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Top 10 Tips for Plagiarists

10. Don’t claim the dog did it. We all know that all but a very few dogs, maybe none other than Underdog, is capable of the task because they have no opposable thumbs. In fact, blaming it on any animal makes us suspect unless it is one of the gorillas studied by Dian Fossey.

9. Don’t plagairize someone famous. The more popular the author, the more likely your plagiarism will be caught out. Try to find someone obscure.

8. Don’t blame it on depression or physical disability, i.e., wheelchair bound stroke victims. Only because that insults wheelchair bound stroke victims everywhere.

7. Don’t set up a website and post the plagiaristic material. If it is on the web, someone is bound to find it, particularly when google indexes it.

6. Don’t do interviews. Again, the more people that hear about you, the more likely that your stealing will be sussed out. Try to rip as many people off before the gig is up.

5. Don’t steal from rich authors. These people are more likely than the poor obscure authors to be able to hire lawyers to sue you into oblivion.

4. Don’t copy word for word. It’s harder to catch out your theft if you mix it up a bit. Maybe try the word randomizer.

3. Don’t advertise as writing “because I feel each person has something unique to share with the world and writing is my gift to share” when, in fact, your uniqueness is actually some other person’s uniqueness.

2. Don’t send to reviewers who are known as “mean girls” because they might make up a top ten list just to mock your stealing and then your gig will really be up.

1. Don’t publish it, particularly as a POD option since it doesn’t really make sense to pay for your own stealing. It kind of defeats the purpose of stealing in the first place.

***


Text from the Prologue of “Of Atlantis”

By Lanaia Lee

From Conception to Devastation

The golden-haired child sat alone, as he usually did, and wondered whether his Father would die today. Some distance away, across the royal gardens , his nurse was talking to the two sentries who guarded him during the hours of daylight. The soldiers, grim eyed warriors, did not look at him and shifted nervously as he approached.
Archimedes was used to this reaction. Even at four he understood it.
He remembered with sadness the day three weeks ago when his Father, garbed for war, had walked along this same garden path, his cuirass gleaming in the sunlight. It was so beautiful that Alexander had reached out to touch the gleaming plates of iron, edged with gold, six golden lions on the breast. But as his hand came forward his Father moved swiftly back.
"Don't touch me boy!" he snapped.
"I would not hurt you, Father," whispered the prince, staring up at the black-bearded face, with its blind right eye like a huge opal beneath the savagely scarred brow.
"I came to say goodbye," muttered Lionus, "and to tell you to be good. Learn your lessons well.– 
"Will you win?" the child asked.
"Win or die, boy, " answered the King, kneeling to face his son. He appeared to relax, though his expression remained stern. "There are those that think I cannot win. They remember Onomarchus defeated me when we last met.

* * *

Picture of the text from David Gemmell’s Dark Prince.

Dark Prince

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

452 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 08:53:29

    Here’s a question for you, Jane. I think you’ll have a pretty good answer. What level of use of material counts as plagiarism?

    Let’s suppose that there is an author who is now famous–regularly hits the NYT List–who wrote an earlier book, not particularly well-received–in which there is a scene that I knew I had read before. I knew where I’d read it before. And I looked up the two scenes and compared them, and lo and behold, there they were. They were not identical, of course–there were changes to words here and there, and sentence structure differed (e.g., “he said coldly” versus “his tone was glacial”). But they were so eerily similar that every time I think of this author I get the heebie-jeebies. I’ve stopped buying her books, even though I love her more recent ones.

    Am I overreacting?

    ReplyReply

  2. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:01:22

    Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like the author is plagairizing herself, right? The creator of the work owns the copyright and if the rights had reverted back to her, then the author is guilty of nothing more than being lazy I suppose.

    If she doesn’t have the distribution rights and is publishing the new work with a publisher other than the one that owns the distribution rights, then she could be infringing upon the first publishers’ copyright.

    The concept of plagairism is really an ethical one and the only way to enforce it is under the copyright laws. I.e., you have to prove that there is unlawful copying. Taking someone else’s original work and passing it off as your own (i.e., without attribution) is considered to be a violation of the copyright law. If it is work quoted and properly attributed and used under the “fair use” exception, it is not copyright infringement.

    I don’t know if that answers your question.

    ReplyReply

  3. Anonymous
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:04:22

    No. The author is not plagiarizing herself. The scene that gives me pause comes from a book written nearly 30 years before by someone else–a book which is definitely not in the public domain at present.

    As for ethics–I think there’s stronger enforcement mechanisms than copyright actions. The reason why I haven’t said anything about this is that I think an accusation of plagiarism, especially when backed up by the specific scene in question, could well ruin her career. Not because she gets sued, but because people stop taking her seriously as an author.

    ReplyReply

  4. Anonymous
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:07:34

    I see that’s still unclear. Here’s the breakdown.

    Book from approx. 1950s (guessing, don’t remember actual publication date).

    Book from late 80s or early 90s by now-famous NYT-List author contains several paragraphs, set in a nearly identical scene, with words slightly changed but not completely, in a way that makes me believe that it is not just the idea of the scene that is copied but this individual expression.

    ReplyReply

  5. Darlene Marshall
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:22:51

    *Sigh* Once again, it’s like watching a train wreck. You can’t look away. For even more scary thrills, check out the “agent” listed at the author’s website.

    ReplyReply

  6. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:29:55

    Barnes and Noble Link

    Has a very handy See Inside the Book feature which matches the excerpt to a T. The plagiarist seems to not know how to use search and replace as in her excerpt, she actually neglected to replace one of instances when the child is refered to as “Alexander”.

    Shocking.

    How could anybody think they would be able to get away with this sort of ridiculous claim?

    ReplyReply

  7. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:41:24

    Holy effing dog.

    ReplyReply

  8. Shannon Stacey
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:49:08

    Oh. My. God.

    I hope he rains legal hellfire and damnation down on that woman.

    ReplyReply

  9. Shannon Stacey
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 09:52:17

    I love this from the site’s message board:

    Gareth: Hi Lanaia, My god, I just loved the taster Of Atlantis, I really couldnt beleive how good it was, especially when I read it originally in David Gemmell’s Dark Prince.

    ReplyReply

  10. Maya
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:03:02

    i’m so clueless. i have no idea what this is all about. i thought maybe it refers to david gemmell (based on tags) but here in the comments people refer to a female author.

    ReplyReply

  11. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:05:34

    Maya,

    The female author, Lanaia Lee, copied David Gemmell’s Dark Prince word for word, and then tried to have self published

    See, here is the Dark Prince and here is what she claims to have written.

    ReplyReply

  12. Barbara B.
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:12:43

    This is wild! She’s either got brass balls or is batshit crazy. Or both.

    ReplyReply

  13. Kathryn S
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:16:30

    I try really hard not to comment personally on authors, but that….that is just appalling. There is no hiding it, no defending it. How can she even try to claim it as her own?

    ReplyReply

  14. Kathryn S
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:17:39

    Maya, just take a look at the chapter one excerpt for Gemmell’s book on B&N and then read Lee’s excerpt.

    ReplyReply

  15. Maya
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:17:43

    wowsers.
    perhaps the most manipulative thing is reliance on the hesitation there might be to take action on this, because who wants to be known as the person who was heartless towards someone ill and grieving multiple child losses? which really is no excuse to kidnap someone else’s ‘child’

    ReplyReply

  16. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:21:44

    Do you think she’s counting on the fact that Gemmell is dead? Perhaps she’s so crazy she doesn’t understand that his heirs still own the rights?

    ReplyReply

  17. LorelieLong
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:30:07

    Lemme get this straight: She submitted something to y’all for review?

    ReplyReply

  18. Aoife
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:39:07

    Anonymous said: I see that's still unclear. Here's the breakdown.

    Book from approx. 1950s (guessing, don't remember actual publication date).

    Book from late 80s or early 90s by now-famous NYT-List author contains several paragraphs, set in a nearly identical scene, with words slightly changed but not completely, in a way that makes me believe that it is not just the idea of the scene that is copied but this individual expression.

