You've probably been surfing Facebook or maybe you've noticed some familar or odd names when it comes to friend requests while on Facebook. Chances are they are characters from books,Manga, and other forms of media. There are literally hundreds of Role Playing (RP) groups on Facebook that range from WOW, Call of Duty, to Clark Kent. The biggest bulk in my experience are the books from authors such as Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lora Leigh, Laura Adrian, Lyndsay Sands, Gena Showalter, and Kresley Cole. Each of these Rp'ers make up accounts, choose pictures/avatars depicting their characters they have chosen, and basically if it's a good solid group-they enhance the book or series they are Rp'ing. The best benefit from this is the friendships that can be made and being able to be in a collective with others that share simular interest. However there is a dark side of all this. Jealousy, petty bickering, a loss of connection with the book/character, or worse they jump the line into the world of fantasy and never come back to reality. As an author, I know what it is to create a world and characters and the hard work it goes into developing and molding. It's a feeling like no other to have someone or a group of people love your story and characters so much that they want to not only represent them on a social network(which is great PR if the group is a positive one)but give fans and potential fans a look at beloved book characters. However, when you have groups that use manipulation or that bastardize the creative hard work of someone then that totally just kills it.
Another thing that totally stuns me is how many men-and straight men at that are reading Paranormal/Fantasy romance. Here is a questionaire I sent to a 100% Straight Male Paranormal/Romance fan who RP's.
email@example.com: Thanks for agreeing to do this. I think there's a stigma attatched that straight guys couldn't possibly get into paranormal/fantasy romance. Why does the genre appeal to you?
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org: I have always been a big sci/fi and horror fan. I also love a great comedy. A few years ago I had to have surgery and was laid up for 5 months and daytime television had lost its appeal. My girlfriend at the time had all these Kenyon and Anita Blake books and I picked up Kenyon's Night Embrace. I didn't really think I would like it but as I read I became really entertained and immursed into the story. I also really liked the character Talon.
nikki email@example.com: *laughs* Yeah I know what you mean. Night Embrace used to be one of my favorites too. So how did you get into RP?
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org:Believe it or not I was seeing all these names on Kenyon's FB Page. I friended some of them and it started from there.
email@example.com: How many RP groups have you been in as Talon? What are the good experiences you've had? Bad ones?
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org: I've only been in 4 as Talon. The friends and interacting with people are great on most days. Some can be a little harder to take. I get a lot of inboxes from all types. Most like the way I play Talon-which is awesome cause I work really hard at portraying the character and some especially the ladies *winks* like to flirt. Some women though take it to far, and I usually try to rectify that but if they can't respect my wishes then I have to delete them which sucks. I can say that most my experiences have been great. I like the group I'm currently in and I've been with this one for about five months. We do lots of things yet we stay pretty close to the books and the way Sherrilyn has written her DH world. The bad aspects? Well I can only say that bad communication and people who can't disconnect from RP and FB can really sink a group.
email@example.com: True, very true. So what do you have to say to other guys who think it's "too girly" to pick up a book from an author like Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series?
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org: Just try it. You don't have to surrender your man card and the books are really good and well balanced that even a straight guy like me can read them and enjoy them. There are a lot of great books out there and just because they have the label "romance" on them doesn't mean that it's all hearts and flowers. It's not like reading soap operas and they're way better than what is on television.
email@example.com: What is your advice for people who want to delve into the world of RP'ing?
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org: Simple: Remember it's just a game. It's just something to pass the time and do with other people that like pretty much the same stuff. Remember that you can't use RP to fix your real life problems and situations and the character you play or make-up is something fictional. I don't really believe I am Talon. I have a job I go to, a kid I see on the weekends and twice through the week, and I have a lot of friends and I do have a social life outside of Facebook and the computer world. It's okay to step away and do other things.
email@example.com: Thanks Tal for answering these questions and I wish you and your group nothing but love! I think alot of us can agree that Sherrilyn Kenyon has one of the best (notice I said one of the best) book series out there.
Talonfirstname.lastname@example.org: Nah it's cool. I enjoyed it. Any time you want to hit me up for anything like this you know who's page to visit! Take care Nikki and btw I got your book on order and my girl just bought the E-book you did. I can't wait to read them!
email@example.com: That is just awesome! Yeah I really did enjoy the Lost To The Night Vol 1. with Denyse Bridger, Kayden Mcleod, Brigit Aine, and Sara Gonzalas. It was phenominal working with such great and creative women. It's also been a pleasure Tal being able to glimpse your world for a bit!
So to all those in the Role Playing world-reguardless of what character you play or whether you have just invented your own, let me know your thoughts and feelings about Role Playing and why Facebook? I want to hear from you!!!