Obviously she just copied the general concepts and then wrote her own books, right? Nope. That would indicate some kind of integrity. She wasn't inspired by these authors.
She STOLE from them.
The fact that I know, love, and respect Becky McGraw has no bearing on how disgusted and angry I am. That I've read and enjoyed so many of Opal Carew's books doesn't make me more inclined to shout about this from the highest platforms I can reach. It is my love of books, both as an author, and a reader, that makes this whole situation so damn repulsive.
EVERY single reader that picked up one of her books has been cheated. The authors she stole from--and there may be more, so I urge you to look through the books this person still has on Amazon--have been violated. This isn't a case of one community of romance writers against another. This involves us all.
I'm a little shocked that the story has been so slow in gaining public attention, but finally word is getting out. I choose to believe people wanted all the fact before they started gathering pitchforks and heaving people up on giant stakes. Which is always a good idea. This sets a precedent, and depending on how it's handled, accusations could start flying left and right.
One example that set a precedent before this is 50 Shades of Grey, which started out as Twilight fan fiction. I won't get into a debate about where that falls on the fine line between plagiarism and 'inspiration'. Many will say it was changed enough to be in the clear and Stephanie Meyer didn't pursue it. So basically, like it or not, case closed.
However, in this case, there's no doubt.
In fact, there's an admission from the thief herself:
Responding to the Guardian in a statement, Harner said she realised she had “made mistakes”. “I own them, and I will deal with the consequences. In transforming two M/F romance stories into an M/M genre, it appears that I may have crossed the line and violated my own code of ethics,” she wrote.Full Article Here: Prolific Romantic Fiction Writer Exposed As A Plagiarist
“For those who know me best, you know that responsibility for my actions begins and ends with me. I will also add there are some personal and professional issues I’ve had to deal with in the last year that have stretched me in ways that haven’t always been good for me. I write about certain concerns related to military service for a reason; however, I am not offering that as an excuse. I just think whenever someone acts so out of character, it’s helpful to ask why.”
My immediate thought on reading that? BULLSHIT.
Pure bullshit. I've said this before and I will say it again. We all live through our own hell and that is never a reason to use or abuse anyone else. The response shows how calculated and heartless this person can be. She made money off of someone else's hard work. And she wants us to ask 'Why?'
I encourage you to look up Becky McGraw and Opal Carew and show your support by buying their books if you're so inclined. There will be other ways to support them and I'll be sharing that as soon as I have more information.
As for Becky, I have to say she is handling this with so much class, I admire her even more than I already did.
When asked for her comment, this is what she had to say:
"At least her excuses were more creative than her writing."
Links to original articles by Jenny Trout:
Don’t Do This Ever (an advice column for writers): Plagiarism Warning edition
Another book plagiarized by Laura Harner