Plagiarism and The Shit That Happened on #TheWalkingDead (#SPOILERS #TWD)

This weekend was a little bananas.  Between the plagiarism debacle and the shit that happened on The Walking Dead, my head is still spinning.  To those who have NOT watched last night’s episode of TWD, no worries, I put in a huge banner to let you know in advance before we start spewing spoilers, so you can read this post without anything being spoiled for you.  Don’t you worry!  I’ve got your back!  *winky face*

As for the other thing, the dirty P word, that’s right ladies and gents, we have a proven thief among us.  I hate even typing those words.  Ugh………….  But it is what it is.  Now it’s up to US to choose how we react and handle the situation.

artislove

Jena Sig XXX

 

In This Post:

  • The Plagiarism Shit and How It Should Be Handled
  • The Shit That Happened on The Walking Dead

 

 

The Plagiarism Shit and How It Should Be Handled

Okay, here’s the thing.  I wasn’t even going to comment on it, but as a writer, how can I not, right?  By now, most of you have heard the name Laura Harner.  She’s the Douchey McDoucherson who decided it was perfectly alright to flat-out steal the work of another author and pass it off as her own.  I very rarely speculate on cases like this as many of them come down to just that: speculation.  And speculation, contrary to popular belief, is not the same thing as evidence.  

A lot of plagiarism accusations come down to one phrase which I almost always have a problem with:

“Just read it!  It’s basically the same story as mine.”  

That’s the problem.  It’s basically the same.  A lot of cases of plagiarism I see are very hard to call plagiarism.  Are the storylines similar?  Yes, absolutely, without a daoubt, but that’s the case with a LOT of contemporary romance and 99.9999999% of the time, it’s completely unintentional.  Usually, there is no malicious intent.  Plain and simply put, there are only so many ways you can say “….and then they fell in love….” before it starts to sound similar to the ways Author A, Author B, and Author C said it. 

Within the last couple of years, there was one case where the accused had her name viciously dragged through the mud, and upon reading excerpts from the two books that were supposed to be “identical” (per the accuser), I couldn’t find the similarity at all.  I couldn’t see the parallel between the two stories AT ALL.  Yet, that author’s career was brought to a screeching and painful halt because that kind of accusation follows you around like a little black raincloud of doom.  I’m not saying she was innocent, but I am saying that as a reader, I couldn’t find what triggered this author to think her book had been ripped off.  And yet, the indie community ripped her to shreds rather than letting the author who was allegedly stolen from go through the proper legal channels to get shit made right.

Rather than add to the speculation, I usually just keep my mouth shut. 

This, however, is not that kind of case.  This was blatant theft. 

Although I don’t normally share her posts because I don’t always land on the same page as her due to her approach, but Jenny Trout wrote an excellent summary of what is happening with this situation.  You should totally read the whole write up, but here is the basic recap:  Laura Harner blatantly ripped off author Becky McGraw, their books being near identical by the page.  I’m not talking about similar story.  I’m talking about the author hit copy/paste, changed the names and slapped some him’s in where there were previously her’s and called it a M/M romance by a different name.  People, this is the same book. 

mcgraw-picture-3

The above image is a screenshot taken from Becky McGraw’s Facebook page.  What you are seeing is a Kindle screenshot of page four of Harner’s book Coming Home Texas (published in 2015).  Everything you see highlighted in yellow is exact word-for-word copy from page four of McGraw’s My Kind of Trouble (published in June 2012).  Pretty damning evidence, I’d say.

Harner’s productivity has been questioned due to the sheer volume of titles she’s published since her career started.  That being said, I also know one author in particular who, in the last two years has published nine books.  She’s a fucking writing MACHINE and even she can’t hold a candle to Harner’s fifteen-title-per-year average. 

Now we know why. 

She wasn’t actually WRITING all of it.  She may not have written ANY of it.

Of course, this caused many to question the validity of Harner’s entire catalog.  And, apparently, not without merit because the NEXT DAY, Trout posted again about how another title has been exposed as being plagiarized and this time from author Opal Carew.  The balls on Harner, I tell you.

What gets me about all of this is, in a day and age where Control+F can be used to detect duplicate text, why anyone would ever think they had even a smidge of a chance of getting away with it.  It’s stupid and the offender will be held accountable. 

