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My Interview with BecomingTruebie

  • What made you want to get started? And why Sookie?
I actually stumbled upon True Blood Role play and actually Twitter RP in general. Last May, I decided to set out to work on a book series I wanted to write about. The story itself is fully developed and yet every time I sat in front of my laptop, the words just weren’t there. So I decided to focus my time and efforts into doing research on Vampires and interesting things. I had a light course load since it was Summer Semester and I had hoped it would help focus my attention into what I was hoping to accomplish.

I was already a fan of True Blood, since right after the first Season aired on HBO and had already become a fan of the books its based off of. I saw this ad on Facebook about HBO sponsoring an Ultimate Truebie Fan Experience and the second full round for the location right outside of New Orleans, I won two passes to and then later I was chosen as Sheriff of the event. I then decided to check out the True Blood page on HBO’s site and under their fans section, I was surprised to read about SookieBonTemps. I had never known people were RPing on social sites and while I had a real life Twitter account, I was completely uninterested in it.

The prospect of RPing was alluring and seeing her profile, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. I could discover not only the appeal of Twitter, but also the appeal of RPing on Twitter. I made my first Sookie account on May 25, 2010. Dead in the Family had recently come out and I based that first Sookie off of Sookie after that book. I stumbled along for the first day. Trying to talk to Lafayettes and Arlenes who now, I realize were in groups. But I found my way and had a nice following by the end of my 6th day.

An OC, I had become friendly with then offered me the account you now know of as SookieSC on that 6th day. She was original part of a different group and I started off as her with over 1500 followers (the previous user had used the account as a Reneesme) and now one day shy of 9 months later, here I am!

  • Did you have RPing or twitter experience before you started?
None at all. I had heard of RP before, though I wasn’t extremely familiar with the concept. I use to play Everquest for a few years and they had an RP server.

  • About how many hours a week do you spend on Twitter?
Honestly, it depends on the week itself. As a real life student, I am around my laptop a lot just because of school. I do check my stream off and on during the day, regardless if I’m tweeting or not though and on most days, one could find me in IMs with my Pam or some of the other RPers I have befriended in my nine months on here.
  • Your RL name and life is a secret from your followers. Is this aspect of your life a secret from friends and family?
Truthfully, my RL family and friends know all about my Roleplaying. I do other things for the group I run and I usually run new graphics or webpages/sites past them for their opinion before showing them to the stream. 
  • How do you compare to Sookie’s character? What about her can her identify with? What do you like about her? Dislike?
Well on the surface, I am the correct age range for Sookie and I live in Louisiana. I’m familiar with several of the settings Charlaine uses in her books. I also live in a small town, though not nearly as remote as Bon Temps is described. Personality-wise, I think I share many of the features that we have all come to know and love from Sookie. I actually like to help others, to the point where I have at times overloaded myself. I love her loyalty to those who mean most to her. I may not be perfect, but I’d do anything in my power to protect those I care about. In fact, my first Eric use to describe me as having a “Sookie’s Wing of Protection” though the reasoning behind why is far too long and complex to put into words. Things I dislike about Sookie? How naive she is. About life, about love, even to the point that sometimes she sounds ignorant and truthfully… dumb. I believe that Charlaine may have spent too much time trying to make Sookie naive.

  • Why do you think people follow you? What is the role of the follower in the Twitter roleplay? How do they get involved?
They’re bored? *laughs* Um.. truthfully? It surprises me when I get DMs from people who actually not only follow my account, but follow my SL. I never really think of doing this as something that someone else is watching. This is for me. For my human. I do this because I enjoy it. Though I appreciate the compliments I receive.

Some followers, follow merely in hopes of being followed back to build their own follower count (is not opposed to this and I follow everyone who follows me). Some, such as other RPers do it as a means to help support one another. I am a big fan of this and if Twitter would be nice and lift the Follower limit, I would follow many more RPers who are out there, regardless of what kind of RP they do. Several followers actually follow along. They enjoy the interactions and the SLs and in fact, several members in my group have started out that way.  I do try and talk to anyone who talks with me. Some just make comments, I’ve even had debates with followers over which are better, True Blood vs. SVM or True Blood vs. Twilight… etc. Many eventually make that leap into RP themselves.

