Tag: fanfiction

Fanfiction: A Love Letter to Our Fandoms

If you are a fan of any type of media; literature, film, television, there was something that bothered you. Maybe a couple that you wanted to get together didn’t or your favorite character died or it just needed way more people of color. Writing your own story can make whatever you want happen. Fanfiction is a medium in which a writer can take elements of an already written or produced piece of media and make them their own. Sites like Wattpad and Fanfiction.net has thousands upon thousands of fanfiction stories for literally every fandom you can think of like Supernatural, anime, Steven Universe and BTS.

 

Image via Den of geek

 

 

Image via Vs Battle Wiki Fandom

 

 

Image via Los Angeles Times

 

Image via Imgwonders

 

 

And fandoms that might confuse some like Slenderman, but to each their own.

 

 

Image via National Day of Reconciliation 

 

To speak as a writer of fanfiction, myself, although a bit embarrassing, it helps me practice my writing. It allows me to explore facets of a story that I would’ve loved for the original author to have done; avenues I felt that were lacking for a complete ending to me. Your imagination is limitless when given something you are passionate about. We consume an incredible amount of media everyday and things like representation, expression, and creativity are important.

Fanfiction can be looked down on upon by those who think it’s nothing but smut, which a lot of it is, but this brings about the argument on whether the author and creators’ intention should be taken as gospel or if it’s up to the reader, the consumer, the ultimate critic, to interpret it they way they want to and take what they want from it.

 

 

  

I agree with both sides for it isn’t one or the other. The author’s intent should be taken into account when reading their work because they aren’t writing it for no reason. A writer, a great one at that, always writes to convey some type of message. And the reader is allowed to see that point and not agree with it fully. They might see something completely different within the pages of the novel, that the author didn’t necessarily intend but stuck with the reader regardless. 

The outlet that fan fiction provides is a special one. It inspires creativity and the willingness to write and share. It can be used as criticism, expansion and more importantly as a love letter to the author’s original work. Fanfiction is made from the appreciation of media and that appreciation helps keep the world filled with creatives who have a fandom or multiple fandom as communities that they can connect with when the rest of the world seems hopeless. 

 

Featured Image via The New Yorker

 

The 10 Best Quotes From The Fanfiction Who Must Not Be Named

Harry Potter‘s birthday was, understandably, a big day in the literary world. The boy who lived turned 30. Whoopdidoo.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Harry Potter. I loved it as a child, but got a little sick of the Slytherin merchandise overflowing the Hot Topic shelves during my teens. And now, at age 20, when anyone asks me what house I’m in or what my horcrux would be, I cringe just a little.

What I am a fan of is the massive amounts of fanfiction that the Harry Potter heptalogy has spawned. Since the early 2000’s thousands upon thousands of talented writers have spent days slaving over their hot laptops, weaving their own stories through the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Not all of them are good. Some, in fact, are very bad. And in some respects, the bad ones are better than the good ones. At the very least, they’re great for a laugh.

There was a debate in the office about whether or not this article should be written at all, which is why this particular fanfic has gone unnamed. I’ll say this: it’s the one you’re thinking of. Enjoy.

 

 

10. “We walked into [Draco’s] flying black Mercedes-benz (the license plate said 666) and flew to the place with the concert. On the way we listened excitedly to Good Charlotte and Marilyn Manson. We both smoked cigarettes and drugs.”

 

9. “In the Great Hall, I ate some Count Chocula cereal with blood instead of milk, and a glass of red blood.”

 

8. “Hermione was kidnapped when she was born. Her real parents are vampires and one of them is a witch but Voldemort killed her mother and her father comitted suicide because he was depressed about it. She still has nightmares about it and she is very haunted and depressed. It also turns out her real last name is Smith and not Granger (Since she has converted to Satanism she is in Slytherin now not Gryffindor).”

 

7. “Inside the Great Hall we could see Dumbledork.”

