Sometimes truth really is strange than fiction, and although I virtually cannot believe what I'm writing, a simple decision whether or not to answer a "lost" email nearly four years ago made one possible future real and has led to a situation in which I find myself with a vampire flatmate, an online celebrity correspondent, the resolution of an unfinished story arc which - if published - could turn Buffy the vampire slayer's fictional universe (the "Buffyverse") upside down; as well as memories of the metaphorical theft of the USS Enterprise in search of my own personal Helen of Troy in a Los Angeles which for me, was Camelot.
No surprise, then, that a reviewer in Goodreads.com said of Dear Miss Landau that:
I read this constantly thinking "is this for real?" An autistic Scottish man in his 40s has an obsession with a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and writes a 250,000 word novel based on the character and ends up travelling to Hollywood and meeting the actress who plays her. You couldn't make it up.
Sometimes I ask myself whether there really is a fate or destiny to things, and it's hard to be sceptical when, three years later, I find myself (along with James Doherty of the National Autistic Society Scotland), not in Hollywood, but on a Scottish street late one Sunday night meeting Joss Whedon.
The Oscars are happening in Hollywood, but as far as I'm concerned, Hollywood is here.
The facts are inarguable. He is Hollywood's golden boy. Creator of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. Director of The Avengers, third-highest grossing film ever. He is, without irony, Numero Uno, A Number 1, the Head Honcho, the Big Cheese.
He's standing three feet from me. He knows my name. Dear Miss Landau is in his hands, and another possible future may yet become real.
You really couldn't make it up.
James Christie is the author of Dear Miss Landau. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, at the age of 37 in 2002. He lives and works in Glasgow.