I’ve been doing it all my life. Well, I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember and certainly for as long as I’ve been reading books.
You’ve heard it said: “get lost in a good book” and that is something I’ve always been very good at. But, I tend to take it one step further. Not only do I get lost in a good book, I also allow the story and its characters to take over my thoughts and dreams. A much younger version of me was out in the world fighting evil witches with a boy named Jeroen and his Silver Key. Never mind that some of the books didn’t have female protagonists. I joined Winnetou and Old Shatterhand on their adventures in the Wild West. And, more recently, I found myself travelling back in time to join Claire and Jamie in Scotland during the rising against the English. In my imagination I was in the story, part of it and in my mind the story would continue, long after the book had finished.
When I first read The Siren, the first of the Original Sinners books by Tiffany Reisz I was blown away by the story and the way in which it was written. But my fascination went a lot further. I could see and hear the characters inside my head. Things they had said or done in the story would jump into my mind, almost uninvited, several times during the day. I was thinking about them before I went to sleep and found them still present in my mind when I woke up the next morning – and boy do I wish I remembered my dreams with more clarity because I’m sure they featured there as well -. Still, this wasn’t too different from the relationship I have had with my favourite characters for as long as I can remember.
Things got out of hand when I discovered the Original Sinners Role Play on Twitter. Suddenly these characters that I had come to love were no longer confined to the pages of a book or even my imagination. Here they were (and still are) tweeting on my time-line, interacting with each other and sometimes even with me in real life and real time. And suddenly I find that occasionally I have to remind myself that I’m following and interacting with fictional characters as portrayed by people who are fans of the books, just like me.
I’m checking the shelves in the library where I work and I can’t help thinking that Daniel would approve. I see a priest – and since I live in Ireland that happens often enough – and my mind starts wondering what he would make of Søren or if he even… Obsessed? Me? What makes you say that?
I find myself on Twitter, caught up in one of the wonderful, hot and at times heartbreaking scenes and realising that for several minutes I’ve completely forgotten that what I’m following is make-belief. These characters have taken on a real existence in my mind, real lives in my world and real power to affect my moods.
The only person to “blame” for my imagination going into overdrive is of course Tiffany Reisz. She has brought me, and thousands of other fans, characters with real personalities. She’s provided her readers with enough details about all of her principle characters to make them as real as any fictional character can ever hope to be.
And it gets worse. I mean it is one thing imagining characters are living and breathing beings you might actually meet some day. But recently fact and fiction are starting to merge for me; in my mind Tiffany the author and Nora her incredible creation are turning into one and the same person.
And so I find myself worried when Daniel and his Anya appear to have problems, delighted when Griffin and Mick resolve their difficulties and holding my breath when Kingsley has to teach Daniel a valuable lesson about being a Dom.
If a role-play story line plays out over several days I find myself rushing back to my computer whenever I come home, desperate to find out how things are developing. And in the back of my mind is this impossible to suppress thought that maybe, just maybe I will be lucky enough to meet these characters one day. Then real life will demand my attention and I once again realise that I’m obsessing about fictional characters playing out fictional scenarios. That won’t stop me from falling in the same trap again when the next gripping role-play scene comes along though. And I won’t even get started about the fact that it is getting harder and harder for me to remember that Tiffany Reisz and Nora Sutherlin are not the same person.
So, here I am; a grown woman with difficulties distinguishing between fact and fiction. No, it is not a problem. I see it as a rather pleasurable quirk of mine. And since Tiffany Reisz has announced that she will continue writing about the Sinners for as long as she is alive it is a quirk that I will happily indulge in for the foreseeable future. There have to be worse ways of fooling yourself.