    I am wondering if Anonymous is thinking of the same book and same author I am. It’s bothered me for years, and every time I see a book by the NYT author I start on another search for a copy of the book that I believe was plagiarized.

    ReplyReply

  19. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:47:39

    Gemmell’s dead? Damn it. I really liked those Troy books. they were pretty good.

    ReplyReply

  20. Bonnie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:57:58

    Does anyone else have a hard time with seeing Ms. Dailey in the best seller section at the store? I cringe everytime I see one of her books because I feel like she’s gotten away (at least in the public viewpoint) with the big NO NO in the world of writing.

    ReplyReply

  21. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:58:44

    Of Atlantis is totally mine. I have the original manuscript, and witnesses to my work. I put two years of my life in this book, the copy right, I own. I am appalled some one would think I am that dishonesy!

    I guess it would take her two years if she typed really, really slow. Wheelchair-bound stroke victim and all…

    ReplyReply

  22. Janice
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:14:19

    Wow, blatant copying. Makes this person look crazy.

    And I’m also really really curious about the author Anonymous is talking about.

    ReplyReply

  23. TeddyPig
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:22:34

    Not plagiarism, It was a Homage! *snort*

    ReplyReply

  24. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:41:16

    I’m just stunned that someone can do this and then not slink away when caught and publicly chastised. I love where she claims to see no similarities between her work and Gemmell's. *roll eyes*

    ReplyReply

  25. raine
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:43:13

    Holy shit.
    I’m trying to think of some excuse.
    There isn’t any.

    ReplyReply

  26. Caro
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:53:01

    Amazing. I’ve been involved in work against plagiarists in fannish circles (where the only payment one gets is the praise of readers) and sadly much of what Jane wrote reads like a checklist of excuses I’ve seen when plagiarism comes to light. And, yeah, the dog ate my homework is often the first excuse.

    ReplyReply

  27. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:55:17

    If she writes from the heart, her heart must beat like this: CTRL + C, CTRL + V, CTRL + C, CTRL + V…

    ReplyReply

  28. azteclady
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 11:55:17

    Hmmm…. perhaps she’s the one who “wants a law suit”

    Amazing, indeed.

    ReplyReply

  29. Meljean
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:20:15

    If she writes from the heart, her heart must beat like this: CTRL + C, CTRL + V, CTRL + C, CTRL + V…

    LMAO!!

    Don’t forget CTRL + H to find and replace the names.

    ReplyReply

  30. vanessa jaye
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:24:53

    Thanks, Ilona and Kathryn. Like Maya was having a hardtime trying to figure out what was what, but after reading the two excerpts…. Holy Shit! That’s some honking big set of brassy ballocks she has. Shameful.

    ReplyReply

  31. LorelieLong
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:26:37

    “Don't forget CTRL + H to find and replace the names.”

    Ah, but she did forget.

    And I second on the LMAO.

    ReplyReply

  32. sallahdog
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:30:58

    I am especially amazed that the author is still claiming its her own work after someone pointed out that she hadn’t changed all the boys names from Alexander, she had left one on line 8….

    I am not always great at spotting plagarism, but this one was completely blatant.. Word for word.. I know that they say there are no really new ideas in the world, but thats just stupid… Besides the fact that the book is obviously written much better than the rest of her website…

    ReplyReply

  33. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:36:42

    Anonymous:

    Any non attributed use of copyrighted material would be plagiarism. In fiction, however, the scenario you describe does appear to be plagiaristic. I.e., merely changing a few words “he said coldly” to “his tone was glacial” within a similar scene, I do believe that would inappropriate.

    The copyright holder has the right to bring a suit for copyright infringement or, I suppose, you could bring a claim for conversion (that’s the civil word for theft) but I don’t know of any other mechanism to punish plagiarism.

    Like Bonnie, I cringe when I see Janet Dailey’s work constantly selling but she does sell so the taint of plagiarism hasn’t really affected her financially it appears and that may be the case with your “anonymous” author.

    ReplyReply

  34. Missy Sawmiller
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:36:48

    Ok, so I write fanfic in my own time in my own journals and maybe share it with friends for laughs, but to outright claim it’s mine? Disgusting…

    It’s a shame the website has been caught up in this. I hope that they try to be more careful in the future. But then again, how does one check all this? This lady really is clueless too… or too stubborn to admit it.

    ReplyReply

  35. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:40:34

    Since “Of Atlantis” is the first of five books, it begs the question as to who the other inspirational authors are. Dark Prince is one of a duology.

    I think the oversharing of the author about her personal tribulations are to make you feel sorry for her and to excuse any actions. I.e., how can you accuse someone who’s had such a bad life of doing anything wrong?

    And yes, Dear Author was given the delightful opportunity to interview this author even though she acknowledged there would be no payment for the interview but we weren’t given an actual review copy. I guess I should have asked for one.

    ReplyReply

  36. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:41:02

    Have any of you even considered that maybe she is the real David Gemmell? Did any of you ever meet David Gemmell when he was living? Didn’t think so.

    The defense rests, your honor.

    ReplyReply

  37. EC Sheedy
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:44:35

    What fascinates me about word theft, is the why of it. Why would a person believe they can get away with it? And why would they want to? It’s like cheating at solitaire, there’s no thrill in the win. But then, I guess there are people who get a thrill from simply “getting away with it.” I just so-o don’t get that.

    ReplyReply

  38. Missy Sawmiller
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:52:11

    I wonder if she really exists or if she is a profile someone set-up to make money. People have to pay to get the full stories, so why not just plagerize a whole bunch or works that seem like they would be popular at the time then hope no one notices. And what’s more pitiful than someone in a wheelchair whose lost all her children? I know that seems mean, but in an online world where less and less is checked offline, it’s a scary possibility. This of course, makes this even more disgusting.

    ReplyReply

  39. Janine
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 12:57:39

    EC Sheedy, I really agree with you. I don’t understand why anybody would *want* to plagiarize. I don’t see the thrill in it, and don’t understand it at all.

    With that said, I’ll admit that I live in fear of unconsciously plagiarizing someone. Word sounds and rhythms really penetrate my head and linger there, especially if I’ve read a particular book over and over.

    I’ve had it happen to me with sentence fragments, that I wrote something which later seemed too familiar to me, and then I realized someone else had written it before! Of course, I immediately take those portions out when that happens. But I dread the possibility that someday that could happen again and I won’t catch that I was copying something I’d read before.

    But so far, it has only happened to me with sentence fragments, and I can’t imagine that it could ever happen with an entire scene! At that point, anyone would have to recognize that the material wasn’t their own. So I don’t see how Lanaia Lee could claim that this material was hers.

    ReplyReply

  40. Laura
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 13:00:00

    Visit her website-she’s also a poet! A very bad poet!

    ReplyReply

  41. Anonymous
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 13:05:59

    Aoife:

    I don’t know if this is the same person–the book is written as a “homage” to another work of fiction, and it is just a homage in that regard, even though the parallels are very clear. I’m fine with people copying ideas, even copying plots. Whatever. People have bitched about this online, but I think that’s just being overly sensitive.

    HOWEVER, that same book contains a scene that feels like it’s lifted from “Cheaper by the Dozen.” The set up for the scene is identical. And there are about ten sentences that map almost perfectly, except for a few word order switches, and a few words changed, e.g. “raspberry trifle” for “apple pie.”

    Are we thinking of the same author?

    ReplyReply

  42. mommyNAP
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 13:21:39

    “Did any of you ever meet David Gemmell when he was living? Didn't think so.”

    Hey – Maybe it’s David Gemmell reincarnated! You know, ’cause he didn’t wanna be dead, didn’t wanna be a baby, he just hopped on in. ‘Cause there was all this unused space in her head.

    “Visit her website-she's also a poet! A very bad poet!”

    Seriously. My friend’s 14yo emo daughter’s a better poet.

