Remember "My Immortal," the cringe-worthy Harry Potter fanfiction starring an over-the-top emo stereotype named Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way? Yeah, we wish we could forget about it. The story was published on a popular fanfiction site back in 2006 by an author known as Tara Gilesbie, with the username "xxxbloodyrists666xxx." In the decade since, the story circulated the fandom scene, gaining a reputation as the worst fanfiction ever written.
If you haven't read "My Immortal," the protagonist's outlandish name alone should give you an idea of what the fic is like. The story follows Ebony, a self-insertion original character, during her seventh year at Hogwarts. Ebony is a vampire who dresses like a teenage mall-goth, is obsessed with popular emo and pop punk bands from the early 2000s, and is in a relationship with Draco Malfoy. Speaking of Draco, in this story, all of J.K. Rowling's characters have mysteriously turned goth. Draco wears black nail polish and red contact lenses. Harry Potter now goes by the name "Vampire." And Hermione has converted to Satanism and changed her name to B'loody Mary Smith. These characters cavort around Hogwarts, seeing Good Charlotte concerts in Hogsmeade, having really awkward sex in the Forbidden Forrest, and getting into all sorts of other weird situations. On top of the absurd characters and plot, prolific typos and inconsistencies—even in the spelling of the main character's name—helped boost the story to "worst piece of writing ever" levels of fame.
Poor writing aside, "My Immortal" really doesn't do any favors to the goth community, despite the author's claim to be gothic (or "goffik" as she spells it), herself. Many goths would take issue with the constant conflation of goth and emo throughout the story (though to be fair, as someone who was a teen during the early 2000s, emo music was often a gateway into gothic culture and still holds a special place in my heart). Still more goths would be appalled at the way that Ebony feeds into some of the worst stereotypes of the subculture. On almost every page is at least one passage that reads like the author swallowed and then vomited back up a Hot Topic catalogue. But more serious are the casual mentions of self-harm, which seem intended to add to Ebony's "goth cred."
In fact, "My Immortal" feeds into stereotypes so perfectly, that many have suggested that it's actually satire. Satire of the goth community. Satire of the fanfiction community. Satire on poor writing in general. There have been pages upon pages of the internet devoted to the true secret genius of the "My Immortal" author. For many, "My Immortal" has reached the level of "so bad, it's good," and the author has become almost legendary. But the mystery of who the author was and what she really meant has remained unsolved for a decade...until now!
Just last month, the author of "My Immortal" logged back into her Fictionpress account, a sister account to the site on which she originally wrote her magnum opus. In August, rumors began circulating that the "My Immortal" author might be the one behind a poorly-written book called A Handbook for Mortals
that shocked the publishing world by coming out of nowhere and buying its way onto the New York Times
bestseller list. A lengthy statement on Fictionpress denied any connection to Handbook for Mortals
, but did drop hints that the author of "My Immortal" had a book of her own in the works. Twitter sleuths went to work and soon the whole story came out: The author of "My Immortal" is Rose Christo, and in 2018 she'll be publishing a book called Under the Same Stars
Under the Same Stars
is a memoir about Rose's experiences in the foster care system and her fight to reunite with the brother from whom she'd been separated. But of course, Rose Christo can't tell the story of her childhood without mentioning the little fanfiction that rocketed her to internet fame. In fact, the teaser descriptions released so far suggest that Rose deliberately crafted her horrendously bad tale in order to leverage the attention it brought to aid in the search for her brother. But I guess we'll have to read the whole story to find out what truly happened.
What do you think? Is the "My Immortal" writer really back? Do you believe that the worst fanfiction of all time was really a deliberately crafted hoax? Would you check out her book when it comes out? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Written By: TheGothicLibrarian