Remember that song by Whodini called The Freaks Come Out At Night? Well, lately the book thieves have been coming out of the woodwork. Shit is real in these literary streets y’all. I have witnessed two blatant thefts of an author’s work and one, very strong, yet very false accusation of another. Calling a writer a thief or a plagiarist is a serious accusation, and if you can’t back it up, then you better keep ya damn mouth shut.
- About two years ago there was a popular author on Amazon named “Nene King”, and I put her name in quotes because it was widely believed that this was not only a pen name, but not even a black woman. “Ms. King” wrote a book that not only had a near identical plot written by author Vera Roberts, but most of the passages were eerily identical. Only names of characters and locations were changed. When Ms. Roberts and her fans caught wind of this deception, they set.it.off. Negative reviews flooded the book listing detailing the plagiary, and “Ms. King” laughably attempted to defend herself by writing this diatribe about being a “strong, black, African-American woman (dead giveaway that she wasn’t black cause sistas don’t refer to themselves in that manner) who was married to a rich, successful white man and had no reason to steal anybody’s work blah, blah, blah. Chile bye. Amazon was flooded with complaints, and the book along with her entire portfolio, was eventually deleted.
- Just in the last few weeks, author Tiana Laveen was the subject of accused plagiarism following the release of her double novel, The N Word and Word of Honor. Some ignorant readers honestly thought she was copying or modeling her books after Inger Iversen’s book Incarcerated which was published in 2014. Little did they know, The N Word was originally published in 2011 as a short story in her Cross Climax II Anthology. She simply expanded it to a full-length novel. Times two. Lesson here: Do ya research before you start hurling accusations.
- There’s a new(ish) author on the scene named Soular who wrote exclusively on Literotica. She discovered (through author Kaia Bennett) that one of her works was literally jacked from Literotica, then essentially copied and pasted into a “new” body of work listed on Amazon under the name of Diana Hoffman. When I saw that name I was like O.M.G. I almost clicked that book because it sounded interesting! It was one of those “Oh, I’ll come back to it” deals…I wish I remembered it because it’s already been taken down by Amazon.
So, two things I’ve taken from these incidents: Do your research before labeling someone a plagiarist. And two, while concepts cannot be plagiarized, the way thoughts and ideas and concepts are put together on paper can be. Crazy…