  • What are the challenges of twitter RP? How is it different/better/worse than other forms of RPing (threads in forums etc.)?
*laughs* Like with anything, there are dozens of challenges with Twitter RP. Whether its the timezone differences (RPing with someone in another country for example), language barriers (the distance thing), the 140 character limit and of course, the #FailWhale attacks. I think the biggest challenge is finding RPers who are willing to take on roles that are not exactly ideal. Several Canons are difficult to find and in most groups, you’ll find several characters are played by the same couple of people and sometimes that is the best fit. Another challenge is sometimes you just don’t mesh with the person you are RPing with. Just like in RL, you aren’t always going to instantly get along with everyone and sometimes your characters just aren’t a good match for one another. It is what it is and the only thing you can hope for is to move on and find that place that is right, just for you. As for how is it different? I don’t actually RP anywhere else, though I think the instant connection is a definite plus.

  • Any advice for Twitter RP newbies?
Relax. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to people you don’t know. Be respectful to the fact that when someone is in storyline they may not immediately respond to an outsider and don’t be discouraged if they don’t respond. Finding your place in this world we’ve built (for ALL characters) takes time. I was lucky in stumbling into that place early on, not everyone is. Be patient. It will come and you will find your way.

  • Many of the RPers are affiliated with a group they tweet with. Tell me about the Once Bitten community (twitter RP and other aspects). How is it different from other fan communities?
Once Bitten came about because a group of my friends and I were trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. I try to keep as hands off with the group as I possibly can. I don’t force members to do SLs and we clearly allow pretty much anyone into the group or else we wouldn’t have four sets of Canons. I try and make it a very relaxed environment and not ask too much from my members. I would rather have members who are having fun and enjoying RP then worry about SLs. SLs come on their own terms even if you don’t try for them. Truthfully I believe every group on Twitter is different for the next in their own way. It’s really hard to describe the differences, it’s just something you have to observe. I can just say I am proud to be part of such a talented and wonderful group of RPers and to be amongst the several other groups out there in Twitter RP.

  • Unlike many RPers, your Sookie is not visually represented by actress, Anna Paquin. Why did you make this change?
Truthfully, I had considered once before changing from Anna Paquin to another person as SookieSC’s avi. I didn’t go through with that change for dozens of reasons. Then another Sookie changed hers and after a couple of weeks of watching people’s response to her change, I approached her to see if she wouldn’t mind me doing the same thing. In fact, it is thanks to her, that I was able to find the person I now use as Sookie. I love Anna Paquin. She’s beautiful. But she isn’t the who I see when I look at my character and when I read the books.

  • I noticed the RP group features many original characters. How do these new characters interact with canon characters? (Also, are there multiple Once Bitten Sookie’s etc?)
OCs… OCs are wonderful. They add color to a group. They allow for SLs that could never be possible with just Canons to occur. Unfortunately, what most OCs have to learn the hard way is, it is extremely hard to be a successful OC. I can’t even count how many I have met over these past 9 months that have come and gone because they were unable to find their own niche. (though their RPer may still be around) Several of ours work at many of the establishments, which helps get them further involved in active SLs.

We actually have four sets of Canons in Once Bitten. I hadn’t originally planned on more than one set, because it can become confusing. But what I like about each set is, each set is different. None of the sets offer the same thing. We have a show Sookie, an OC-ish Sookie, and two Book Sookies. Two sets have Sookie with Eric, One with Bill and the third is actually torn between Eric and Bill. We have a Pam and Jason pairing, while the other Jasons are single or involved with OCs. We even have a Bill who is somewhat involved with our Claude. Some sets are geared more towards SLs, others are finding their ways to where they want to be. In a sense, you get a little of everything.

It offers a lot of variety in SLs as well as allows our many OCs more of an opportunity to be involved with Canon characters. Because as much as I would love to RP with each and every person, it is extremely hard to do so. So this way, it allows our members to become closer to one set, while still being able to interact with another. A great example of this would be the SL with VampireBillC and JessicaHambyOB. They actually play off of my SookieSC/EricNorthmanSC/Pam_SSC AND TelepathSookieS/EricNorthman_/TB_PamR. Bill is SookieSC’s ex, while he is actually involved with TelepathSookieS. I know that sounds crazy, but I have some amazing RPers in my group and they are able to keep all those twists and turns and ties in line.

