Tara Gilesbie, writing as XXXbloodyrists666XXX, is the creator of My Immortal and its primary author. The first 15 chapters were edited by Raven. Last seen going on a vacation to England in mid-2007, possibly hunted down by actual vampires in order to force her to stop writing hilarious stories and ruining their name.
She once threatened the flamers that if they continued, her boyfriend Justin would 'bet' them up. No one was even remotely intimidated by this. Other friends include 'filly', real name possibly Phillipa, and 'medusa'. Like Tara and Raven, it can be assumed these two are also gothic.
As stated, Tara Gilesbie wrote My Immortal under the profile name XXXbloodyrists666XXX on fanfiction.net. Like any young writer, she shares many of the same traits of the primary "protagonist" of her story, Ebony (also known as Enoby, Ebomby, Evony, Ibiny, Ebpony, Eboby or Enony), but excluding the vampirism and magical powers. But she still labels and distinguishes herself as a "goff", wrist cutter, Satanist, lover of Hot Topic and various mainstream punk/emo/goth/alternative genre bands, etc.
Tara is supposedly from Dubai, a principality part of the United Arab Emirates (another fact about Tara that raises giant question marks). However when digging further it was discovered that both she and her friend/editor were from Connecticut (listed as being from New Haven Connecticut) through their combined myspace page. Before writing My Immortal, she also shared that the band Good Charlotte made a great impact on her life. Apparently, their song entitled "Hold On" convinced her not to commit suicide after a recent breakup from her boyfriend Crys.
She began writing My Immortal circa 2006. She updated the story on a regular basis. But there were often large gaps between updates as she claimed that the flames of the reviewers caused her to "slit muh rists" and she had to go to the hospital for recovery. There were other moments when she went on extended vacations or was just too "bizzy". She made one last update in mid-2007 before going on a trip to England. She never made any further updates to My Immortal, leading her baffled readers to reach the logical conclusion that she had shed her overexaggerated gothic persona. However, Youtube videos from their channel, uploaded mid 2009, showed that this wasn't the case.
As any reader/reviewer of My Immortal would tell you, Tara Gilesbie possesses a very distinct writing style, much of which probably reflects her personality. For instance, she has a habit of writing as if she were sending text messages (it gets so bad that it gets increasingly harder for the reader to decipher her words as the story continues). She also bombards the chapters with a series of author's notes, all of which tell the "prepz and posr[s]" to stop flaming her work. Or some would be in direct response to particular criticisms she received from reviewers about her spelling, OOC (out of character) characters, etc. She would also usually threaten to slit her wrists for each bad review or threaten to not update the fanfic unless she got a certain number of good reviews. An example of which includes:
"AN: STOP flaming! if u flam it menz ur a prep or a posr! Da only reson Dumbledeor swor is coz he had a hedache ok an on tup of dat he wuz mad at dem 4 having sexx! PS im nut updating umtil I get five good revoiws!"
As mentioned, her writing is very distinctive to her personality. She is under the mindset that the world is separated into three groups: Preps (people like Hilary Duff, the color pink, everything and everyone Tara dislikes and tells to 'fuk off'), posers (people like Avril Lavigne, the character Albert Dumblydore, or basically people who try to be goth) and finally goths. She also goes into great length of describing her characters' clothes for several paragraphs (in My Immortal's defense, these in-depth descriptions are probably the only thing written somewhat coherently). She also has no problem of constantly reminding her readers of her love for various bands such as My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte and/or Evanescence. But what's most distinctive, is Tara's fondness for ignoring canon. To put it simply, she takes some of the more primary characters from the Harry Potter series and turns them into almost always bisexual vampire-goths who constantly wear black, worship Satan, are depressed, suicidal, and gives them a house change into Slytherin.
One more side note of Tara's writing style is her habit of experimenting with the English language and other languages as well (Japanese). Although she overtly states that she has an interest in Japanese (she has many characters spouting random Japanese phrases in the story such as "kawaii"), Tara, unfortunately, proves that she has grasped very little of both languages. She loves to experiment with adverbs in particular. Some of which include "sexily", "suicidally" and "gothically" (although in Tara's defense, all of these words are in fact actual adverbs of sex, suicide and goth), but these adverbs are frequently misspelled. She also inexplicably changes the spelling of some peoples' names and changes their personalities frequently.
However, it can be inferred that either she or Raven has read The Fellowship of the Ring due to the name "Tom Satan Bombodil", which could be a twisted and misspelled version of "Tom Bombadil", from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
One of the world's most frequently asked questions and greatest mysteries: Is Tara Gilesbie trolling? This would make the greatest sense for the explanation of My Immortal because as many would say, "My Immortal is just too bad to be true!". However, many other things would have to be taken into account if Tara Gilesbie was in fact just a young, teenage fan-girl who was given access to the internet.