    ReplyReply

  43. Jessica Inclan
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 13:43:10

    I feel bad when I take a sentence or paragraph from one of my dead C drive hanging stories and use it in something else. I think this will likely take the wind out of her sails–the being caught, that is.

    There is a writing exercise where you take a famous story and type it out with your own fingers to feel the sentences, to understand the way the author constructed it. Seems to me she might have taken that a bit too far!

    Jessica

    ReplyReply

  44. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:03:19

    If she doesn’t have a mental condition that causes her to be delusional, then I am stymied by such egregious theft. It defies logic.

    ReplyReply

  45. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:10:11

    I’ve been asked to stop harassing the “author” and forbidden to post about it. whoops.

    ReplyReply

  46. Jennifer McKenzie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:12:30

    Whew! That’s appalling.
    Luckily, I read one Janet Dailey Harlequin Presents a million years ago. That cured me for any future purchases.

    ReplyReply

  47. Meljean
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:13:39

    God, Jane! You’re such a meany!

    ReplyReply

  48. Darlene Marshall
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:16:15

    This isn’t harassment. It’s performing a public service.

    ReplyReply

  49. Jennifer McKenzie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:17:02

    Yeah, Jane! How dare you point out when someone steals word for word!

    ReplyReply

  50. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:17:24

    You shouldn’t be mean, Jane. It is not her fault:

    OhPlease: GEMMELL. Although why you should spell the name of the guy you ripped off better than you spell anything else . . .
    Lanaia: When I first started Of Atlantis, I hire a ghost writer Christopher Hill. I see what he did now and for that I aplogize. I was scammed. I apologize to Mr. Hemmel’s memory and his family.

    Just when I think it can’t get more absurd…

    ReplyReply

  51. Jackie L.
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:20:23

    I clicked into the Long Story Short on the sidebar. The publisher’s husband has throat cancer and they don’t have insurance. I’m trying not to laugh at misfortune, but dang! it’s straight out of Mrs. Giggles!

    ReplyReply

  52. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:21:51

    I've been asked to stop harassing the “author” and forbidden to post about it. whoops.

    Why shouldn’t you be allowed to warn potential readers what a delicious, fabulous fraud she is?

    ReplyReply

  53. Julie Leto
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:22:58

    Asked by WHOM???? I cannot abide plagiarism in any form. I’ve been known to move a certain plagiarists books to behind others in bookstores, THAT’s how militant I am. No excuse. NONE. EVER.

    ReplyReply

  54. Alyssa
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:23:57

    Oh, it’s the ghostwriter’s fault! Hmm. Nice try (or not).

    ReplyReply

  55. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:25:50

    How can her voice be original if she is hiring a ghostwriter. And who hires a ghostwriter for a self published book? WTF?

    And yes, I feel terrible about exposing the CTRL-V and CTRL-H writing. That’s why I wish people wouldn’t post their ghostwritten plagiarism for me to mock.

    ReplyReply

  56. Meljean
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:28:04

    A ghostwriter? LOL! She used a ghostwriter to write the story of her heart?

    Christopher Hill, damn you! You have betrayed this woman’s trust! You blew it up! God damn you. Damn you all to hell!

    ReplyReply

  57. Robin
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:30:32

    Why would a virtually unknown author hire a ghostwriter? Isn’t that kind of putting the cart before the horse? Or something like that.

    ReplyReply

  58. Jill Monroe
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:31:45

    All this CTRL-V and CTRL-H is making it hell on Mac users to understand what you’re talking about! If this the same as Apple F?

    ReplyReply

  59. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:33:08

    The ghostwriter who must have written the entire novel, in which she did not change a single (!) word.

    ReplyReply

  60. mommyNAP
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:34:00

    Awww, feel sorry for poor Lanaia. Just think – first her ghost writer turned in a horribly spelled manuscript with comma over load, that can’t even keep the character’s names straight. And then it turned out to be plagarised also! And after she spent two years of her life asking if it was done yet! And the copt right, she owns. Plus all the effort she went through making sure there were witnesses when she hired the ghost writer.

    (And man, watch that site counter climb. Ten times as many hits in one day as she’s gotten her whole, previous time posted.)

    ReplyReply

  61. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:34:09

    I’m trying to keep up here, but Bam keeps distracting me.

    So the woman with the wheelchair, no kids and a unique voice but no money hired a ghostwriter who then plagiarized a popular author.

    If you self-publish a book that another writer plagiarized from another writer, is the book still self-published? Hell, it’s not even self-written. It’s more like an illegal reprinting of an illegal reprinting.

    So much more original than my dog ate it. My ghostwriter did it!

    Or…maybe the ghostwriter’s dog ate it.

    ReplyReply

  62. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:34:20

    CTRL-V – paste
    CTRL-H – search and replace.

    Hey, someone go make an urban dictionary entry and give credit to Bam.

    CTRL-V – plagiarism. as in using the CTRL-V to “write” a novel.

    ReplyReply

  63. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:39:53

    A ghostwriter? F*CK, that totally kills my Lanaia Lee is REALLY David Gemmell theory. Thanks a lot, Lanaia.

    I'm trying to keep up here, but Bam keeps distracting me.

    Is it my subtle wit and razor-sharp intellect?

    Which reminds me: Lanaia (wtf name is that?) totally reminds me of those freakshows on Livejournal who plagiarize fanfic, then when they get caught they say they’re sorry for their poor judgment but they’re dying from cancer and the chemo is messing them up and then they create sock-puppets to vouch for them and make Amazon wishlists asking for Bonne Belle Lipsmackers.

    ReplyReply

  64. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:44:18

    Isn’t that what people in Florida call their three-season rooms?

    ReplyReply

  65. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:46:14

    CTRL-V – plagiarism. as in using the CTRL-V to “write” a novel.

    Or as JR Ward character would say, “Damn, I got so busy Ginsu knifing the Lessers last night that I so tewtally forgot to write my term paper. Looks like I’ll be CTRL-veeing it, yo.”

    ReplyReply

  66. Alyssa
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:50:11

    Here’s her latest:

    Lanaia: I take total responsibility, and under the advice of my attorney, this will be fixed. My stroke, I almost died, I would never intentionally take advantage of the dead. Contact my agent and lawyer

    ReplyReply

  67. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:54:32

    But I might unintentionally take advantage of the dead, and those who are fortunate enough to still be alive – watch out suckas.

    ReplyReply

  68. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:55:06

    My stroke, I almost died, I would never intentionally take advantage of the dead.

    Awww… this reminds me of that one time someone negatively responded to a bad book review and then blamed it on her miscarriage.

    Can’t remember who it is, for the life of me.

    This morning, I ate a whole box of Krispy Kremes creme-filled glaze. My aches and pains from two hours of Pilates the other night, I almost died, I would never intentionally take advantage of Krispy Kreme’s delicious buttery goodness.

    ReplyReply

  69. Miki
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:55:18

    Maybe taking advantage of the living is ok, but she hadn’t realized Gemmell was dead?

    The extra sad bit is that she apparently had to pay a lawyer to help her understand that this is illegal.

    ReplyReply

  70. Jan
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:55:59

    … reminds me of those freakshows on Livejournal who plagiarize fanfic, then when they get caught they say they're sorry for their poor judgment but they're dying from cancer and the chemo is messing them up

    Did you see the one where they used “Hurricane Katrina made me do it”? That’s the most original yet. Check out fandom wank over at journalfen for some lovely ones.

    Even plagiarists’ excuses make no sense. It’s no wonder they can’t come up with a decent plot on their own.

    ReplyReply

  71. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:58:07

    Contact her agent and lawyer? WTF? This just keeps getting better . . . I have no need to contact them, but Gemmell’s heirs might.

    ReplyReply

  72. Alexandra
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 14:58:13

    Here’s the latest latest: “I have erractic hypertension, you keep dogging me I could have another stroke, contact my agent and attorney, I’m sure no one wants mt blood on their hands”

    ReplyReply

  73. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:00:31

    I don’t know if it’s bloodlust or something incited by the free-for-all mocking of this poor, deluded woman, but my inner Beavis just chanted “do it! do it!”