However, as shitty as her behavior is, I want to put this plea out there.  Regardless of how offensive you find her wrongdoings, please remember that she is still a human being.  Don’t attack her.  Don’t get your friends to pull a train on her Goodreads page.  Don’t convince all of your blogger buddies to tank her review rating on Amazon.  That is sinking to her level of behavior and it WILL backfire on you, even if only cosmically.  Amazon is already on the lookout for dummy reviews, it’s even made it into national headlines.  No one wants to be in those crosshairs. 

The only individuals who have actually been wronged are the authors she stole content from, and I’m SURE all of them will be pursuing legal action.  If you purchased her books, take a legal, adult course of action and return them if you feel the need.  Just remember that not all of her works have been proven fraudulent yet, so you may want to wait it out a little bit. 

Lashing out on her online may not buy you a seat in the plagiarism category with her, but it violently hurls your ass into the bullying category, making you as guilty of wrongdoings as her.  Just please, handle this situation like an adult, okay?  We, authors and readers, should all be striving to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  We all sit back and complain about the ridiculous amount of drama that circulates in our community, but we’re also the first to post our outrage over a subject before collecting all the facts.  Right now, the facts are this:  the people she has wronged are Becky McGraw and Opal Carew.  No one else.  I’m sure through proper investigation, any other plagiarized works will be identified.  I’m sure her writing career will be over, if not for any other reason than readers boycotting any future content.  If you feel you must take a stand against her actions, do so by not purchasing her books.  That should be the extent of your protest.  Anything above and beyond that brings you into black hat territory and you don’t want that. 

Again, I encourage you to read Jenny’s posts:

Jenny Trout’s First Post on Harner

Jenny Trout’s Follow Up Post on Harner

 

Oh yeah, and that last thing…..

The Shit That Happened on The Walking Dead

spoilers

……KEEP SCROLLING…..YOU’RE ALMOST THERE….

……A LITTLE FURTHER….

……I THINK THIS HAS BEEN AMPLE SPOILER WARNING……

The Shit That Happened on The Walking Dead

My Initial Reaction:

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!  INTO WHAT TWISTED WORLD DID I WAKE UP WHERE THE SHOWRUNNERS THINK IT’S ALRIGHT TO KILL OFF GLENN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  He’s Glenn.  Glenn can’t die.  HE’S FUCKING GLENN!

Okay, now that I have gotten that out of my system, I acknowledge that there is a sliver of a chance that Glenn is still alive.  A sliver.  A sliver is not much on a show where no character is sacred. I assume that if you’re reading this far down on my post, you watched the episode last night and are as pissed/heartbroken/shocked as the rest of the civilized world at the choice in story direction last night.  Honestly, I am still shocked.  I have friends who are watching as we speak and their reaction as essentially the same as mine.  Fuck you, AMC.  You can just fuck right the fuck off.  Ugh…..  The fangirl in me really badly wants to just admit it, grieve, and move on with my life, but there are so many theories circulating around the interwebz, it’s kind of hard not to get my hopes up about it just being some clever trickery on the network’s part (the likes of which should be punishable  by deah).   While I try to adjust and deal with the loss we’ve all just experienced, I’m going to secretly keep my crossables crossed that at least one crazy theory is right and we haven’t just lost a core character.  I’d threaten to walk away from the show, but I think the only character I’d do that for would be Daryl. 

Or Rick.

Or Carol.

Or Maggie.

Or Michonne.

Or Coral. 

Okay, I might be okay with Coral biting it.

tumblr_ng4qrfQ6Bf1r51ptko1_500

Anyway, I’m throwing my fangirl juju into the ether and I hope the PTB’s see fit to grant me this one wish:  BRING BACK GLENN AND TAKE CORAL INSTEAD!!!

Alright, party people.  I’m off.  I’m hoping to get some writing done between day job phone calls, but it’s a Monday, so I’m not exactly holding my breath.  I have a class tonight, so chances are writing will be slim for the next few days.  We shall see.  Wish me good writing vibes!

artislove

Jena Sig XXX

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Plagiarism and The Shit That Happened on #TheWalkingDead (#SPOILERS #TWD)

  1. Great blog post. “Piling on” and “baying for blood” are so ugly. I deplore plagiarism but, but it should be handled by lawyers, not mobs with torches and pitchforks. I’m glad you wrote this call for civilized behavior.

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