  • How do you keep track of such a big group? Do you plan narratives with other characters? Or is it all improv?
Thankfully Twitter has lists. Or else I would never be able to track everyone in my group. And unfortunately, my own TL is too large for me not to follow lists. We don’t do narratives. Sometimes we plan the general outline of how we want a SL to go and then at others, it’s a complete last minute thing. Though usually we have a goal in mind on where we want to get.

  • You have a lot to draw your story from with the books, tv series, short stories, comics etc. How do you manage the timeline of the books vs tv show? With Sookie’s story being in two different places (and all the characters on twitter), how do you decide the kinds of interactions you have with Bill, Eric, Alcide, and Quinn?
I actually play Sookie as more of a book Sookie. We try not to draw too much from the show. Also since I interact with so many OCs, we tend to build off and around their SLs as well. As for the interactions with Bill, Eric, Alcide and Quinn. When I joined my first group we were working strictly book SLs. But we would help fill in the blanks. They were already starting on Club Dead, and Bill had already been taken. So at the time, Eric was the main character I had for Sookie to interact with. Those earlier days, we did a lot of the push and pull between the two. When we started Once Bitten, we began doing our own take on things, though many of the SLs show roots from the book series. Sookie was actually the one who lost her memory after we completed the Jackson SL. Not Eric. Though she had it done to herself after discovering Bill’s initial reasoning for being with her and the fact Eric had full knowledge of it for several months (by this time Eric and Sookie were already involved).

  • What are your thoughts on the changes Alan Ball has made to the book series? (eg. the additions of Jessica and Godric, the changed storylines of Lafayette and Tara etc) How do these changes affect your RPing?
*looks around to make sure no one can see what I’m typing (just kidding! LOL)*

*sighs* Alan Ball… a man I love to hate… *laughs* No. Honestly, I love AB and the rest of the crew for bringing Sookie to life on HBO every Sunday for several weeks during the Summer. As for the changes… Where oh where to begin?

Jessica: I LOVE JESSICA. I enjoy the entire addition. The ONLY thing I have an issue with, is yet another change AB made and that is how Jessica came about. In the books, Eric stakes Long Shadow and I believe this was symbolic from even that very first book. With the change of Bill doing so, I feel AB has even from that early episode, slowly begun to crush the hope for Eric and Sookie that many fans of the book have.

Godric: *shifty eyes* I believe I may be one of the few who did not like the changes of Godric. Eric’s Maker in the books was much more appealing than Godfrey. That being said, I did like Godric in the show. I am not happy about the ties to Eric, though.

Lafayette: LOVE HIM! I was SO sad when I read book two after seeing Season one. Lafayette was one of those characters during the first Season, that when he was on stream, you were laughing and you couldn’t take your eyes off of him. So to extend him into becoming a regular on the show, was probably the smartest change AB made.

Tara: *bites lip* I am not a fan of Tara’s storyline. In fact, when I go back to watch Season One, I always fast forward through her scenes. It’s not the actress or even the portrayal of Tara. I just was never interested in the route they chose. To each their own, right?

Season Two with Mary Anne: I was not fond of the changes they made with the Maenad story. I felt at times it was just over the top and personally I know many people who were EXTREMELY disappointed to not have Eric in spandex at least for one scene.

Sookie’s glowing hand: I will probably be smacked for admitting this, but truthfully I hate the glowing hand. I always joke that I’m not E.T. (even before they said Fairies were also known as Aliens). I am also not thrilled with the idea of them allowing Sookie into as TB calls is “Fairy Land” or as Charlaine named it, Faery.

  • What other fan activities are you involved with? (fanfic, fanart, fanblogs, forums, podcasts, etc)
I run a few blogs. One for an OC I play, two for SookieSC and one even for our EricSC to keep him up-to-date with what is going on (when I remember to update it). I also have recently started our “News Bite” It’s a fun place for us to write articles about what is going on or just for those of us who would like, to do our own thing. I am actually too busy with the group to do much more that isn’t related directly to Once Bitten.

I do however try and support many of the bloggers as I become aware of them.


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