16 March 2011

On M.

I'm an easy going writer, or at least I'd like to think I am. Sometimes I pull other people close in order to share my universe and fundamentals with me. I pit my characters against other people's characters. And sometimes, I get burned.

The letter "M" by itself is no big deal. I have two people I know whose names start with M, and who sign their letters as simply M. And then I have "M".

M is a character who has a name of Magnus. He has been shared with a few writing partners and not so much the public because I'm working on Crooked Fang. Imagine my shock when a former writing companion decided to use that mechanic in her newest release.

My M goes only by M. I can prove it. He even has a Twitter account. He has gone by only M for a long stinking time, and this author couldn't wait to prove that it doesn't mean a damn stuck it in her excerpt not once, but twice in one page. I'm gobsmacked.

There have been other infractions of course, little things I've let slide. But this M thing? It really burns me raw. Really raw. Why? Because I've used it for years and now it's being used in a book that also has a title that runs a parallel to M's little nickname. A M/M book.

So you, author. I hope you're proud of what you did there. There's a fine line between inspiration and absolute imitation.

Watch yourself.



Genevieve Jack said...

Wow. Really. Whoever this is needs to turn off the TV and try to think for themselves. It might hurt at first but with practice I'm sure they can create an original thought.

quin browne said...

Carrie--nothing hurts more than betrayal. Nothing. I wish I could give you a magic phrase or chant that would change it all or give you ease... I don't. Heck, I'd use it myself!

Karma does take a pound of flesh (I call it Shylock)...all you can do is take that breath, believe in yourself, and let the Universe deal with it all.


Anthony Rapino said...

Really shitty thing to do. I'm sorry and I hope things work out. I don't know how someone could just rip another writer off like that.

Tony Noland said...

Ugh, such a rotten thing to have dropped on your doorstep.

It's a cliche that emerging writers are paranoid about people stealing their ideas. Stuff like this shows the vein of truth that gives rise to it.

Stina said...

M is untouchable. Individuals who would think otherwise truly never understood him at all despite claims to the contrary, and such a display is insulting and embarrassing. Nothing comes close to M. Nothing. This particular author is a hack artist with nothing to offer beyond perceived shock value, and I applaud your restraint in not naming the individual. I don't think I'd have such control in this particular situation.

To The Author Who Has Not Been Named: ...really? You think you aren't being watched?

Davin Malasarn said...

I know how very frustrating this can be. It is unfair, and it shouldn't have happened to you. If it makes you feel any better, I do still believe that the originator of ideas will always go further than the the stealer of ideas.

Kerry Allen said...

Saying a few four-letter words and derivatives thereof on your behalf.

Scath said...

I think it's a good thing you said something about that.

[Hugs] =)

R.S. Bohn said...

Here via Angel Zapata.

I'm so sorry you are going through this. My stomach twisted to read it, though I applaud your grace in taking the higher road and not outing the individual, which would surely lead to a firestorm directed at them.

Last year, I wrote a short story. Another writer read it, left effusive, positive comments on it, then went on to write "more" of the short story, continuing it as she saw fit.

She then sold it to a zine. My characters -- names, situations, defining characteristics of the story itself -- and presented as hers. She didn't ask, and I found out when she blogged that she'd had a story up somewhere, and I went and read the piece and was shocked to find out what she'd done. It took a while to get it pulled, and I was distraught.

She then tried to get the story accepted elsewhere, but this time, wrote in her submission letter that it was a "homage" to me. The editor is a friend of mine and contacted me about it, so luckily, she was shut down there.

Using other people's characters, even when you put them in another place, is fanfic. I'm shocked whenever someone would think to do this without the original author's express consent. And to present it as your own work and sell it?

Lower than low.

Again, my sympathies. I hope whoever did this to you will see your entry and be ashamed of themselves.

Heather said...

I can't really add much that hasn't already been said, but this makes me sick. In an industry where we already have to work our asses off and choose very carefully who we trust, to not even be able to trust people who are or have been our friends is just frightening. Like Christina said, I don't know that I'd have shown the restraint you did and not called the person out as someone who should not be trusted or worked with, but I understand your decision.

