I've started and stopped on this blog post so many times over the past day. Some of this is because I am still recovering from jet lag, with my mind and body still eight hours adrift. Most of it is because I don't really get involved in the dramas that unfurl on Facebook because it always becomes something more than it should be. And a small part is the whole British, ‘don't say anything that can be misunderstood thing'.
But someone stealing words? That's awful.
A fellow MM author stealing words from an MF book, in fact an entire MF book. That's shocking.
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Laura Harner, fellow MM author and someone I listened to on a panel at GRL, plagiarising a MF book in entirety by simple exchanging pronouns. That's heartbreaking. Not to mention insulting to our genre.
I've seen the story unfold from the side of Becky McGraw, the author of the original book, but as of today (22 October) I have seen nothing from Laura in defence or dismissal, or even to own up. All I have seen is Laura's book being removed from Amazon, and now rumours of another series being taken down as well.
I've seen the evidence, of what Laura's book said along side Beck's orginal. I can tell you it's a near perfect match, apart from the she/her becoming he/his and some obvious name changes. If this happened to me, I would be a sobbing violated mess. And I would be angry. I would be spitting and furious and I would rant EVERYWHERE. To her credit Becky Mc Graw is staying very calm and leaving things to her lawyers.
I've seen some excuses appear to defend Laura Harner.
That maybe she had a ghost writer, and didn't check that the ghost writer had stolen the story? Or that Laura has been hit by a drop in sales on Amazon because of KU, and wanted to stay at her earning levels? That she had writer's block? None of these reasons fly with me.
People want a reason so bad, because the idea that someone we know has been lying to us all, authors and readers alike, in the worst possible way is just terrible to contemplate.
There is no excuse. Plagiarism like this, where words are taken as a whole, is breaking the law and hurts authors and readers alike.
A sad day in MM.