2010 he took the first step toward publishing a book and hasn’t looked back since. Whether it’s two men who met in college or brothers who have been in love their entire life, William loves to tell their story for everyone to read.

You can find William Cooper online at:
His website: www.WilliamACooper.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/RogueCooper
Tumblr: RogueCooper.Tumblr.com
Twitter: Twitter.com/WilliamACooper .

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “Split Personas ~ Outside the Margins with William Cooper

  1. I love you. If they figure it out and flip their shit, we’ll deal with it. You are one of my very best friends, baby – wherever I am, you’ll always have a home. <3

  2. I was lucky enough to meet you at GRL 2014 up in Chicago. It was nice to be able to share my geeky side (World of War Crack! and D&D) with someone who also shares my love of M/M lit. I completely understand and agree with any creative person having the right to their own privacy and that extends to the utilization of a different name. I’m glad to see that you are starting to find people who are close to you that you can share this other half with and I wish you all of the luck that you continue to do so!

    Kassandra A.

  3. I don’t know more than your William name and self… but I don’t have to. No matter what name you go by, you’re still you. So many of us faced family or friends who we know will not understand what we come to realize… we’re not just like everyone else around us. It’s okay to protect yourself, because sometimes you just have to make sure you’re safe and happy above all. If that meant segregating your online MM self from the not-quite-ready-to-know-all-you-are “real life people”, that’s totally okay. It’s not denial, or deception, or anything someone who gets all butt hurt about it might think; it’s just you, being who you are the best way you can.

    And I say, good for you!

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