I haven't slept very well in the last few days. Not since the story broke that Laura Harner had plagiarized Becky McGraw's work. Plagiarizm is wrong on every level and there is no excuse for it. Doctors may have the hippocratic oath, well authors - the majority of them anyway - have their own code and abide by it -YOU DON'T PINCH SOMEBODY ELSE'S WORK!
I have remarked on a few threads and am as appalled as everybody else, especially because my name is on one of Harner's books as co-writer. I'm talking about the Separate Ways series which it is alleged has similarities to Abi Roux's Cut and Run series.
I was approached by Harner to write a series as she had been betaing one of my other books and I agreed. I'm not going to lie, this wasn't the most cohesive or pleasant writing experience I've had. The plot was very much governed by Harner and it was much easier to just run with the plotline she threw at me. I was only involved in the first book, Continental Divide. After a falling out with Harner, I was spectacularly thrown under the bus and she bought the characters from me, paid me what royalties were owed me and I went on my merry way, glad to be out of it. In fact I haven't spoken to her since.
I know I'm not the only co-writer she has had and I'm concerned for them, too. Those of you who know me and my work know the type of person I am and I can assure you that the characterization of Jamie is mine and mine alone. Can I say the same for Harner's character? After this week's revelations... I'm not so sure.
Writing is hard people. It's long hours of plotting and outlining and trying to get blood out of a stone when the words won't come. Or days spent screaming in frustration at your characters because you want them to go one way and they're digging in their heels and pushing you in the opposite direction - but I still love it. I know how hard it is and how much of yourself goes into each word so I would never take someone else's work. It's just incomprehensible to me. It's like taking someone's child for god's sake.
My sympathies are with the authors and quite frankly, I think Harner's silence on this issue speaks volumes.