First, to support the troll theory, one must look at Tara's origins. She supposedly lives (or lived) in Dubai. As previously stated, Dubai is an emirate of the United Arab Emirates. Tara also loves Hot Topic. So unless she or her friends or family are fabulously wealthy, it would be nearly impossible for her to take weekly trips to the States or any other country that has a Hot Topic so she could purchase her goods. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates is a predominantly Muslim nation, and is located in the Middle East, where such attitudes towards Satanism, witchcraft, etc. are seen as acts of blasphemy. In addition, discrediting the theory that she actually lives in Dubai even further, she says in an author's note: "...oh yah btw ill be in vacation in transilvania 4 da nex 3 dayz so dnot expect updatz." In another author's note, she describes how "transilvania rox hrad". She says that she got to see the castle where 'Dracula' was filmed. However, 'Dracula', though set in Transylvania and England, was filmed only in England and California, USA. In addition, she once referred to
"omfg im leeving dubya pretty soon kant wait!!!"
However, all of this can be misleading. When Tara says "dubya" she could be referring to two things. The word dubya is in fact a slang term for the Southern American pronunciation of the letter "W". It is also used to flame and mock former United States president, George W. Bush, by pronouncing his middle initial as "dubya". Dubya also refers to an American organization called Dubya USA. It is based in California and it sells various motocross and wheeling goods. What makes all of this mysterious is that Tara may have misspelled Dubai as "dubya" or she could be implying that she is in fact an American. Or, obviously, if she is not a troll, she's living in Connecticut but pretends to live in Dubai.
Furthermore, My Immortal itself, for a lack of a better explanation, does too many things wrong to be written completely seriously. It reads like a list of things a troll writer would do: frequently misspell words in an almost organized manner, text chatting, random/unexplained sex scenes, etc.
On the other hand, to negate the troll theory, one must take into the account of the many things that are a part of My Immortal. The trolling author would have to create the personality of Tara Gilesbie, manage her many accounts (she has had other accounts besides the one that is now deleted from fanfiction.net), and her password(s), and not to mention take the time and dedication to write the forty-four long chapter story itself.
Besides Tara Gilesbie, the troll author would also have to remember the persona of Raven, Tara Gilesbie's friend. As in Tara's case, the troll would have to manage Raven's account(s), password(s), and write her stories, unless there was a second troll involved. Raven's stories would have to coincide with Tara's stories, because they had a falling out. Both writers have chapters in their fan fictions in which they both wrote (or killed) off the avatars in their stories based off the other writer's personalities and vice-versa.
This would be a lot, even for a troll. And if Tara was a troll, she could easily be a very determined and persistent troll to manage those two accounts. Or it could have been a well organized group of people who decided to put My Immortal together. The possibilities are endless.
For unknown reasons, many people have come forward and claimed themselves to have written and/or co-written My Immortal. Some have taken it further by stating that they are or created the persona of Tara Gilesbie and admitted that they were trolling and writing the stories for laughs. Some have even gone to disturbingly great extremes to claim that they not only were Tara, but were continuing the legacy of My Immortal by writing new stories similar to the fashion of the original story by posting such stories on fanfiction.net (although some have subsequently been deleted). Whether these people are lying or telling the truth is another mystery, because anyone could have easily created an account and claimed My Immortal as their own. The fact that some of these people have decided to come forward after all these years between now and 2007 is suspicious enough, but it is all up for debate and up to the reader/reviewer to determine the authenticity of the story in their own mind. This is what makes My Immortal one of the most mysterious pieces of work the internet has ever seen.
The YouTube account of Tara and Raven
A few have discovered Tara and Raven's Youtube account named xxblo0dyxkissxx, which they share together. Most of their videos involve "fanvids" on them dancing around and singing to songs of their favorite bands (Evanescence, Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan and Papa Roach) Raven appears to be the leader in these videos, whereas Tara just goes along with it. However, My Immortal is not mentioned even once in these videos, but in their videos "A Shout Out from Tara and Raven" and "Reaction to New Moon trailer!", they talk about their love for Edward Cullen and the Twilight saga. It appears that they are both huge fans of the Twilight saga over Harry Potter now, which could be another possibility on why Tara stopped continuing with My Immortal, she just likes Twilight better (it also indicates she may write a Twilight fanfic in the future). They also made a "response to haters" video, but it was them simply staring at the camera with a presumably "goffick" look in their eyes, with a bad "Never Gonna Give You Up" remix. They are completely immobile throughout the video, to the point where you swear up and down that the two are unaware that they are on camera.
This account was previously updated in 2009 followed by 5 years of silence. Her last post 5 years ago was this:
"EVRY1 C NEW MOON!!1 i will try 2 post a new fanfik maybe derring da summer but i probebly wont koz all od u r such idiotz. u hakked mi account and u flamed mi story. fuk da world!!1 fuk all of u bichez!!1"
On June 10th 2014 a new video was uploaded on their page. However, it is actually a video from 2008. As they explain:
"we made this a few years ago. but wen we uploaded it to youtube it was private n we didnt kno lol! NEway we made this for gerard way and davey havok cuz their both hot lol"
Their most recent video can be found here.
In this video, Tara and Raven talk about what they love and what they hate. There is My Chemical Romance playing in the background and Tara and Raven expressing their views on what they like, what they dislike, and how Youtube is a place for people to express their "creativitim".