    ReplyReply

  74. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:00:40

    Lame excuses are not limited to fan fiction. If you read the above link to a paper about Nora Roberts and Janet Dailey, you’ll be enlightened with Dailey’s great excuses:

    ‘I' — did not plagiarize. Instead the dirty deed was done by “my essentially random and non-pervasive acts of copying,” Dailey said. “I don't know what that means,” said Nora Roberts.

    and

    Dailey said her “acts of copying” were “attributable to a psychological problem that I never even suspected I had.” Dailey suffered stress when her husband contracted lung cancer and she lost two brothers to cancer. “They had a dog that was 13 years old that died, too,” said Dailey's Los Angeles publicist Sanford Brokaw.

    ReplyReply

  75. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:01:43

    Man I love it when the perp tries to play the victim. Makes me sad that for some reason I can't get on to that message board. Yes, I'm addicted to rubbernecking at train wrecks.

    ReplyReply

  76. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:03:36

    man, excuses won’t fly with my mom at all. like, on Saturday mornings, when she drags me out of bed, yelling “Dios ko, anak, clean your room! You’re too old to have the dirty room of a teenager!” and I’m like, “but my back and head hurt” and she says, “They’ll hurt more if I kick you out of the house and you’re forced to live under a bridge like a troll!”

    ReplyReply

  77. CT
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:13:30

    Her “agent” is a scam agent who has “sold” manuscripts only to vanity publishers, and Christopher Hill (if it’s the same one that was part of Hill & Hill Agency) was a scam agent. This is either very sick or very sad. I’m not sure which.

    ReplyReply

  78. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:14:39

    I don’t think contacting the agent will do any good because that is what I did and was told to “reframe” from harassing and “forbidden” to post. You know how good of a listener I am, right?

    ReplyReply

  79. Lorelie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:14:47

    Okay look – she’s 46 and her beloved Jack Russell Terrier who is her only child is 3, right? And she’s been in a wheel chair since she was 35 due to her stroke. Her hubby’s also in a wheelchair. And I would assume, given the sob-version of her life we’ve already been treated to, that if there was a previous Jack Russell child-replacement that died it would have been mentioned.

    So WHY in her pic, on her front page, does she appear to be STANDING? With not even a HINT of a wheelchair anywhere in sight for either her or the man I presume to be her husband, since he’s snuggled up to her.

    Oh yeah, ’cause she’s a liar.

    ReplyReply

  80. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:16:28

    Hey, Jane, didn’t they teach you in law school how to “reframe” from harassing people? Meany jerk-face!

    ReplyReply

  81. Lorelie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:17:43

    To “reframe” harrassment – to say it in a new way, as the first time wasn’t enough.

    ReplyReply

  82. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:18:35

    I’m not sure I know what “reframe” means.

    ReplyReply

  83. ArkansasCyndi
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:22:10

    Un-freaking- believable.

    How come I’ve been working on my book for a year and no one told me about the CTRL-V method of writing. Think of the time and energy I could have saved. Shoot, I could have written 4 or more, I bet!

    And, I’m having a total knee replacement on Tuesday so if I enter the Golden Heart this year and you think maybe you’ve read my 55 pages somewhere else, just remember, I was down with a bad knee during Oct and Nov. and have pity on me…just give me 9′s and move on to the next story.

    ReplyReply

  84. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:22:44

    Lorelie,

    As much as I hate say this, just because there is no wheel chair Lanaia is not disabled. It may be that she needs the chair some of the time. Given her BMI (and this is not in any way a dig at her person but a simple statement of fact, as I am a plump woman myself), it is highly likely that she is, indeed, disabled.

    ReplyReply

  85. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:23:06

    I'm sure no one wants mt blood on their hands

    Oooh, Mt. Blood? I might have to give in to my OCER&N-PCTRL-V disorder and set a book there.

    ReplyReply

  86. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:23:47

    Man, I am so confused.

    ReplyReply

  87. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:23:59

    Argh. I meant to say “Just because there is no wheel chain in the picture doesn’t mean Lanaia is not disabled.”

    Me idiot. Nuff said.

    ReplyReply

  88. Lorelie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:29:04

    Ok, you definitely have a point ilona. I guess I just focused on where she said “they live totally independently and on their own”, assuming that meant they were supposedly fully wheel-chair bound. But you’re totally right.

    ReplyReply

  89. Kiri
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:33:19

    But she’s an authority. Did anyone read her “Identity” page? She apparently was there when Atlantis fell, designed the Sphinx in Egypt, etc. To quote:

    “Not only do I maintain the secret to eternal life, I can change my appearance as often as I like. Alexander the Great, Imhotep, Napolean, Einstein, who do you think they were? They were me.”

    Given all of those adventures (including the misspelled ones), I’m sure book plagiarizing ranks pretty low in her grand scheme of things. Wait, I hear some rolling from the graveyard…

    ReplyReply

  90. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:38:18

    If she has the secret to eternal life, what does she care if we have Mt. Blood on our hands?

    ReplyReply

  91. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:39:58

    I think that might be a short story, Kiri, or flash fiction of some sort.

    ReplyReply

  92. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:41:05

    “Not only do I maintain the secret to eternal life, I can change my appearance as often as I like. Alexander the Great, Imhotep, Napolean, Einstein, who do you think they were? They were me.”

    I stand by my original theory that Lainaia is David Gemmell, but isn’t aware of it yet, which is why she’s apologizing because she didn’t even realize she was copying… herself!

    ReplyReply

  93. Alexandra
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:42:00

    “Not only do I maintain the secret to eternal life, I can change my appearance as often as I like. Alexander the Great, Imhotep, Napolean, Einstein, who do you think they were? They were me.”

    And she chose to come back as a person struggling with hypertension and strokes. Riiight.

    ReplyReply

  94. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:43:57

    I think that might be a short story, Kiri, or flash fiction of some sort.

    Don’t be the voice of reason, Ann Aguirre. You’re killing my buzz.

    ReplyReply

  95. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:45:56

    I love how people who remember their past lives were never Maggie the chambermaid or Edward the Victorian child who died of tuberculosis before he reached his seventh birthday. Oh no, it’s always Alexander the Great or Elizabeth I or Charlemagne or something.

    ReplyReply

  96. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:49:33

    I can’t help it. I feel a little sorry for her. It’s possible she really did hire some scam artist to write a book for her, so she could show it off to her friends. Vanity, certainly. And then she tried to deny anyone but her had written it because she didn’t want the truth to come out.

    And now, she’s faced with the fact that she bought a book by David Gemmell and tried to pass it off as her own. If that’s true, I can’t imagine how she must feel right now. She must be confused and terrified.

    If she willfully and knowingly copied, then I wouldn’t feel any sympathy for her at all. But at this point, who knows?

    So I can’t poke sticks at someone whose already grievously injured, Dee. Anything I do would just be cruel, considering she’ll be dealt with by Gemmell’s estate agent, one way or another.

    ReplyReply

  97. Sara Dennis
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:50:31

    The message board is apparently no more. I can’t see it anymore, at least.

    ReplyReply

  98. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:50:56

    So I can't poke sticks at someone whose already grievously injured, Dee.

    Aww. *deflated balloon*

    I got carried away. I sowwie. :(

    ReplyReply

  99. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:52:17

    Her “agent” is a scam agent who has “sold” manuscripts only to vanity publishers, and Christopher Hill (if it's the same one that was part of Hill & Hill Agency) was a scam agent.

    So, do we think there’s any chance this woman’s a victim? Let’s say she, like so many other dreamers, answered an ad she found in the back of a writer’s magazine or online. You know, for like the bargain price of $9,995.99 they’ll publish your 57 pages of horror poetry. Oh, and we have this GREAT opportunity for you… They feed her a sad excuse about why the “ghostwriter’s” name can’t be on the book (probably something like he’s a major NYTbestseller under a top-secret pseudonym and his contract won’t allow it), but if we’ll put your name on the book, you publicly claim it as your own and talk about the agony of suffering two years writing it, and we’ll split the money.