 

6. “Draco and I held our pale white hands with black nail polish as we went upstairs. I was wearing red satanist rings on my nails in read nail polish (AN: c doez dat sound lik a Mary Sue 2 u?).”

 

5. “He didn’t have a nose (basically like Voldemort in the movie) and he was wearing all black but it was obvious he wasn’t gothic. It was… Voldemort!”

 

4. “All of a sudden… a terrible man with red eyes and no nose flew in on his broomstick. He had no nose and was wearing a gray robe. All the glass in the window he flew through fell apart. Britney that insufferable prep started to cry.”

 

3. “Anyway I went downstairs feeling all sad and depressed as usual. I did some advanced biology work. I was turning a bloody pentagram into a black guitar.”

 

2. “Why can’t I just be ugly or plain like all the other girls and preps here except for B’loody Mary, because she’s not ugly or anything.”

 

1. “Voldemort gave me a gun.”

 

Featured image via Wattpad

Harry & Draco, sitting in a tree...?

Tom Felton Calls Harry Potter’s Crush on Draco “Clearly a Fact”

Chances are, if you’ve read the Harry Potter series, you’ve read Harry Potter fan-fiction. And chances are, if you’ve READ Harry Potter fan-fiction, you’ve at least tried your hand at writing some. (In my past life as a teenage employee of a moving company, I once stumbled upon a handwritten HP fic hidden in a child’s bedroom.) Okay, so maybe writing fan-fiction isn’t as easy as a flick of the wrist and a wave of the wand—but even if you’ve never put quill to paper, you’ve almost certainly IMAGINED an alternate ending or bonus scenes to the series.

Draco Malfoy is one of the most prominent characters throughout Harry Potter fan-fiction, and I’m going down into the fandom trenches to prove this with statistics. A search for “Draco Malfoy” on one popular fan-fiction website yields 62,072 results. Though Hermione is a more central character in the source material, querying Hermione’s name yields only 54,259. Why the discrepancy? It’s not a matter of sexism: try “Ron Weasley” and you’ll find a mere 38,931. (“Harry Potter” is a bunk search term in this case since every story in the fandom would be grouped under that name, regardless of whether Harry himself plays a role.)

 

Yes, Harry Potter fan-fiction can get weird. It gets weirder than this. | Image Via Someecards

 

One of the reasons for Draco’s popularity is that, clearly, villains and antagonists are conceptually sexy—a reality that doesn’t need any statistical backing. But perhaps the more significant reason is that while Draco himself features heavily in the series, Draco’s internal monologue is largely absent. We can guess at his thoughts and feelings, but Rowling leaves a great deal of ambiguity in regards to Draco’s personal life. Often, fan-fiction seeks to close gaps in a canonical narrative, telling the stories we didn’t get to read.

Though we discover Draco is married to Astoria Greengrass in the epilogue, it’s relatively unsatisfying to see such an impactful character pair off with one to whom we have no emotional connection. We as readers see Draco’s life primarily through the lens of his interactions with the protagonists; as such, it’s more satisfying to imagine that they are central to his private thoughts and feelings. Appropriately (or, inappropriately, as the Google image results may be), Draco & Harry and Draco & Hermione are some of the most popular fan-fiction pairings.

 

 

Tom Felton himself is all aboard this ship. In an interview with AOL, Harry Potter co-stars Felton (Draco Malfoy), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) debated whether or not Draco and Harry could have been, so to speak, ‘more than just enemies.’

“Harry Potter was constantly crushing on Draco,” Felton asserted. “He just couldn’t hide it.”

 

There’s a LOT we don’t know about Draco’s personal life. | Image Via Wattpad

 

Lynch dismissed the idea of a Draco & Harry pairing, but, as Draco’s actor, Felton has more expertise on the subject. Apparently, he’s also seen for himself how the pair would get along… in the form of NSFW fan-art. “I’ve seen some pictures,” Felton clarified, “some alarming ones.” Of course, nobody really wants to see pornography of themselves and their coworker, so Felton can be Team Drarry and not Team-Fake-Nudes-of-Himself.

