The latest in the current plagiarism drama.

Edited to add a link to a lengthy article covering this in detail, if you have the time to read it.

Here’s an updated look at what Cristiane Serruya has plagiarised. The list of books/articles/etc. she has stolen from keeps on growing,

For heaven’s sake, she even plagiarised Outlander!

What is so incredible is that she got away with it for so long. It is also incredible that so many book bloggers – people who should have recognised these original books – were giving her four and five-star reviews and not even noticing!

Also incredible: Serruya was not only entered in the RITA Awards, but was a judge!

Cristiane Serruya has plagiarism scandal 1

Cristiane Serruya has plagiarism scandal 2

Another Book Community Gone?

Romance University

Today Romance University goes on hiatus. The site is a trove of information about the genre, and – until now – had regular posts from authors and others in the industry, about the romance genre, and also about publishing in general.

In this case “hiatus” seems to mean they’re leaving the site forever. They are keeping the old posts up for a while, but the community itself will be no more.

I do understand that the people running RU put in a huge amount of time and effort, and I can understand stepping away, but it’s yet another book community gone.

The more the internet takes over everything, the deader online book groups seem to become. Goodreads groups are practically a wasteland now, and most popular book forums and blogs have been shut down (e.g. Harlequin’s decision to move all their discussion over to awful Facebook, where nobody gets any anonymity).

Twitter? Useless. All the authors and bloggers moved over there, but all anybody discusses on Twitter now is Donald Trump. There’s very little in the way of meaningful discussion about books to be found.

I’ll be sorry to see Romance University go.

A Cocky Weekend

The book world had quite the start to the weekend, with the #cockygate trademark drama making it to court on Friday afternoon New York time (Saturday morning here).

E L James Fifty Shades Cockygate Cocktales Trademark

Even E L Fifty Shades James stood up for the authors by promoting the Cocktales anthology that has been released in support of Faleena Hopkins’ victims and of Romance Writers of America.

RWA stepped up for the authors under attack, providing the legal assistance they needed.

Faleena Hopkins, the author who started this mess to begin with, didn’t turn up in the courtroom and so missed seeing her lawyer try to argue – with the help of giant poster versions of her books – that her oh-so generic topless guy covers and oh-so generic titles were unique enough to warrant both trademarking AND her taking out restraining orders against her rivals.

Disgustingly, she is also trying to have the other authors’ real names (rather than their pennames) revealed.

Court documents from Friday afternoon are floating around the internet, and make for pretty hilarious reading. The poor judge!

Cockygate court document.

Cockygate court document.1


Bad First Sentences

Bored Panda has a piece featuring bad first sentences of books, and they’re really, really terrible – and hilarious!

I’ve put a few here, but to read a few dozen of them (including some that were rude and I couldn’t bring myself to post!) you can visit the site HERE.

Contest Announced The Worst Opening Sentences In Novels, And They Are Tough To Read. #4

Contest Announced The Worst Opening Sentences In Novels, And They Are Tough To Read. #6

Contest Announced The Worst Opening Sentences In Novels, And They Are Tough To Read. #28

Contest Announced The Worst Opening Sentences In Novels, And They Are Tough To Read. #16

Contest Announced The Worst Opening Sentences In Novels, And They Are Tough To Read. #3

Struggling Genres

I came across an article via Twitter yesterday, about finding a literary agent. I don’t really know why I read it, but I found the passage below pretty interesting – the last dot point in particular:

Literary Agent Query Letters Struggling Genres

When did this happen?? They haven’t even finished making the Fifty Shades movies yet, and already they don’t want anybody to send them books in that genre?

Holy Moly.

I remember only a few years ago you couldn’t escape cosy mysteries (Charlaine Harris!), and urban fantasy was supposed to be one of the Next Big Things (I mean, Patricia Briggs!).

I don’t really have a point here, other than to say I’m a bit surprised.

What’s really silly is that at this rate, whatever is “in” right now is likely to be out of fashion by the time an agent takes it on.

I wonder what will be “struggling” next.