    I mean, even though it was a stupid plan, it took a certain amount of intelligence to come up with it. Maybe it wasn’t hers?

    ReplyReply

  100. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:52:42

    I found this:

    “My name is Mary ____ pen name Lanaia Lee. I have a series of books, known as Of Atlantis, possibly the next Harry Potter, according to my literary agent. I am sure you get requests like these all the time, but I have so much faith in this book, I know if you read this fantasy manuscript you would agree. If you take the time to look over the manuscript you won’t be sorry. I’m including my web site and the e-mail address of my agent in case you are interested, Lanaia Lee , web site, my agent’s e-mail address ______________, her name is Cheryl Pillsbury
    Thank you,
    Mary _____ aka Lanaia Lee

    Also, my book is set to be released October 28th. My book is epic fantasy and would make a fantastic movie, especially since fantasy is so popular.”

    ReplyReply

  101. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:55:44

    dude… if she is a victim of a scam…

    damn it, now I have to go to church tonight.

    ReplyReply

  102. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:56:28

    Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware thinks there’s a good chance she was, in fact, scammed by notorious scam agent Christopher Hill. She says it’s ll be on the Writer Beware blog later.

    I still can’t say that excuses the “My book is totally different and I sweated over this for two years and everyone who knows me knows how hard I worked”, when the evidence stared her right in the face. Most people when faced with such a truth would at least take the excerpt down to investigate.

    ReplyReply

  103. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:57:18

    I think it’s a possibility, Shannon.

    She might also be a thief.

    But I have no idea how anyone could prove which it is? Unless she has proof of payment to this Hill character. That’d do it. A cleared check, maybe, or Paypal payment.

    ReplyReply

  104. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 15:57:35

    damn it, now I have to go to church tonight.

    Save me some pew, true?

    ReplyReply

  105. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:04:33

    Save me some pew, true?

    I’ll hold some wafers for you too, ya feel me?

    I’m gonna have to be CTRL-veeing some Hail Ems, dude.

    ReplyReply

  106. azteclady
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:07:08

    So clever… the message board was deleted. Now, I’m sure, no one will know what happened… has happened… is happening… will happen…

    ReplyReply

  107. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:08:06

    I don’t feel sorry for her getting scammed because even if she was scammed, she maintained that she wrote the book and was given the opportunity to explain her situation and refused to come clean.

    Plus, she obviously puts so many personal details out there in order to make you feel sorry for her. Her personal issues were more important that her quality of writing.

    ReplyReply

  108. Michelle
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:11:09

    Nope, not sorry for her at all. When the first notice of the plagerism was posted she should have shut her website down and investigated it, not tried to brazen it out.

    ReplyReply

  109. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:11:45

    Well, wouldn’t she read her text, especially before posting it? The posting of ‘Alexander’ as the wrong character name in the beginning, wouldn’t she have noticed that?

    ReplyReply

  110. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:13:45

    Aww, Anji… busy authors can’t be bothered to read their own manuscripts. Just ask LKH.

    damn. there I go again.

    Idle hands… *sigh*

    I should really be working.

    ReplyReply

  111. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:17:51

    “She maintained that she wrote the book and was given the opportunity to explain her situation and refused to come clean.”

    That was a huge mistake. But I’ve done enough stupid stuff in my life that I can’t condemn her for that. Intentional plagiarism, you bet I could. But pulling a bonehead move and making her sitch worse? Nah. Everybody does that, just not on this scale. Granted, people usually grow out of it. It’s more for teenagers than for 40-somethings.

    ReplyReply

  112. Velma
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:18:56

    Things are getting more interesting: her publisher is apparently incapable of telling the difference between your blog and Making Light, and is now threatening you with lawsuits and “wiccan” tenfold retaliation there. It doesn’t bode well for Lee or Pillsbury.

    ReplyReply

  113. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:22:38

    Ok, I give up. Make fun to your heart’s content. I can’t defend someone who is a party to threatening Wiccan tenfold retaliation.

    That’s mighty, mighty mojo. Cower all ye foolish unbelievers!

    ReplyReply

  114. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:26:44

    Ok, I give up. Make fun to your heart's content. I can't defend someone who is a party to threatening Wiccan tenfold retaliation.

    damn. now I really have to go to church. Not for forgiveness, but for protection.

    Man, I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow with a ten-inch penis.

    ReplyReply

  115. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:27:27

    It seems that people still need primers on slander vs. libel, which is surprising, given how often that card gets played.

    And I wish people would read through their posts more, and check both their spelling and their grammar.

    ReplyReply

  116. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:30:15

    I am way more afraid of the wiccan tenfold retaliation than the lawsuit because I don’t really know what wiccan tenfold retaliation would entail?

    ReplyReply

  117. silmarien
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:30:31

    I’m a member of Legend Readers which is a David Gemmell related forum, we are all suitably stunned that Lee thought she could get away with this blatant act of plagiarism, and now of course we are shaking in our boots that Pillsbury is now going to put some kind of Wiccan hoodoo on us for being ever so “slightly” peeved about this.

    It’s good to see that other people who don’t happen to be fans of Mr Gemmell are as concerned as we are.

    ReplyReply

  118. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:32:55

    I am way more afraid of the wiccan tenfold retaliation than the lawsuit because I don't really know what wiccan tenfold retaliation would entail?

    Your hair and teeth will fall out. And you won’t be able to spell correctly, no matter how hard you try. And you’ll be compelled to plagiarize like it’s going out of style.

    ReplyReply

  119. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:36:16

    I am already a horrible speller, though. Maybe it’s already started.

    ReplyReply

  120. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:37:09

    In general terms it’s a hex that will cause you to suffer 10 times the harm inflicted. I am a little unclear as to how the elements do the math in such cases, however.

    But hives are always a safe bet when it comes to curses. That, and boils.

    ReplyReply

  121. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:38:41

    So OCER&N-PCTRL-V is retaliation, not a disorder. K.

    Who is Pillsbury?

    And are fraud and plagiarism not covered under the Wiccan do no harm thing?

    I thought it was “threefold”. You must have really pissed them off, Jane.

    In which case, I’ll be at church with Bam.

    ReplyReply

  122. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:38:57

    Aren’t the wiccans afraid they’ll have mt [sic] blood on their hands?

    ReplyReply

  123. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:39:05

    In general terms it's a hex that will cause you to suffer 10 times the harm inflicted

    ohnoes… that means someone will blog about Jane and make fun of her for spelling badly and being a mean girl.

    *crickets*

    isn’t that every week?

    ReplyReply

  124. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:40:37

    I’m not a-skeered of any Wiccans. I have country hill magic at my side. I can cure pleurisy with two crabapples, some gingerroot, and bat guano. Take that, pagans!

    ReplyReply

  125. cara
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:42:08

    Her site says Roval Publishing Ltd. is her publisher. So I google and head over there to see what they have to say…..from the home page….

    “We also offer a host of other services during the publishing process such as arranging for the work to be copyrighted, ghostwriting, editing services, and much more.”

    ReplyReply

  126. cara
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:44:05

    so does this mean she bought a legal nightmare?

    ReplyReply

  127. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:48:01

    Will check myself for boils tonight and report back.

    ReplyReply

  128. Amazed
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:48:27

    Sweet Jumping Crickets, she has now added Wiccans to her list of “unfairly linked people who had nothing to do with her idiocy and plagiarism.”

    ReplyReply

  129. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:48:51

    From Making Light:

    Yes she’s in a wheelchair because she suffered three strokes and had six miscarriages. It’s not a ploy, its fact and a hard one for and her husband who suffered permanent injuries leaving him disabled. If anything this should be something to make us stronger, look at what they have succeeded at. Jane should apologize and pray she didn’t mean the lawsuit, because Jane was told by attorney not to post anything related to this issue until we knew the truth, oh well. It shows some people will never grow up.

