Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fated: The Vampire Plagiarism?

So... there's a new "Author Behaving Badly" in the neighborhood and her name is Alexandra Anthony.

Recently it was brought to light that Ms Anthony had plagiarized the True Blood fanfiction Pretty Kitty by fanfiction author ficlit78. Ficlit78 had published Pretty Kitty on in February 2011.

A little over a year later, Anthony published Fated, the first book in the The Vampire Destiny series, in May 2012. She continued putting out books in the series until June 2013 and was set to release a fifth book entitled Rapture in April 2014, but this never came to fruition. During this time the series not only got a mention in USA Today, but also apparently won a few awards as well. I cannot find any records of the books actually winning any awards, although I did find where Ascend was nominated for a Book Junkie's Choice Award.

Her plagiarism went fairly unnoticed until a few days ago when ficlit78 posted a blog article entitled Plagiarism for Profit, where she described finding that Anthony had been plagiarizing her work and demanding that Anthony remove any and all copies of TVD series from any storefronts she'd been publishing through.

It didn't take long for people to discover this via book review sites like Goodreads and some, like reviewer Chrome, posted comparisons of the two works and links for readers to see the comparisons themselves. In one link Anthony posted a book snippet that matches up with chapter six of Pretty Kitty. Anthony has removed the page, but I was able to pull up a cached copy (which you can find here). It's pretty clearly plagiarized and I've taken two specific sections from the cached webpage and Pretty Kitty, chapter 6. (I took the text directly from the page.) While Anthony changed a little here and there, it's still pretty obviously taken directly from Pretty Kitty. 

I can't help but be reminded of a similar thing that happened a few years ago with How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. The author of that work lifted heavily from several authors and tried to claim that she did it subconsciously. (eyeroll) I wonder if Anthony will try claiming the same thing. Either way, it's always infuriating to see someone try to gain fame from someone else's hard work. It's not only an insult to the original author of the work that Anthony (and others) don't think that they will be caught, but it's also an insult to anyone who reads it. Not only do they assume that you (the reader) won't pick up on the plagiarism (ie, they think that they're too slick, the source material might be too obscure, and you're too dense to know otherwise), but they're also telling you that they don't think that you're worth the hard work it takes to write an original work. They're not publishing this for you to enjoy and they're not thinking of you at all. They see you as nothing more than a money tree that they can shake down for dollars and the occasional ego boost. It's absolutely disgusting, in my opinion.

So far the book has been removed from several different sites, although I do note that Barnes & Nobles is still selling ebook copies of Fated and Illusion. I'm going to hope that this is only because the website is slow at removing items from their shelves.

Further Reading: