My Immortal became a cult classic in the late 2000s, famous for its chaotic writing style and stereotypical teen goth tropes. Its author was lost to the mists of time until last week, when she posted a couple of updates on her Fictionpress account. First of all, she wanted fans to know she was alive and well. Secondly, she wanted to distance herself from comparisons to Lani Sarem, a fantasy author who recently scammed her way to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
There was some doubt over the authenticity of the updates, but some internet sleuths already felt confident about the author’s real-life identity. They theorized she was a writer named Rose Christo, and today, Buzzfeed confirmed the truth. Christo wrote My Immortal as a teenager, and she’s going to discuss the experience in an upcoming memoir.
Christo is already active on Tumblr, which is why fans were able to guess she was the creator of My Immortal. She already published a series of well-received YA novels called Gives Light, and her memoir will cover her childhood experiences in foster care. Titled Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal, the book will be published next year by Macmillan.
It tells the story of how Christo was separated from her younger brother, and how she tried to trace him through New York’s foster system. She wrote My Immortal when she was 15 or 16, typed up on the school computer with help from “Raven,” a friend who fans will already recognize from the fanfic’s equally infamous editorial notes. In a Tumblr post, Christo explained how Macmillan verified her identity as My Immortal‘s “Tara Gilesbie.”
“When my agent sold my book to them, they first hired a lawyer (they do not have an in-house lawyer) to legally vet all my claims. He combed through my manuscript for things related not just to My Immortal, but to my childhood.”
Fortunately, she still had a flash drive containing the first 11 chapters of My Immortal, dating back to 2006. It looks like she’s the real deal, and if you’re lucky, she might answer some further questions on Tumblr. We can be sure her memoir will have plenty of readers when it comes out in May 2018.