    Jane, you’re so in trouble.

    ReplyReply

  130. Karen Scott
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:50:37

    Does anyone else have a hard time with seeing Ms. Dailey in the best seller section at the store?

    Yep.

    ReplyReply

  131. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:50:48

    It’s a train wreck and I can’t look away…

    ReplyReply

  132. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:51:16

    I must have missed the attorney email. I did get the “forbidden” and “reframe” one from Cheryl though. Is she also an attorney?

    ReplyReply

  133. tasha
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:54:55

    “Is she also an attorney?”

    Not bloody likely. According to her linkedin page, she has an associate’s degree in electronics.

    ReplyReply

  134. Jules Jones
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:56:54

    Making “Wiccan” threats on Making Light is a really bad idea, given the number of Wiccans amongst the regulars who will be only too happy to set her straight on the religion…

    ReplyReply

  135. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:57:21

    If she is an attorney, wouldn’t she have gotten her concepts right – i.e. libel vs. slander?

    ReplyReply

  136. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 16:59:33

    I think this says it all.

    LINK

    ReplyReply

  137. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:01:43

    Three fold. THREE fold, not ten fold. Couldn’t even get the threat right…

    ReplyReply

  138. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:03:05

    From Making

    I am sure many people ( especially in Europe, Scotland in particular) remember Hill and Hill Literary Agency, especially for being well known for their scams. Don’t beleve me check out some Scottish newspapers. You know, I think every one should just stop and take a deep breath. Yes, I am guilty of listening to the advice of Christopher Hill, but that is the only mistake I made. I went back through old files I had saved and I have irrefutable proof, he coached me and did the ghost writing. I even have the receipts where I paid him for his services. My attorny told me because of the proof I have, I did no wrong and those that we to trash my name, well just hope you don’t say anything bad about my publisher or I. My attorney is threatning to sue, because for once in my life, being a pack rat paid off.
    LANAIA

    Lanaia, JUST LAY DOWN AND PLAY DEAD!

    ReplyReply

  139. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:04:25

    uh-oh. i totally effed that above post up. Jane, a little help?

    ReplyReply

  140. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:06:02

    I’d never been to Making Light, but there are some wicked funny people over there. And I’m getting nothing done today. I haven’t even fed my kids yet.

    So she’s Wiccan, but not a witch…per se. So maybe non-witchy Wiccans get more folds.

    ReplyReply

  141. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:07:17

    thx, jane.

    I will pray to the Scribe Virgin to protect you from being punished ten-fold.

    ReplyReply

  142. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:09:58

    I would just like to know this:

    Is the attorney in question like that boy I totally dated in high school? You know, he lives in Canada. You don’t know him. I met him at summer camp.
    Srsly.

    ReplyReply

  143. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:14:00

    I would just like to know this:

    Is the attorney in question like that boy I totally dated in high school? You know, he lives in Canada. You don't know him. I met him at summer camp.

    Was his name George Glass?

    Man… like Shannon, I haven’t gotten anything done today.

    And Supernatural is on tonight.

    ReplyReply

  144. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:16:23

    You know, I felt bad for her when she talked about being scammed. But both she and her agent are making things worse with their postings. And I wish they would spell check.

    ReplyReply

  145. Meljean
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:16:47

    Also from Making Light and the “agent”:

    “I do believe in the 3 fold, I haven’t made an offical threat yet, just words for now.

    My lawyer’s are highly recommended and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone or anything.

    My writing is the Underworld, not Law.”

    Jane, you watch out. When it’s official, it’s like the power of the Underworld!!

    ReplyReply

  146. Shawn Struck
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:18:20

    x-posted from Making Light:

    Oh, it gets better…

    “lania” posted a poem that she says appears in On Atlantis:

    “Lost so long ago, almost totally forgotten by mankind, almost lost to various chapters, of time, itself
    The thought of something so magical, has no room in the rat race of man today
    Through out all ancient societies, you will find reference to the amulet, and all it’s magic and wealth
    But something of this magnitude, has no place in the rushed life of mortal man today, as he works, as he plays”

    God in heaven, there’s so much more than the excerpt above. I tried reading further, but my teeth tried to wrap around my head & eat my brain.

    ReplyReply

  147. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:19:30

    When it's official, it's like the power of the Underworld!!

    And when you’ve got Len Wiseman, Kate Beckinsale, and Scott Speedman backing you up, no power in the ‘verse can stop you.

    Yes, that’s right, I just mixed up 2 pop culture references.

    *waiting to be struck by lightning*

    ReplyReply

  148. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:21:48

    You know, I felt bad for her when she talked about being scammed.

    Ditto, Anji. But I let that go when the stupid hit the fan.

    ReplyReply

  149. Meljean
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:22:49

    *waiting to be struck by lightning*

    Actually, I’m kind of turned on.

    …or maybe I just need a seat on that pew, too.

    ReplyReply

  150. emmigeek
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:24:56

    silmarien
    Posted: Oct 11th, 2007 at 4:30 pm
    116

    I'm a member of Legend Readers which is a David Gemmell related forum, we are all suitably stunned that Lee thought she could get away with this blatant act of plagiarism, and now of course we are shaking in our boots that Pillsbury is now going to put some kind of Wiccan hoodoo on us for being ever so “slightly” peeved about this.

    It's good to see that other people who don't happen to be fans of Mr Gemmell are as concerned as we are.

    This may come out wrong but the author of the original work isn’t the issue, the blatant stealing of someone elses hard work is the issue, in my opinion. :D

    ReplyReply

  151. Daybert
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:26:03

    Interesting enough, according to her live journal (http://lanaia74.livejournal.com/1764.html) her book, Of Atlantis, was going to be released on Oct. 28th. Such a shame we found out now. Had it been 3 weeks from now, she’d have been really nailed for life!

    ReplyReply

  152. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:36:35

    MjB, do you notice everywhere we go, we just bring it all to a new level of geekery?

    But I let that go when the stupid hit the fan.

    I’m gonna go to church for an entirely different reason now. Namely, protection against the sooper-speshul wiccans with enough magick who to put a ten-fold hex on a person.

    ReplyReply

  153. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:37:52

    have you guys noticed the impact of snark is lessened if it’s riddled with typos and misspellings?

    ReplyReply

  154. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:37:52

    My lawyer's are highly recommended and I wouldn't trade them for anyone or anything.

    Her lawyer’s WHAT are highly recommended? Is it a Mad-Lib?

    My lawyer’s _________ are highly recommened and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone or anything. (Naughty Noun)

    ReplyReply

  155. Shawn Struck
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:40:00

    protection against the sooper-speshul wiccans with enough magick who to put a ten-fold hex on a person.

    …Anita?

    ReplyReply

  156. Lee
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:42:32

    It seems that people still need primers on slander vs. libel, which is surprising, given how often that card gets played.

    Fortunately, J. Jonah Jamison gives us a handy mnemonic in the first Spider-Man movie.

    Robbie: “But Mr. Jamison… that’s slander!”

    Jamison: “It is not!” [beat] “Slander is spoken. This is libel.”

    ReplyReply

  157. Victoria Strauss
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:46:14

    A slightly different take on the situation, from Writer Beware.

    ReplyReply

  158. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:50:55

    Thanks Victoria. I do have a question – wouldn’t you still read through a manuscript you received back and have noticed different character names, i.e. Alexander instead of Archimedes? And wouldn’t anyone else reading through the text notice something like that too?

    ReplyReply

  159. emmigeek
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 17:51:18

    ahhhhhhh!!!

    interesting.

    ReplyReply

  160. Daybert
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:13:24

    Besides, if she loves to write as she says on her bio, why the hell would she need a ghost writer to do the job for her?

    ReplyReply

  161. Jackie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:21:21

    Of all the days to not check DA… ARGH.

    ReplyReply

  162. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:24:31

    I would feel something for her if she didn’t try to pass off someone else’s work (i.e., the ghostwritten work if that is true) as her own. She has purchased a manuscript of someone else’s work and claimed it as her own. She is doing publicity for it. She emailed me with the request for publicity for this work and proceeds to use her disability and past tragedies as the reason we should be behind her literary works.

    She claims that her work is unique. She claims to write from her heart. These are all very deceptive statements. Plus, it is hard to feel sorry for someone who is threatening me with lawsuits and boils.

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  163. Robin
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:24:50

    A slightly different take on the situation, from Writer Beware.

    But that still doesn’t answer the question of why this woman and her agent would rush to put out a ms that came from an outed scam artist. I mean, beyond reading the thing, what would make you TRUST it, let alone insist it’s all your work?

    What’s emerging as the most interesting issue to me is this issue of ghostwriters for POD “writers” — I mean, doesn’t that sort of defeat the whole ‘author’ concept? Are these outfits basically low-rent packaging companies (like the one that worked with K. Viswanathan)?

    There just seem to be so many intellectual honesty issues here it’s difficult to untangle them all.

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  164. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:25:00

    So the two-year toiling was not on the book, but on making the Paypal payments.

    And so, even after learning her “ghostwriter” was a scumbag scam artist, she didn’t read the manuscript? and note 1) the name slip-up and 2) that the style had to have been different if it was only one chapter. And even though she knew about the scam to the extent she’d entered into communications with third parties about it prior to today, she still reacted with outrage and claims of innocence when the plagiarism was brought to light?

    If I knew a scam artist had given me a manuscript and then I was accused of plagiarism, I think I would have put up a notice saying I was investigating the allegations and would comment later. I understand she’d be reluctant to admit the book of her heart had been written by a crook for $400 a month, but two and two are still coming up five here.

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  165. Michelle
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:27:26

    How sad that this may be causing David Gemmell’s family pain. They deserve the sympathy, not the idiot and her idiot publisher. She had a chance to apologize but she hides behind empty threats, insults and her infirmity.

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  166. emmigeek
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 18:53:40

    #164 could it be that she is not the one actually responding to these. That it is in fact her ‘agent’?

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  167. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:00:30

    I pressured author Ilona Andrews into letting me say that she was the one who caught the plagiarism after she read the link I sent her so we really have Ilona’s great memory to thank and her willingness to speak up.

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  168. Victoria Strauss
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:04:32

    I do have a question – wouldn't you still read through a manuscript you received back and have noticed different character names, i.e. Alexander instead of Archimedes?

    There was just the one slipup–easy enough, perhaps, to miss when proofreading. Otherwise, all the character names, throughout the chapter, were changed to match Lanaia’s.

    I agree it can be hard to feel sympathy for people who collude in their own deception, and I for one am seriously sick of all the desperate shilling that passes for self-promotion among fake-published writers. But honestly, I believe Lanaia, and I don’t think she deserves the abuse people are heaping on her. Especially, it’s not fair to dump on her for claiming a ghostwritten manuscript as her own–she sure isn’t alone in doing that, as many bestselling authors can attest (also, judging by the synopsis portions of the manuscript, she provided a lot of material for a ghost to work with). It’s great to be able to feel justified in saying about one fake-published author what you’d like to say about all of them, but at this point it seems like gratuitous meanness to me.

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  169. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:09:04

    But that still doesn't answer the question of why this woman and her agent would rush to put out a ms that came from an outed scam artist.

    Her “agent” is the owner of a vanity press and a Publishamerica author. So, about as useful as a literary agent as my almost-three-year-old.

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  170. ilona andrews
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:28:53

    Victoria,

    The Gemmell fans on the Legend Board reached the same conclusion. They are a very decent bunch and don’t want to kick her when she is down.

    That was part of the reason why I couldn’t either email her or post about it for awhile. I mean, I’m not usually lost for words, but I mostly only came up with incoherent profanity, peppered with threats. So I thought, sleep on it, right? Got up in the morning, wasn’t any better. By that point Jane started an email exchange and she was able to be more detached and rational.

    It’s evening now, and I am still very very mad and very tired. I understand that you want to give Lanaia the benefit of a doubt, and I will probably agree with you a week. But right now, I am just going to sit here and quietly be angry. Not the most rational reaction. Sorry. I can’t help it.

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  171. Gennita Low
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:35:07

    my nAM IZ PASTED ON YAY

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  172. Has
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:37:22

    Well speaking as a person who has a disability I can’t believe she used her situation/disability as a defense- I really don’t have any sympathy at all with her predicament and I hate people who have done this (and in some instances I have seen this happened) Even if she was scammed or not and using the woe is my life excuse is a crock of dren ! Most people who have disabilities have to cope with situations and in some cases prejudices but they learn to adapt and don’t have this sucky attitude. Using her predicament is a cop out because she got caught, she was selling copywrited material she couldn’t be arsed to write herself- You don’t blame your disability or situation. And you don’t take the easy way out either by hiring Tom, Dick and Harry steal r us publishing. You would think with her life experience she could have a wealth of material to use. And the ironic thing is that in my experience, as a disabled person you have to become determined and persevere with something you want and you learn from that- this involves able bodied people as well in all things that is called life. You live you learn sometimes shit happens sometimes good things come along but to attain real worth and goals you have to work for it and never take the easy way because it always ends up biting you in the butt. I never meant this post to be this preachy or serious but I hate people who use their disability for things that go wrong.

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  173. Robin
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:42:07

    No one beyond the actual players will ever know what *really* happened. But what disturbs me is this whole culture of authorship where one doesn’t even have to be the original writer of material sold under the title “author.” Sure, we’re all familiar with celebrities who hire ghost writers to write their memoirs or pen their great American novel idea, but this seems substantively different to me. Of course I’m not particularly comfortable with these professional packaging companies and the whole idea of corporately produced fiction, either. But in a case like this, and without picking on any individual, it seems to me that when you already have such a permissive use of an access to “ghostwriters” that you are inviting a certain level of intellectual dishonesty and potential copyright infringement into the mix. I mean, there’s a reason that copyright infringement is measured in the actual language of one’s expression. But it seems we’re at a place where *authors* are becoming distinct from *writers*, and that bothers me.

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  174. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:43:11

    BTW, Jane, if you want help with that “curse” from some actual pagans, let me know.

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  175. Anji
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:43:35

    [quote] There was just the one slipup-easy enough, perhaps, to miss when proofreading. Otherwise, all the character names, throughout the chapter, were changed to match Lanaia's. [/quote]

    I do feel bad for her being scammed. And I can understand that you can have one slip-up. But, especially in a case where the entire first chapter comes from someone else, wouldn’t you read through carefully? Very very carefully? And if you decide to keep the content, wouldn’t you make it match the rest of your voice?

    And the ghostwriter argument – if it isn’t just your work, and someone tells you that there is plagiarism – why wouldn’t you check things out instead of accusing people back, and using your health as an argument? And I still feel uncomfortable with someone claiming a ghostwritten work as originally completely their own. Plus, as Robin said, if the ghostwriter is an outed scam artist – why would you completely trust that ms?

    I do feel sorry for her. But that’s also tempered by her and her agent’s postings. I mean, making Wiccan threats? (Plus, would it hurt to check for grammar and spellings?) And, if she knows that the excerpt posted on her website is plagiarized, why wouldn’t she take it down and post some sort of apology/acknowledgment?

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  176. December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:43:35

    Forgot the Lol.

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  177. Shannon
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:47:21

    When the witchcraft threats start flying, things start going downhill. And sure, that’s not the “author” spouting words like tenfold and Underworld, but part of the business of being a professional writer is choosing the people who will work with and represent you and your work—agent/editor/publisher.

    If you can master Paypal, you can do a Google search.

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  178. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:53:41

    December – no boils have yet shown up so I think I’m safe. I’ll let you know though. It kind of reminds me of the Kill Bill episodes and the “five fingers of death” (which he borrowed) instead it’s like fifteen fingers of death so I figure some of those fingers of death or curses must cancel each other out.