But it’s not that Felton is just supportive of the fans’ imaginations. When it came time to talk about another popular pairing, Felton blew the ship right out of the water. “I think that’s fan-fic,” he said when asked about Draco & Hermione as a couple. He added: “In fact, I feel like I’ve seen some fan-fics along that line. What is it with Draco and matching him up with various Gryffindors?”

Even though there’s all subtext and no text when it comes to Harry & Draco’s relationship, worry not! One day, J.K. Rowling will declare that the couple had an ‘intense sexual relationship‘ all along like Dumbledore & Grindelwald.

 

 

Featured Image Via YouTube.

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, known MCR fans.

Here Are the Craziest Fanfiction Scandals of All Time

If you’ve spent any amount of time in some of the darker corners of the Internet, you probably know that fandom can get pretty strange. (Example: for awhile, it was a meme to write One Direction fanfics about teenagers whose parents sold them to Harry Styles. Based, of course, on a genuine story.) But if you didn’t know HOW strange, I promise that you’re about to find out.

Before we continue, I’m not here to judge fandom itself or to judge anyone’s, how shall I say, ~sensitive reading preferences~. (Is that a subtle enough way to say smut?) I think it’s probably pretty clear that I’ve spent a lot of time on the Internet, so let’s just say I’m only here to judge you if you lied about having HIV to get views on your fanfiction.

Which, regrettably, someone did.

1. Just You wait: hamilton aids fanfic

If you were somehow blissfully unaware as to the existence of the Hamilton fandom, all that is about to change. While many Americans were understandably wowed by a groundbreaking production that placed people of color into an important historical narrative, many Americans also conveniently forgot that these historical figures were vicious slaveowners before writing them into touching, cutesy coming-of-age-narratives. (Touching, incidentally, is the subject of most of these stories. Just in case you didn’t know that either.)

 

'Hamilton' musical cast

Image Via Variety

 

There’s a certain degree of cultural sensitivity that goes into writing. Some people would balk at that statement, thinking this means something along the lines of ‘don’t write about characters who haven’t experienced what you have.’ What this ACTUALLY means is don’t lie about having HIV on the Internet. If you thought that went without saying, it might (sadly) be time to think again.

Hivliving was a Tumblr account dedicated to social justice issues, run by HIV positive mods Israa (blueskysapphic) and Naj (allolesbean), the first of whom had penned a popular story that reimagined Alexander Hamilton as a teenager living with HIV in the 1980s. Israa claimed to be a nonbinary Chinese-Pakistani human trafficking survivor living in India; Naj claimed to be an American lesbian of color also living in India.

Unfortunately, I did say ‘claimed to be.’

When Naj posted her cash.me account asking for help with medical expenses, another tumblr user (digoxin-purpurpea) realized that the account had to be based in the U.S., given that this app was unavailable in India. Obviously, that meant two things: that Naj was probably scamming money, and that humanity might deserve to be wiped out via asteroid. In one of the most dramatic callouts of all time, digoxin-purpurpea (whose name and blog have since been deleted) posted the original message sent to Israa.

 

Text detailing the allegations against the blog, posted by the original user who outed them.

Image Via Forums.somethingawful.com

 

There really hasn’t been this much tea spilled since the Boston Tea Party.

Under a different username, digoxin-purpurpea discovered, through checking the location of people visiting their blog, that allolesbean was likely an American college student. Still, while allolesbean admitted to part of the deception, she still claimed that Naj and Israa were real people that she’d first heard of through a friend at summer camp. (Which, tbh, seems like the equivalent of the classic ‘I do have a girlfriend! She just lives in… uh… Canada.’) Inspired by their stories, this anonymous college student did what most inspired people would do: steal their lives and begin impersonating them on the Internet for money.

 

 

Allolesbean: "I guess I just found their lives so interesting compared to mine that I wanted to be involved. I know that is awful but it is the truth."

Image ViA fANLORE.WIKI

 

Allolesbean claimed that their summer camp ‘friend’ was a student named Alix, who was actually real. That is, REAL close to getting caught.

 

User Cardiotoxin sends a picture of Allolesbean's Twitter profile pic: "Because, I hate to break it to you Alix (photo) this is you"

Image Via Fanlore.wiki

 

Hivliving subsequently admitted to lying and deleted the blog. I’d provide an apology post, but there really wasn’t one. It’s safe to say that anyone who would do something so troubling in the first place probably isn’t sorry for it. Unfortunately, it’s NOT safe to say that this story is over.

Digoxin-purpurpea wrote kinky Hamilton AU fic about cannibal mermaids. If you have to read that sentence again, go for it, but I’d advise against it. The author had also written a story about Alexander Hamilton having sex with a ghost. Now, I DID consider the logistics of ghostf*cking (aren’t ghosts intangible?) but that’s, thankfully, besides the point. Many Tumblr users accused digoxin-purpurpea of calling out hivliving only to exact revenge against the user who’d called them out for problematic smut. Does that seem plausible? Absolutely not. Does ANY of this seem plausible? It sure does not. All involved parties have since deleted their blogs, and these posts are available only on archives and forums.

 

2. My Immortal? My God.

 

One of the greatest mysteries about the infamous Harry Potter fanfiction “My Immortal” is whether or not it’s serious… second only to the mystery of who actually wrote it. In 2017, it seemed like we would finally get some answers. Then, it became quite clear we’d only gotten more questions.

 

Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley rocking some poorly applied eye makeup.

Image Via The Daily Dot

 

If you’re not familiar with “My Immortal,” a quick Google search will rectify the situation AND possibly ruin your life. Imagine early-2000s Hot Topic culture in written form. Or just take a glance at the line: “I MAY BE A HOGWARTS STUDENT… BUT I AM ALSO A SATANIST!”

The story was authored by a young person under the pen name Tara Gilesbie, who claimed to be a teenager from Dubai. After 2007, her account went silent… until ten years later, when a poorly-written book from an unknown author was projected to outpace The Hate U Give on the NYT Bestseller list. This, obviously, prompted wild speculation—namely, that the author had bought her way onto the list. But one Booklist writer took an ever wilder guess: that the author had written “My Immortal.” According to publishers, she hadn’t, and for a startling reason…

 

Internet sleuths were quick to find the author, and there was a pretty large bread crumb trail from self-published author Rose Christo

 

Rose Christo posts a screenshot of an old account on her Twitter publicly

Image Via @FuriousGalaxyPizza Tumblr

 

Then readers began catching onto the fact that Christo DID have a book coming out with Wednesday Books, which lined up with the earlier Twitter evidence. Given that the book was called Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal, it seemed that the sleuthing was over. The description only solidified what fans suspected:

 

'Under the Same Stars' Rose Christo

Image Via Syfy

 

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 Gillesbie 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.

 

After fans began bombarding Rose Christo’s since-deleted Tumblr, she updated her FAQ to include a description of the vetting process for her statements. The fact that she had been investigated thoroughly by a publisher, she said, meant that her claim to Internet fame was verifiable and unambiguously accurate.

 

Rose Christo's 'About' page outing herself as the author

Image Via Buzzfeed News

 

After her ‘outing,’ Christo began answering “My Immortal” related questions openly, despite frequent claims that she might get in trouble with her publisher. While some who had long been fascinated with the mystery of this fanfiction were delighted with the response, others wondered why she was willing to be so forthcoming while under contract.

 

Image Via @Furiousgalaxypizza Tumblr

 

When the publisher dropped the memoir only a month after its formal announcement, many weren’t surprised. The news had seemed too good to be true; Christo’s story was too akin to a fairytale to have actually happened. Many found it improbable that a bad fanfiction would have been the best way for Christo to find her brother, a strange decision for even a teenager to have made. But Christo herself still claimed to be the story’s author, insisting she’d been branded a liar.

