Normally I don’t blog much during the week of release, because I’m just too tired from all the promotion. But this week, I am.
I’ve been aware of a breaking matter for a few days, through a friend. Now it’s out in the open.
So it seems, a rather popular author has been accused of plagiarizing fellow authors. The case has just broken wide, and now, you can bet every single book of hers will be scrutinized and gone over with a fine tooth comb. She has apparently taken word for word from other authors, changing only names, and genders of some characters. This is a crime—theft in one of the most personal ways you can steal from an author.
Plagiarism is the act of stealing.
Now, I’ve had people ask me if the show Charmed stole from my OW series. No, they didn’t. I’ve been accused of ripping them off by other readers. No, I didn’t. I’ve never even seen a full episode of it. And the concept of three sisters? Old as time, old as the Triple Goddess. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but how you create a story from those ideas, and the words you use? Better be unique.
What plagiarism is, is ripping off somebody’s work and posting it as your own—whether for free or for sale. It’s changing a words here and there, but leaving enough original content that it’s pretty obvious to someone who reads both books that gee…one came first and the other was based on it.
You can’t do this. You can’t use the excuse of “I didn’t realize this was wrong” or “My life was so messed up” or “I was worried about my finances”…because again—Just. Wrong. And illegal.
Guess what? The author you ripped off? Isn’t going to be worried about your lack of intelligence (because if you think it’s okay to do this, I’m sorry—either you’re insanely stupid or you have NO morals). The author you ripped off? Has his/her OWN finances to worry about.
Not only did Harner wrong the authors she is accused of stealing from, she also is—by default—dragging co-authors under the bus. An interesting blog post from someone who could be implicated by association (but most likely had nothing to do with any of this—which makes me feel bad for her).
Writing is a grueling business, and the industry isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright brutal on authors. The work of creating worlds that resonate to readers is the only work I’ve ever wanted to do, but it’s both the most joyous (at its best) and the most heartbreaking (at its worst) work that I’ve ever done. Now, I’m know for not liking fan fiction—and I am open about it. I don’t want people using MY characters and MY worlds that I work so hard to create and taking them down roads I never, ever intended or don’t like. Makes me shudder. You want to write? Write something original—something I didn’t create.
But plagiarism? Absolutely soul-sucking. And. Just. Wrong.
It’s bad enough when people pirate our work and stick it up for free online (or worse yet—as I discovered this morning—sell ebooks of mine online that they don’t have the right to sell, money I’ll never, ever see). Piracy has contributed to my having to finish the Otherworld Series on my own. I’ve had thousands of torrent links taken down and they keep cropping up.
But if I found out someone was plagiarizing my books, I’d be heartbroken…and then I’d go after them for everything they owned. As I hope the authors who have been victimized in this case do. She’s stolen from their livelihoods and claimed their creativity as her own. Just. Wrong.
15 thoughts on “Just. Wrong. Yet Another Plagiarist”
I have witnessed the pain you are talking about. A friend of mine who designed beautiful steampunk corsets had her designs stolen and made for cheap in other countries then sold for half her price. The worst part was customers would come in, show her the photos then demand her top quality work for the same price. At this point, she no longer designs and sells corsets, it was too soul destroying. As she said to me, “the best way to destroy your love for your passion is to go into business.” One day, after healing, she will design again but for friends or herself only. I treasure the corsets she design and made for me: they are worth every penny I spent and more. I always thought of you and Camille when I was in her shop.
Thank you for voicing your opinion. It needs to be heard until its understood.
Wtf is wrong with people. What ever happened to honor and integrity
I agree with you, this is not right, it hurts all Authors, and she should have to pay for this!!
She is a disgrace to all authors everywhere who put their heart and souls into each word, line, and paragraph that they create to bring forth a great book. How dare she steal the idea’s that another has written. This woman sickens me to my core. Not only did she profit and gain but she soiled another’s work. I hope she gets what’s coming to her. This was wrong on so many levels.