Their dislikes include:
- Haters like gnigged68 and Manson420
- Davey Havok's new hair!
- Hilary Duff "Teht Fuking Prep!1!1!!"
- Flamers "Falmors"
- being goth
- Edward CUllen!!
- new hot topic at the mall
- MCR (My Chemical Romacen)
- AFI: Them and MCR saved our lifes
- support from iFlame406 and SearchForPhil
- Gerard Way
- Joel Madden
- Good Charlotte
- Maralyn Manson
- Harry Potter
- Cutting Wrists
Their YouTube videos are frequently highly entertaining and amusing to watch. They also share a Myspace page xxblo0dyxkissxx However, this page is no longer updated and, most conspicuously, this account was created in 2008, close to, if not already two years past the deletion of the original My Immortal post, and around one year past the end of the series.
On June 10, 2014, a new video has been uploaded with the title "bloody valentine fan vid by tara and raven." However, the description of the video states that it was made back in 2008, reason for the video appearing now is because at the time of uploading, Tara and Raven made the video private. While one may expect that, after six years, Tara's grammar skills would have seen some improvement, the description suggests otherwise.
The video in question is simply Tara and Raven talking about their new celebrity crushes (Gerard Way and David Havok respectively). Both girls then proceed to (badly) sing "Bloody Valentine" by Good Charlotte, accompanied by headbanging, lip-syncing, and Raven kissing a picture of David Havok. After the song, Raven hopes that, if David Havok watches the video, he will make her his "bloody valentine." Tara on the other hand confesses her love for Gerard Way, and that she will take off her mask drawn on her face with a Sharpie pen, and show him who she really is.
On January 15, 2016 the account became officially active, 2 new videos have been posted since the video announcing the return of the channel.
Ethan Chiel of On the Media found the two girls in the videos and learned they are, in fact, sisters. Their real names are Sarah and Rachel. Apparently similarities to the author of My Immortal and her friend Raven are coincidental and that they are just trying to "troll other mall goths."
Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen
It has often been speculated that Tara was also also the author of the notorious badfic Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen. This Twilight fanfiction, notable as one of the few works that makes the original series look well written, was published by an author going by the name of BeckyMack666. Her full profile shows a very similar array of tastes to Tara, including a love of MCR. Furthermore, an close analysis of the text reveals a great deal of similarities with My Immortal. Both feature female OC gothic vampires with absurdly long names; compare Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way with Atlantiana Rebekah Loren, who both cry tears of blood and wear gothic clothing described in ridiculous amounts of detail. Unusual euphemisms are used to describe the male genitalia, like "man-carrot" and "throbbing lavender man-fruit thing" which appear very similar to the original "boy's thingy" and the complex conflict between goths and preps is explored. Most damningly, a specific line of Forbidden Fruit seems to be directly referencing Tara's original work, in Chapter 7 a highly out-of-character Bella Swan storms in on the protagonist and Edward Callan screaming "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING YOU EVIL RODENT PEOPLE?!!!!!", followed by "It was Bella Swan!!"
There is therefore a case to be made that both works share the same author, especially since Tara had indeed stated that she had moved onto the Twilight fandom. However it is also highly possible that Forbiden Fruit is the work of a troll heavily inspired by My Immortal, or that it is simply by coincidence that the two works resemble each other so much.
Indeed, both works differ radically in two main aspects in the presentation of the main character, tone and language. Tara's writting essentially depicts Ebony as a self-important character that does whatever she likes, while BeckyMack666 writes Atlantiana as more of a self-justifying character, constantly and consistently trying to make herself the "good guy" (regardless of her actual behaviour). Likewise, Tara depicts sex in an IKEA-like manner, while BeckyMack666 gets a lot more graphic, and lets her character be raped to score pity points, something Tara would never do. Finally, although both stories are extremely random, Forbiden Fruit is more willing to be extravagant, creating such characters as Snooflanti the talking panda, when nothing of the sort is seen in My Immortal.
How old was Tara when she wrote My Immortal?
In their video "An Update", Tara and Raven talk about starting High School as freshmen students. This video was posted on June 12th, 2009, so they would be fourteen. My Immortal was written in 2006, so Tara was probably just 11/12 when she wrote it. If that is true, then Tara wouldn't have had a lot of knowledge about sex and writing sex scenes, which would explain the erotic sex scenes. Also, if Tara was as young as 11/12, she may have thought that text talking was cool.
Some of the stuff is a little messed up for an 11 year old to say, but she probably heard worse on the playground.
Assuming that Tara was 11 when she wrote My Immortal, in 2016 she would be 21, and no doubt she will want to claim My Immortal as the best worst fanfic ever written.
- ↑ http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127360.htm
- ↑ http://www.globalreligiousfutures.org/countries/united-arab-emirates/religious_demography#/?affiliations_religion_id=0&affiliations_year=2010
- ↑ http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2007/90223.htm
- ↑ http://www.onthemedia.org/story/goth-teens-internet-are-never-what-they-seem/