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People Think They Have The Answer To The Decade-Long Mystery Of Who Wrote "My Immortal"

The identity of the author behind the iconic Harry Potter fanfic has been a mystery since 2006.

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Back in 2006, one of the most legendary works of our time was published: My Immortal, a fanfiction featuring characters from Harry Potter and an original character known as Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way.

sammy-makes-moostracks / Via sammy-makes-moosetracks.tumblr.com

My Immortal, which was published on FanFiction.net at the height of the Harry Potter craze, followed Ebony (who was also a vampire) and her exploits at Hogwarts, including her relationship with Draco Malfoy. In the fanfic, Hogwarts is divided between goths and preps, and Harry Potter goes by the name of Vampire and is Draco's ex-boyfriend. The misspellings in the text are intense and rampant to the point of being almost artistic.

And though My Immortal was written under the pen name Tara Gilesbie (sometimes spelled Gilespie) — and the FanFiction.net username XXXbloodyrists666XXX — the actual identity of the author has long been one of fandom's biggest mysteries.

who wrote the my immortal fan fiction i just wanna talk

I mean I really do think about who wrote My Immortal on a weekly basis tbh

If the fbi were really that powerful, they'd tell us who wrote my immortal

I hope before the world ends we find out who wrote My Immortal.

There have been rumors throughout the years — like the recent one that the author might be Handbook for Mortals writer Lani Sarem.

In August, Sarem was at the center of a controversy when she and her publishers were accused of buying books in bulk to get Handbook for Mortals onto the New York Times best-seller list.

Then, on Aug. 2, a statement was published to a FictionPress account that claimed to belong to the author of My Immortal.

Fictionpress / Via fictionpress.com

The statement was an update to a post from March 2006 — within a few months of when My Immortal was first published — which led many to regard it as the real deal. "I'll let the account's creation date speak as to whether it's legitimate or not," the post read.

Then, on Aug. 27, another update was published — this one stating plainly and simply, "No, I am not Lani Sarem."

Fictionpress / Via fictionpress.com

And on Aug. 31, another update appeared, this one longer than the others. It explained the other recent activity, and claimed a few important things...

3. And that they publicly denied any connection to Sarem in order to defend The Hate U Give, the popular young adult novel that Handbook for Mortals was threatening to bump down on the best-seller list.

Warner Bros.

"Sarem trying to scam it out of its spot on the NYT literary list left me feeling sick to my stomach," the person behind the post wrote. "It was an insult to the kind women I'm privileged to work with."

You can read the full text here:

This is going to be my final update. I'm getting way too many PMs to answer them all individually. A lot of people are asking why I waited until this month to say anything, so I'll try to address that.

I registered for FanFiction.net on February 28th, 2006. Yes, I know the profile says March 1st. The profile is wrong. It was February 28th, because my best friend had just turned fifteen. I'm not likely to forget her birthday. (For anyone wondering, My Immortal was uploaded on March 3rd.) I registered for FictionPress on March 31. I never uploaded anything on FP, which is probably why hackers never got around to hijacking it: They didn't know it existed. Unfortunately, I forgot it existed, too. I only remembered this site a few weeks ago when I was talking with my agent and my editor about My Immortal's weird internet legacy.

I signed into FP after so long for three reasons. The first is the most obvious: My FF profile is no longer accessible. It was hacked almost a decade ago. I knew the girls who hacked us the first time--they were two girls from the Philippines with whom Raven and I were constantly fighting on the forums, and they were just trying to mess with us--but I don't know who did it the final time, although I have my suspicions. FF.net seems to be a body without a head right now, because staff doesn't answer any of my emails. They didn't answer emails a decade ago, either. If you know how to get in contact with Xing Li, let me know. I can easily prove I'm who I say I am if he'll give me the time of day. The second reason for logging into this dusty old account: I wanted to leave a thank you note to My Immortal's readers. Really. That's it. Because I really am beyond grateful that you've kept it alive for so long, even without me. And the third reason I updated, and possibly the silliest: Ugh...Lani Sarem. I am a massive fan of The Hate U Give, which I consider an incredibly important literary work. Sarem trying to scam it out of its spot on the NYT literary list left me feeling sick to my stomach. When I received a couple of messages here asking me if I was Sarem, even though they were probably in jest, I felt a kneejerk reaction to shoot them down. Authors work really fricking hard to get their stories told. Sarem breezing through the process wasn't just an insult to Angie Thomas and the political climate that necessitated her work. It was an insult to the kind women I'm privileged to work with.

So, that's it. It doesn't seem like there's anything more I can say on the topic. Not right now.

Love one another and help one another. We can't navigate this world without each other.

P.S. - Undyne is my wife, HAHAHA, SUCK IT HATERS.

That, on its own, was already a big deal. But there was also a tweet from Tiffany Shelton, an editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press. In response to a tweet theorizing that Sarem wrote My Immortal, Shelton wrote: "We have a book with the girl who wrote MY IMMORTAL. Definitely not the same person as this nut."

@runwithskizzers We have a book with the girl who wrote MY IMMORTAL. Definitely not the same person as this nut.

The internet sleuths went to work. Tumblr user pipistrella theorized that the author in question was YA novelist Rose Christo, who has a memoir — Under the Same Stars — in the works with Macmillan's St. Martin's Press.

Pipistrella pointed to a screenshot that seemed to show Christo logged into the FictionPress account that published the statements.

(Please don't respond to this post, I need somewhere to save images in case of hardware failure and Twitter works w… https://t.co/G7EwU4kOGK

The other tab visible in the screenshot is for a Hotmail account with the username goffickchick.

Christo responded to the rumors via her Tumblr, claiming that "Macmillan Publishers hired a lawyer to vet [her] over the course of three days" and that she provided proof as to her connection to My Immortal as well as other events included in the upcoming memoir.

rosechristo1 / Via rosechristo1.tumblr.com

She refused, however, to answer whether or not My Immortal was written as a "troll fic," something which has long been subject to debate.

Christo also answered a series of questions via her Tumblr, expressing that she did not want her identity to come out so soon...

...but that she was "done denying it."

Christo also wrote that Under the Same Stars, which is set to come out in Spring 2018, "deals at least partially with when and where and why [she] wrote My Immortal."

So hey, we might wake up a few weeks from now and find that this, like many before it, was a hoax. Or we might just have found our My Immortal author, and a decade-old mystery is finally (allegedly) solved.

Christo, Sarem, Shelton, and a representative for Macmillan did not respond to requests for comment. You can read more about Christo's book, Under the Same Stars: The Search for my Brother and the True Story of My Immortal, here.

UPDATE

This post has been updated to clarify the multiple spellings of the My Immortal author's pen name.

Film and TV Writer. She demands that you listen to her opinions about Harry Potter.

Contact Alanna Bennett at alanna.bennett@buzzfeed.com.

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