Monday, May 08, 2006

A Fake

You know I cried when the public was informed that a book by an aspiring young writer was plagiarized. As a woman who waited more than 20 years to step out and begin a career in writing, my spirits were let down.

When I first had the desire to have a writing career, I didn’t think it would be feasible. I had a child to raise alone and felt it was too risky. After my son grew up, I went back to school, got the degree, and began writing for a living. It was odd this incident happened when it did. I have gone back to school once more to obtain a Master’s degree. One of my classes this past semester was in press law. I had chosen to write about plagiarizing for my one and only assigned paper. Lo and behold, another writer had committed this sin.

I kept thinking, did she not know? Sure, she was young and inexperienced but, as she pursued the field of writing, I know she was told plagiarizing was unacceptable. She claims she had no clue that was what she was doing. It was stored somewhere in the back of her memory cells in her brain. Hogwash! I am in the middle of menopause and I can remember if I read something before. I may not remember where I read it but I do remember I did read it elsewhere.

This young girl was also still in school like me. She heard over an over, in each and every class, not to even think about plagiarizing someone else’s work as she did her papers. Did she think it had nothing to do with her own personal musings? Bull____. She really thought no one would notice. But with a two-book deal and the amount of money I heard she got, the publishers had planned to make sure as many people as possible would read her book. In doing so, you can bet, somebody, somewhere, would notice the copies from another book. I mean, my God, the books were in the same category. If her book was appealing, the book she copied from was also read by the same people. Duh!

Anyway, this hurt me so much because I waited and waited for my chance to do what she got a chance to do early. An opportunity like hers is not a dime a dozen. What did she do? She blew it. Now every publisher that takes on an upcoming, potentially rising star of the writing circuit will check, recheck, and check again each and every line the new writer writes. Why? Trust. It is that simple, no trust, no sales for a bad reputation. Her publisher lost a lot of money on this deal. They say she had to give back her advance. Yet, it still can’t correct the reputation of the publisher because someone on the outside found the problem. It was their job to read the darn book and make sure it contained her words and her words only.


Blogger Mikey said...

After hearing about this writer, I wanted to beleive that she was indeed innocent, or moreover, guilty of absent mindedness. However, after finding out she did it a second time, I believe as you do and realized she screwed it up for everyone.

1:38 PM  

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