 

 

But even the most ardent believers in Christo’s integrity couldn’t deny the truth when a man on KiwiFarms began posting that he was Christo’s brother—and that the two of them were white, not Native American. According to him, (user @DawnDusk), his sister was aware of his contact information throughout the timeline of her memoir. The forum itself is a pretty creepy place, so I wouldn’t recommend poking around, but it’s hard to question his claims given that the memoir had been cancelled.

We may never know who the real author of “My Immortal” was, but we know one thing: it sure as hell wasn’t Rose Christo.

 

3. Cassandra Clar(ify) Your Sources

 

Listen, I love the Shadowhunters universe. Cassandra Clare (real name Judith Lewis) has consistently made an effort to include LGBT+ characters in her writing—and not just when it became more profitable. City of Bones, which introduces fan-favorites gay Shadowhunter Alec Lightwood and bisexual warlock Magnus Bane, came out as early as 2007—incidentally, the same year I realized my uncontrollable obsession with the baddest b*tch in my middle school was not strictly platonic. (Was it the pink hair? The skate shoes?) It’s worth noting that Clare’s recent plagiarism scandal with author Sherrilyn Kenyon was logically unfounded, the allegations easily dismissed. Unfortunately, her early fanfiction is questionable. Let’s dive in and question it.

 

Cassandra Clare 'Draco Sinister' fanfiction juxtaposed with... nearly identical dialogue

Image Via Amino Apps

 

Clare (then writing under pen name Cassandra Claire) authored the popular Draco Trilogy, three novel-length works of Harry Potter fanfiction following everyone’s favorite bad boy. Admittedly sexier than its relatively chaste source material, the Draco Trilogy was published from 2000-2006, one year before the release of City of Bones. Once under a publishing contract, Clare deleted her account and all of her fan writing. Of course, the stories are still available if you dig. But you don’t have to dig that deep in order to find all the drama surrounding Claire’s work—drama that got her kicked off of Fanfiction.net.

 

Cassandra Clare, author of the sprawling Shadowhunters series

Image Via WRiters Digest

 

While writing the Draco Trilogy, Clare played a game with readers in which she dropped unattributed quotes (usually from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) for her friends to find. She may have also played some mind games—while some readers knew about the hidden references, she rarely stated outright that not all of the writing was explicitly hers. Generally, her Buffy quotes weren’t so suspect: all the quotations were direct, which seems consistent with her story of wanting them to be found. But some work was heavily paraphrased and not cited—technically not plagiarism but teeeeechnically a pretty shady way of avoiding criticism.

Look at this passage from Tanith Lee’s “Magritte’s Secret Agent” first…

The skin of his face had the sort of marvelous pale texture most men shave off when they rip the first razor blade through their stubble and the second upper dermis goes with it forever.

Now, look at this Draco Trilogy snippet…

‘I’ll be sorry when you start shaving,’ she said dreamily (she was quite lightheaded now), ‘I love that translucent quality your skin has, I always have. And when you rip that first razor through your stubble, that’ll go with it forever.’

In particular, Clare borrowed heavily from obscure fantasy novel The Hidden Land, never mentioning the references until she was publicly confronted for the following scene:

 

 

Cassandra Claire's fanfiction compared to a published author's uncredited work

Image Via Fanlore.org

 

She later added a citation for the novel in a different chapter after using some specific world-building concepts that readers also pointed out… but she never added a citation for this particular passage.

Clare frequently defended herself, remaking an account under her current pen name, Cassandra Clare (an account which has since been deleted). On this latter account, she responded indirectly to the allegations by assuring fans that she’d have nothing to gain from stealing anyone’s work:

I’ve mentioned all this before, but I suppose it bears repeating: none of the characters are mine, they all belong to JK Rowling (obviously) and Draco’s & others’ lines come from many sources: some are made up, some inspired by many sources, including but not limited to : Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Forever Knight, Due South, the X-Files, Woody Allen, the Handbook for Evil Overlords, obscure British sitcoms, Monty Python, Shakespeare, and I could go on and on, but rest assured that no maliciousness is intended and I am making not one cent (even more obviously!) off writing this, nor would I even want to. If you want to play spot-the-quote, feel free! More fun for everyone.

