Monday, August 6, 2012

Cara Donovan from Tears of Crimson

Looking back to 2009, I can't believe how far Cara has come.  For long time readers of this blog, you might remember that Cara Faith Donovan was originally a character that was created by me for True Blood Role-play.  Everything about her was original, well because she was me as a young woman!  I met someone who played Barry the Bellboy on Facebook and he told me about this group of folks on twitter that were doing role-play.     Oddly enough I never knew who the person was behind Barry, still don't today, but the idea was so exciting that I just had to try it out.  Prior to Twitter, I hadn't role-played since the days of Gor on IRC (does anyone remember that).

I was obsessed, let me say that again so you really get it, OBSESSED with Eric Northman from True Blood.  I thought he was the cat's meow and I wanted to play in a world where he existed.  So Cara came to Bon Temps and I kept everything about her in character, to the point of where I created a whole back story about her in real life that I would share if anyone talked to me in private messages or even phone conversation.  This was a role, an act that I would not deviate from no matter what.  Many years later I still have a few regrets about the pain I caused to people by keeping so in character, but that's a can of worms to open another day.

Those role-play nights (and days) on Twitter became my obsession.  And the person behind the Eric I played with, I'd give their twitter name but I'd hate to do that without permission, I was just as obsessed with him.  Now as a married mom of five, you can imagine that being obsessed with a make believe character wasn't going to end well.  I played on Twitter as Cara for an entire year, falling more into the obsession with each day until finally I knew I had to break the fantasy and bring myself back into the reality of my life.  I admit playing a 19 year old for years was great for my self-confidence and made me feel young again, but it was destroying my real life.  So I "came out" so to speak, to people who had no idea I was really a mom of five, married, and not the person I claimed to be.  It caused a huge upheaval and people were TICKED, and that's putting it lightly.

Inadvertently, the separation from that group of role-players (who were my closest friends in my mind then) actually pushed me to write the first Tears of Crimson Book.  In all reality you can't be friends with people you are playing a role with, and it took me another year to finally comprehend that I took things way too far. I won't go into what was going on in my life at that time that led me to feel the need to fill it with make believe, because it no longer matters and it can't change the facts, but it definitely changed my life.

After I lost the connection with the True Blood group it left me hours of my day to fill and I filled those by pulling back the dreams that I'd had since I was a young teenager of fifteen.  I had hidden that part of my life because to be honest, they weren't the greatest days.  I'll leave it at saying those teenage years were filled with abuse that I was attempting to cover from my family.  Rafe was my guardian angel during those years and whether imagined or real (the jury is still out on that one) he saved my life.  The dreams that he gave to me from the years of 15 to the present gave me sanity!

So while Cara was created to play in the world of True Blood, she was also me and the adult woman's version of dealing with something that happened to her years ago.  It gave me closure over those events that shaped the person I am today.  I truly believe that we are all given ways to survive both mentally and physically the things in our lives that our minds can't rationally deal with on their own.  Rafe was my gift and role-play Eric was the demon  that I was fighting against.  Once I was able to let go of him, I was also able to forgive the real person that had caused me so much pain in my past.  Have I completely confused you yet?

I hope this gives you some insight as to why the Tears of Crimson stories are so very important to me.  They are my therapy (I bet a psychiatrist could have a field day with that statement).  Each time you read the Tears of Crimson books you are walking into my life, so yes I do take it a little personally.  I walked those worlds with Rafe in my dreams for all of my adult life and so when I tell you to walk in my world, I literally mean it.

A Night at Tears of Crimson is free today and tomorrow 8/6 and 8/7 on Amazon so if you'd like to take a glimpse into my dream world now is the perfect time.


  1. Great post, Michelle. Really interesting about the role-playing. I didn't realise people got so involved in those games.

    1. Thanks so much Emma. I could write for hours about just how serious some of the role play groups are hon. When I did this for Gor RP I had to memorize dozens of pages just to be able to enter the world.


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