I don't bring anything new to the latest plagiarism case, except a profound sense of WTF! I haven't been in touch with Laura Harner for several years and I haven't read her books. I don't know why she did it, and I have no fresh gossip here.
What does strike me as I watch the latest drama unfold is the number of communities that are betrayed by an author's actions.
- The authors, Becky McGraw, who broke the initial allegation that one of her books had been stolen and now Opal Carew, who have had their works lifted from M/F and turned into M/M. Jenny Trout has the details here and here. These authors have had their hard work, their ideas and creations stolen. That's fucking outrageous! Writing is more than words on paper. It's blood, sweat and tears to get a book to publication. To see your hard work repackaged under someone else's name is soul-destroying.
- Readers - bloody hell, you're betraying your readers' trust by offering them stolen goods. Readers spend their money on more than just a book or a file. It's a promise that what you're offering them is your work. New, fresh and not someone else's stolen work. I've seen the amount of comments from readers who are angry at this betrayal. They invest in you, the author. You let them down.
- Friends - they are gutted that someone they thought they knew, even a few days before at our major conference, is now suddenly stranger to them. I hate the sense of bewilderment that is unfolding from people who thought they knew her.
- Co-Authors - suddenly the taint of plagiarism is on them as well. I have a personal interest in this one as my bestie, Lisa Worrall, co-wrote a book with Laura. She has been forced to make a public post to declare she is not a plagiarist. What the hell! I remember her writing that book - read her post. They need support now, not accusations.
- The genre - every new drama that unfolds is so bloody unprofessional. I said a couple of days ago that we end up having to make mission statements to declare we are not a plagiarist or whatever the drama is rocking our genre at the moment. It's tiring and it sends unease through our little world. We're supposed to be professionals.
- Fanfiction is not plagiarism. Get over it.
- LGBT - you disrespect the men you supposedly write about. This one really annoys the fuck out of me. Taking an M/F book and slapping in male pronouns and shoving in a dick or two (pun intended) does not make a book about gay romance. We do not write about a man and a woman together. That is done very well by people like Becky McGraw. M/M Romance writers have a responsibility to the community and people they write about. I'm sorry if you disagree, but we do, and this action is so disrespectful.
Anyway, I've had my say. You are welcome to add your piece, just keep it respectful.