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  179. Jackie
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 19:56:40

    …part of the business of being a professional writer is choosing the people who will work with and represent you and your work-’agent/editor/publisher.

    Exactly, Shannon. Exactly. (Even when “your work” is ghostwritten.)

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  180. Ann Aguirre
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:01:40

    I felt sorry for her at first, as already stated. But I can’t sustain sympathy for someone who lies when given a chance to come clean. I can’t respect someone who tries to feign ignorance when their involvement in something isn’t what it appears — and what’s more, other people know about it. Lying always makes a situation worse. Always.

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  181. Michelle
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:04:59

    Very well sad Has.

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  182. Michelle
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:06:07

    Sorry, I meant very well SAID Has.

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  183. bam
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:11:11

    *raising the roof for Ann Aguirre*

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  184. Jan
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:38:04

    Lying always makes a situation worse. Always.

    As does threatening anyone with black magic LOL. It would be one thing if she’d come on and simply apologized and told her story. But she reacted, and is still reacting, the way children do when caught with their hands in the cookie jar: Denials and excuses with gradual modifications until you feel people begin to soften, then focusing upon those angles where people are giving in. She still seems unwilling to take responsibility.

    I feel no pity for someone who cannot bother to research a business she is getting into. Maybe the brighter among the unaware will pay attention to this and save themselves and others some headaches.

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  185. Jane
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 20:44:09

    I think it would also help if she actually removed references to her five book series and the excerpt which contains the plagiarism.

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  186. K. Z. Snow
    Oct 11, 2007 @ 23:35:59

    It's like cheating at solitaire, there's no thrill in the win.

    Or like pretending to reach orgasm when you masturbate.

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  187. bam
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 01:19:30

    Or like pretending to reach orgasm when you masturbate.

    K.Z. Snow for the win!

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  188. Raines Secret Garden » DUPLICITY?
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 02:35:08

    [...] post is at DEAR AUTHOR. Warning—there are a ton of comments to a story that gets stranger and stranger as it [...]

  189. Jules Jones
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 03:01:04

    I do feel bad for her being scammed. And I can understand that you can have one slip-up. But, especially in a case where the entire first chapter comes from someone else, wouldn't you read through carefully? Very very carefully? And if you decide to keep the content, wouldn't you make it match the rest of your voice?

    Anji, it’s quite possible that she can’t even see the difference in style. I’m *not* trying to be bitchy here. There are a lot of people who are completely tone deaf to such things, and who quite genuinely can’t see the difference between between something like Gemmell’s work and the typical book from a vanity press. (I say typical, because alas there are also good authors with good books who get caught by vanity presses.) Such people are likely to fall victim to the many literary scams.

    There’s a fascinating article referenced by an old Making Light discussion about literary scams:

    “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”

    Abstract
    People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.

    http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

    PDF, but you can also use Google to read it in html if you search on the paper’s title.

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  190. Jules Jones
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 03:02:43

    And apparently I can’t proof-read long blocks of text…

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  191. Sarah McCarty
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 04:53:42

    “Plus, it is hard to feel sorry for someone who is threatening me with lawsuits and boils.”

    I give up. *cleaning coffee off the screen for the third time.* LOL! Forget the caffeine. I’ll just let laughter wake me up.

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  192. Chris Tri Stevenson
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 05:20:23

    Wow, this is a doozy. Hill was a known scammer and that’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. What we need to find out is HOW MANY people have used Hill for a ghost. Just one more writer, with testimony that puts Hill’s ink on their manuscript, would be enough for me to vindicate (somewhat) this poor woman. Surely, there has to be somebody out there that had a similar experience. If not, things look a bit more dubious. Now if Victoria has these records of Hill ghosting for others, then I tend to lay the major part of it on him.

    However, WHAT in the hell was she thinking? Was she really that naive? Could the stars in her eyes have struck her down so blindly?

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  193. Nora Roberts
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 05:40:11

    Holy shit.

    ~I don't feel sorry for her getting scammed because even if she was scammed, she maintained that she wrote the book and was given the opportunity to explain her situation and refused to come clean.

    Plus, she obviously puts so many personal details out there in order to make you feel sorry for her. Her personal issues were more important that her quality of writing.~

    Word.

    Also word to Ann. Lying always makes it worse–and excuses and threats and whining scrape any sympathy off my conscience.

    It’s three-fold, for the goddess’s sake–and no genuine Wiccan would threaten anyone this way. An it harms none.

    I’m not going to church with Bam and Shannon, but maybe they’d say a little prayer for me. Never hurts.

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  194. Catherine
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 06:23:06

    Wow, I didn’t check this site for a day and this happens! I have a really hard time feeling sympathy for someone who responds to allegations like that. She didn’t respond that an investigation would start immediately, she kept saying that her work was original and that she wrote it herself. Then when more evidence is brought to light she says a ghost writer did it. I don’t really like the concept of a ghost writer anyways, but if you use one own it. Her story kept changing… It just left a squicky taste in my mouth about her. I’m not inclined to believe her IMHO.

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  195. Catherine
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 06:25:21

    I just reread that and realized that I changed tenses in the middle of my post. Sounds really weird…

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  196. Nora Roberts
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 06:40:08

    I’ve had some, hmm, experience with plagiarists. The litany here follows the usual:

    This is my own work. How dare you?
    I didn’t do it on purpose.
    My lawyer’s going to get you.
    It’s not my fault. I was stressed/desperate/ill/mislead/fill in the blank.

    My favorite of these from my own experience is: My dog died.

    Oh, well, then, help yourself to anything I’ve written!

    However, the ghostwriter did it and the weirdly inarticulate pretend Wiccan agent are entertaining additions to the routine.

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  197. Velma
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 06:42:30

    Jan (at #184), I agree with you about the lying making it worse; and Jules (at #189), you’re right about it being possible that someone simply is style-deaf. (I was writing buddies with a style-deaf woman for a while, and it hurt my brain.)

    My partner and I have been discussing this, and while he’s of the “She’s disabled, and has been badly deceived, and we should not pick on her” school, I am more of the “Yes, but she lied, and blustered, and threatened, and sniveled, and tried emotional blackmail, and so my sympathy is very very limited” school. It does remind me, though, that there are people out there who don’t really know how writing and publishing work, and can be taken in… and it makes me wonder what *I* don’t know about, and where I could be taken in. (Though I’d like to think that I’d be smart enough to do research first.)

    By the way, you are an interesting and articulate bunch of folks, and will be winding up on my regular reading list, so some good has come out of this. Thank you!

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  198. Nora Roberts
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 06:48:53

    ~But it seems we're at a place where *authors* are becoming distinct from *writers*, and that bothers me.~

    Oh-oh, Robin and I agree again. Maybe we’ve been cursed by black magicks.

    The difference, to me, is there are those who want to write and be published, and there are those who want to be published. The second group doesn’t care how, doesn’t want to do the work, pay the dues, hone the craft. All they want is their name on a book.

    They want to be an author, but see no reason to become a writer first.

    I don’t get it, but that’s how it strikes me.

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  199. ilona andrews
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 07:10:51

    “”I've had some, hmm, experience with plagiarists. The litany here follows the usual:

    This is my own work. How dare you?
    I didn't do it on purpose.
    My lawyer's going to get you.
    It's not my fault. I was stressed/desperate/ill/mislead/fill in the blank. “”

    Oh Dear God, that’s almost to the letter how it went this time. Except this one also had a variation of “I have hypertension and if you keep hounding me, I will have a stroke. You don’t want my blood on your hands!”

    Not only she is a fraud, but she actively offered her freelancing services, which also makes her a scammer, since she was using a ghostwritten book (supposedly) as advertisement.

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  200. Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » Google Notebook Updates & Christopher Hill MegaScam
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 07:16:22

    [...] Wow. I hope that you all read the latest entry over at Writer Beware about a MegaScam pulled off by “agent” Christopher Hill. You should also check out the original plagiarism evidence posted at Dear Author. [...]

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