Patricia Davids here. Hello readers and fans of Christian romance fiction. I’m here today to talk about an insidious element seeping into publishing. It’s not a new occurrence but it is a disturbing trend. Plagiarism. I’m writing this blog post because readers, we authors need your sharp eyes.
From the online Merriam Webster Dictionary
Definition of plagiarize
: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source
: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
I am happy to say that to my knowledge I have never been plagiarized. I sweat bullets with each of my books. Writing does not come easily to me, every book is a struggle, but I love storytelling. One cannot exist without the other for me. That is the reason I don’t read extensively in the genre I write. I don’t want to unconsciously type what someone else has already written. I would be crushed to see my words in someone else’s book or to think I stole their words and made them mine.
If you haven’t read Nora Roberts Facebook blog post on the most recent plagiarism scandal you should. She is no stranger to having her words stolen. You’ll find it here.
You’ll also be able to read addition posts about the broken system of e-book sales that is driving the problem on Amazon.
Nora doesn’t write Christian fiction. She is wildly successful and it’s no wonder she is a target, right? Christian writers don’t do things like steal someone’s work and pass it off as their own. Don’t feel too superior. It does happen. Read the Publishers Weekly article about it, Zondervan-settles-plagiarism-case. The lure of fame and money has corrupted more than one so-called Christian.
Stealing is a sin and we are taught to forgive, but it is also a crime. And dear readers here is where you come in. If you believe a phrase or an entire story sounds familiar to another one you have read, please contact the author with your concern. I don’t mean the story simply seems familiar because let’s face it many Amish stories follow a familiar pattern, but they are not direct copies of one another. I ask for due diligence. Locate the books that seem similar and make sure it isn’t simply the same story line but the same wording. That’s important. It was a reader who caught both instances of plagiarism from Nora’s books.
You don’t need to become investigative reporters. Continue to enjoy the stories we craft but don’t be afraid to tell an author, “Hey, I think this other book is a lot like yours.” We can take it from there. No harm done if you’re wrong. After all a true warrior guards what he or she loves.
USA Today Bestselling author Patricia Davids grew up on a Kansas farm with four brothers. After college she began a wonderful career as a nurse. In 1973 Pat wrote a letter to a lonely sailor. Little did she know her talent with words would bring her love, marriage and motherhood.
An avid reader, Pat longed to write a book, but put her dream on hold as she raised a family and worked in an NICU. It wasn’t until 1996 that she began writing seriously. Today, Pat enjoys crafting emotionally satisfying romances where love and faith bring two people together forever.