Author Behind “My Immortal” Releasing Memoir!

Ever since it was published on FanFiction.Net in 2006, the Harry Potter fan fiction My Immortal has gone down in fandom history. Telling the tale of a character by the name of Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, the work is full of misspellings and insertions of references to the pop culture of the time. Behind the scenes, the author (then known as Tara Gillesbie, Tara Gillespie, or some variation thereof) and her friend Raven were responsible for the work and were believed to have been living in Dubai.

No one knew with any certainty who was behind the username XXXbloodyrists666XXX, but as of earlier this week, that changed. In a piece from BuzzFeed News, the search for the author of My Immortal was chronicled once again. This time, however, the Internet got an answer. Following speculation that the author of My Immortal was actually Lani Sarem, the author of Handbook for Mortals, someone claiming to be the real author of My Immortal posted on FictionPress in order to deny the rumor.

Following some more clarification and a now-deleted tweet from Tiffany Shelton, an editorial assistant at Wednesday Books, fans pieced together that the person who authored My Immortal was author Rose Christo, who has also written the Gives Light series. Now, Christo has penned a memoir of what really happened at the time when My Immortal was written.

Wednesday Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, gives the following description for the memoir, titled Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal.

In the early 2000s, Rose Christo was separated from her five-year-old brother and shuttled between foster homes in Brooklyn to the Bronx and back again. Desperate to be reunited with her sibling, she traveled the five boroughs, unable to find any trace of him, as New York State’s child care agencies failed to help her time and again.

Then, with the help of one beloved foster sister, Rose created an infamous piece of Harry Potter fanfiction titled My Immortal, posting it online under the pseudonym XXXbloodyrists666XXX. The ’44 chapters and 22,000 words of hysterical, typo-laden hyperbole’ went viral as the most notoriously terrible fanfic ever read by the community. For years, fans, writers, and editors researched, debated, and contested the story’s origin and its mysterious author: Was this grammatically challenged rant actually written by a suicidal goth teenager named Tara Gilesbe living in Dubai, or was this a hoax perpetrated by a group of professional authors making fun of fanfiction?

The truth is a gripping, compelling, and surprisingly funny story of how a young girl infiltrated and used the fanfiction community to search for her brother by baiting their attention with a deliberately badly written tale, creating a 10-year mystery that garnered pop culture media attention and remained unsolved — until now.

Christo, who is active on Tumblr, is of Cree and Lenape descent and maintains a Frequently Asked Questions page on her blog. Some of her answers include discussions about her sexuality and elaboration on why she was placed in the foster care system. Under the Same Stars will be released on May 29, 2018.

What do you think about the end of this fandom-wide mystery? Are you eager to read Under the Same Stars? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.