Despicable behavior…nothing more to be said.
I trust those involved are seeking legal remedy.
This is just so sickening for me to hear. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I cannot imagine how deeply this hurts you;being betrayed in this manner.
Whatever happened to morals, integrity, honor, pride,manners, and knowing right from wrong ? Evidently , some need a refresher course.
I hope that ( and I ‘m not ashamed to admit it) this bites her in the ass and pocketbook.
You give us a piece of yourself with every book you write ~ blood, sweat, tears, and soul. How dare she try and take credit from you?
Sending you Blessings – please know you are in my thoughts.
This Laura Harner person is going to rue this grave error in judgement.
No, you’ll notice it’s NOT my books she stole (though that can happen), but another author’s. But it’s…just wrong. 🙁
Disturbing in so many ways. After I graduated from the university, I read Ancient History for some time and acted as the TA for the professor. I got the same paper one quarter submitted by three different people with only the opening and closing paragraphs changed. What on earth were they thinking??? Is this really how they want to live their lives?
What this author did is just plain wrong and I applaud your stance on this. I feel for the authors who got plagiarized and really hope they go after Harner with everything they got.
This makes me want to cry. (I cry very easily). I cannot imagine deliberately stealing someone’s work. Honestly the fear that I can’t write and would even accidentally plagiarize stops me from writing. I have lots of character ideas but can’t put them together. That doesn’t mean I’m going to steal someone else’s words. Not only has she ruined her life but possibly her daughter’s and coauthors. It’s disgusting.
Appalling behavior. Such folk lack any functioning sense of honor.
As much as I’d love to pen my own works I’m afraid I just don’t have the right dedication for it. I recognize that and can live with it – it doesn’t mean I won’t still try though! But to take someone else’s hard earned recognition and use it for your own profit or other gain is more than wrong. I appreciate that you have spoken up in support of those affected and thank you for the worlds your work has taken me away to.
Good lord. Whatever happened to integrity? I sincerely hope that that woman gets her comeuppance. It’s complete bollocks if she pleads her innocence. Plagiarism among writers is a sad fact of the profession. I had a friend several years ago (now an ex-friend for many reasons) who attempted (and, in a few cases, succeeded) in self-publishing several romances that were blatant rip-offs of movies, including The Patriot, the Twilight saga, and The Phantom of the Opera. She would send me excerpts asking for my opinion & I lost track of how many times I pointed out that 1.) I was basically reading very poorly written “Mary Sue” fan fiction, 2.) Her stories used the same character names over and over and it was obvious who her “original” characters were supposed to be, and 3.) Plagiarism, was, in actual fact, a form of stealing & she was opening herself up to legal issues. She totally blew me off & set about creating an elaborate online persona, completely obsessed with becoming, as she put it, “the next Christine Feehan.” In fact, Ms. Feehan was a victim of this friend’s attempt at a rip-off & I do believe a lawsuit was threatened by Ms. Feehan’s people. I haven’t spoken to this person in ages, but I have found her online attempting to garner attention for her work. I wish I knew the steps to take to put a stop to her nonsense. As a writer who hopes to publish myself someday, it’s things like this that give me pause. I’m just disgusted by some people’s lack of morals. Writing isn’t easy & it sucks massively that some writers think they have to nick ideas from others more clever than themselves to ensure they get their payday & fifteen minutes of fame.
Brava! What you just said is all too true! Such a shame that there are people like this out there, who will steal others’ work.
Amen! I am in awe of authors, and can’t even imagine the blood, sweat and tears you shed (no plagiarism intended) before you release your finished product to us and we are able to vicariously live in your world, even if it is just for a wee bit. Plagiarism is not a form of hero worship, it is thievery pure and simple. I’m in agreement, all the authors who have suffered due to her crime should be compensated, there isn’t any difference between her and a embezzler in my opinion. Here’s hoping her fellow co-authors aren’t implicated, but if they had any inkling this was going on, they should also suffer the consequences.