I hate that this happened to you. Horror and gore are not always my cup of tea, but there is such artistry and passion in what you create that for any bit of it to just be carried off and cheapened makes me feel like I'm looking at a slashed painting in a gallery.

John Wiswell said...

I can only imagine how incensed you were. Glad Angel Zapata spread the word a little - I'll tweet this out, too. Do you think there's any way you can impede this IP thief?

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Oh Carrie,

I anger/seethe with you at lower-stupidity scumbags without the full minds to use their own. Inspiration vs petty desperation is the only validation for lasting writes. I'll join the Angel on high and the wise Wiswell to spread "beware" of a lowly varmint in WebTown.

If it helps any, I've got the direct US governmental hookup over AT THE BIJOU which automatically registers and copywrights all authors' works directly to each's intellectual property protection. If you wish to do an "M" write excerpt there, you'd have that immediate legality sanction to get the varmint to cease and desist while you decide how else to pursue a better sense of justice.

That or we could shoot a game of pool and send the Phantom after 'em. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Yelena Sabel said...


Lily Mulholland said...

That is terrible news Carrie. Sorry you have to go through this. Hugs xxx

Sam said...

I am disgusted, Carrie, that someone should do this to you. May the universe take whatever steps it feels are necessary to redress the balance. {Hugs}

Anonymous said...

Plagiarists are their own bane they are the scoffers of others' food the lice that hang in the hair of their neighbours. You have my sympathy and support Carrie.

Laura Eno said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Carrie! What really baffles me is why a writer would choose this route in the first place. Are we not trying to create our own unique stories? To have someone you once called 'friend' do this to you makes it even more painful.
Hugs to you, m'dear.

Jodi MacArthur said...

I am appalled and disgusted and pissed off. I can't believe the gall Pia has to treat you or M this way, and especially to keep going on as if you're overreacting. Who is she joking? By the excerpt link over at Christina's, it's so obvious what's she's done. WOW. Just Wow. I am speechless.

Anonymous said...

This must be every writer's worst nightmare, and by a "friend", too. I'm sorry I didn't catch up with this earlier, and my support is a little late.

It's just shocking, truly shocking.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

That totally sucks!

Kari Gagnon said...

I read about this situation on Heather's blog, and I am truly disappointed. I wish this person had some integrity, but apparently they do not. As others have said, Karma is a b!tc# and she will definitely come calling.

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I think it's times like this when the platform you have built can show its support. We are your fans because of the the strength and uniqueness of your characters.

Now, go have M kick the imposter's ass ; )


Anonymous said...

Wow. I wish you already had it published so you can do something about it. I really hate this.

Linda said...

Wow, just catching up -- this truly sucks. What everyone else said. Plus, cheaters get their own. They really do. Hang tough, keep writing and remember -- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Although flattery will get you nowhere. And that's where this thief is going. Peace...

Kevin Michaels said...

There's a special place in hell for plagiarists, especially someone who you partnered with for a few years... Hang in there. Some really good advice from everyone - at the end of the day, M is yours and you know him better than anyone else. You are the one who will breathe life into him and make him (and the stories about him) successful.

Karma is a bitch, but sometimes it's not enough.....in our family we have an old expression (passed down from somebody somewhere in Ireland) that if you sit on the river banks long enough, you get to watch the bodies of your enemies float on by....but sometimes you have to give them a push in the water.

Pamila Payne said...

I wasn't paying attention the last few days and missed this, but wanted to let you know that of course, you have my support. I see you've resolved to be done with it, and that's certainly wise. The best revenge is to go on using your natural talent to create work that is uniquely, and obviously yours.


Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

I vote for Pamila Payne for wise president of the world. Folks would settle down and not be stupid if they listened to her sagacity. (Yeah Carrie, I just wanted to say sagacity -- it's such a damn cool word)

So's how damn cool your mind to spirit of your characters are. When your book comes out we'll call CNN to spotlight our Jodi again to tell the true story about your true success moves.

Now print out what Ms Payne said and hang it over your computer or tape it to the back of your big bass. It all goes to attunement, dear one.

~ Absolutely*Kate
(who did rejoin the #FridayFlashers fray this week @ http://tinyurl.com/5rzfmc9)