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, it’s a scandal that’s stood the test of time because of Clare’s international success… good thing all that money probably helps to drown out the haters!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Vulture.

My Immortal webseries with fanfiction.net logo

The Truth About ‘My Immortal’ Greatest Harry Potter Fanfiction of All Time

Let’s go back to 2006. Fall Out Boy isn’t on their hiatus yet, My Chemical Romance is still together, Panic! at the Disco still has four members, the final installment of Harry Potter is still new, and all is well with the world (the emo world at least). And then, somewhere, between 2006 and 2007, my favorit fanfiction was published: My Immortal. You have definitely read the introduction to this legendary piece before, but I’m putting it here anyway because it’s important.

 

Hi my name is Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and I have long ebony black hair (that’s how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and icy blue eyes like limpid tears and a lot of people tell me I look like Amy Lee (AN: if u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here!). I’m not related to Gerard Way but I wish I was because he’s a major fucking hottie. I’m a vampire but my teeth are straight and white. I have pale white skin. I’m also a witch, and I go to a magic school called Hogwarts in England where I’m in the seventh year (I’m seventeen). I’m a goth (in case you couldn’t tell) and I wear mostly black.

 

Let’s talk about the plot for a little bit. Our protagonist is the tenacious Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way. Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way is a Hogwarts student, a vampire, and a goth (in case you couldn’t tell). Over the course of the forty-four chapters of My Immortal, she is drawn into a murder plot against Harry, who in this universe is nicknamed “Vampire,” despite not being an actual vampire (I think), because he likes to drink human blood.

 

“Well, Voldemort came and the fucking bastard told me to fucking kill Harry! But I don’t want to kill him, because, he’s really nice, even if he did go out with Draco. But if I don’t kill Harry, then Voldemort, will fucking kill Draco!” I burst into tears.

Suddenly Draco jumped out from behind a wall.

 

There are also plot lines about Ebony’s band, Bloody Gothic Rose 666, her love of the band Good Charlotte, Draco and Harry Vampire‘s former torrid relationship… and also Hagrid being in love with her?

 

“BECAUSE…BECAUSE….” Hargid said and he paused in the air dramitaclly, waving his wand in the air. Then swooped he in singing to the tune of a gothic version of a song by 50 Cent.

“Because you’re goffic?” Snap asked in a little afraid voice cause he was afraind it meant he was connected with Satan.

“Because I LOVE HER!”

 

Hagrid: "I shouldn't have said that"

Via Giphy

 

My Immortal has its very own wiki, and let me tell you, it is gold. The task of a wiki writer comes with great responsibility, one must be able to carefully organize their information and present it in such a way that is concise and brief, but effective. Here are a few quotes from the wiki that caused me to absolutely lose my mind:

 

“Voldemort tells Ebony that if she does not kill Vampire, Voldemort will kill Draco. To carry out the plan, Voldemort gives Ebony a gun.”

 

“At the end of that battle, she casts Abra Kedavra, and what happens next, we will never know. Also, she goes to concerts, changes clothes, and has ‘sex’ with Draco a lot.”

 

“She was chosen by Proffesor Sinister to kill Voldemort by travelling back in time to the eighties and seducing his younger self, Tom Satan Bombodil, so that he wouldn’t turn to evil.”

 

Tom Satan Bombodil

Image via me, I made this. (With the help of Glitter Text Maker)

 

My Immortal is one of the most famous fanfics ever written, and also happens to be the most interesting in the cultural context of its publication. You see, there is no clear consensus as to who wrote it, why, and whether it was earnestly written or if it’s some kind of satire; the theories and events that have taken place in the quest to locate the author and question them have only created more questions.

 

One complication in the investigation is that the original page for My Immortal no longer exists; it was expunged from the annals of fanfiction.net for no decipherable reason back in 2008, but the text survives in reposted versions (the one I am consulting can be found here). Without the original page, there are several things we cannot find, including the exact publication date of the tome.

 

The original fanfiction was published by a fanfiction.net account “XXXbloodyrists666XXX” (yeah, mental health discourse was not sufficiently advanced in the mid-aughts, which is made clearly evident by several disturbing passages in which self-harm is made light of) which also listed “Tara Gilesbie” as the author’s full name. Now, here is where it gets really intense.

 

Lani Sarem and the cover of Handbook for Mortals

Image via Entertainment Weekly

 

In August of 2017, a book entitled Handbook for Mortals mysteriously debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, despite very little promotion. When this book that nobody seemed to have heard of was suddenly decorating the top of the most prestigious bestseller list in the industry, brows were raised. During the investigation into whether or not Lani Sarem, the author of Handbook for Mortals had earned her spot on the list honestly, someone pointed out that elements of Sarem’s prose bore a similarity to that of My Immortal, thus beginning the inquisition into whether or not Lani Sarem is Tara Gilesbie. This trail of clues ended when a staff member of St. Martin’s Press (an imprint of Macmillan) swiftly refuted Sarem’s alleged alter ego in a series of tweets which were later deleted. The tweets not only claimed that Sarem is not Tara Gilesbie, but that the true author of My Immortal would soon be publishing her memoirs.

 

 

Turns out, “Tara Gilesbie” is actually a young woman named Rose Christo. Rose Christo is a queer Native American woman of Cree and Lenape descent who wrote My Immortal while in foster care in New York City. She says that she wrote the fanfic in anticipation of its popularity, and planned to use the community of readers that sprung up from it to help locate her brother, from whom she had been separated. The memoir she was set to publish with St. Martin Press’s imprint, Wednesday Books, was called Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal

 

Was called, because Christo’s book was cancelled.

 

When the news broke that Rose Christo was the real Tara Gilesbie and would be releasing her story, it seemed that she was really telling the truth. Christo stated that Macmillan was determined to make sure that she was telling the truth about her authorship, and so she was subjected to a three-day period in which a lawyer thoroughly examined her claims.

 

Christo's claims

Image via Vox

 

However, Macmillan later decided to cancel publication of Under the Same Stars, after discovering that Christo had tampered with documents she was asked to provide to prove her family’s identity. On her now-deleted Tumblr account, Christo claimed that the extent of her forgery was altering the photocopies of her documents to display different names for her family members in an effort to protect their privacy.

 

To even further complicate matters, an anonymous internet user later came forward claiming to be Christo’s brother, alleging that not only is her real name not “Rose Christo” but that she has never been placed in foster care, nor does she have any Native American heritage (however it would seem that in this branch of the story, her claims to authorship of My Immortal may be the most sound). I have spent a good two days doing research on this story, and I promise you that it does not get any less complicated.

 

"Yep"

Image via Whiskey Riff

 

Personally, I would love to believe that Rose Christo’s story is true, simply because if it is, it would be an incredible tale, and an extremely satisfying end to the My Immortal saga, but the truth is elusive.  Perhaps Rose Christo is protecting some shred of evidence that would definitively prove whether or not she’s telling the truth, but if she is, her credibility has been called into question in such a way that may render any further attempts at telling her story impossible.

 

Nevertheless, the original text of My Immortal is an incredibly entertaining read, and emblematic of an era on which all of us probably look back and cringe, I myself shudder at the recollection of the absurdist slapstick Twilight fanfiction I wrote on Quizilla back in the seventh grade.

 

I leave you with the closing line of My Immortal (spoiler alert):

 

““ABRA KEDABRA!!!!!!!!!!!11111” I shooted.”

 

 

Featured Image via YouTube and Getting Lost in Words.