I’ve been feeling on top of the world lately. I’m writing full-time, I’m moving to a beautiful local island with a Mediterranean climate (yeah, it exists in Canada!), my partner is leaving his thankless job and taking over a business. My books are selling well, The Dex-Files continues to win over readers (well, sort of…so many still on the Dex fence!). My agent is going to start pimping EIT to publishers come the fall. Things are good. I’m happy.

I’m just keeping my head down, dealing with the cover for Into the Hollow, plus cool posters and graphics for The Devil’s Metal. I’m writing it every day and think it’s really coming along. I love Dawn. I love the 1970’s. I love the music and the creepy aspect and I love Sage. I have my doubts, of course, as every writer does. Am I good enough? Will people want to read this? Why do I have to write things that aren’t straight-up commercial fare? Is this going to suck? You know, normal doubts.

Then I get kicked in the fucking gut.

A book comes out a month before mine is set to. It deals with pretty much the exact same thing as The Devil’s Metal. And it’s already #66 on Amazon kindle.

You guessed it, I’m talking about The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle.

So, with a bleeding heart, I look at the reviews to see how similar the books sound and the results shatter me. Like, make me feel like jumping off a bridge. How fucking rotten is my timing. How am I compete with this book? Why would people want to read mine when they can read one that is highly-acclaimed? And seems to be almost the same! And how on earth am I going to stop readers from comparing the two when I’m doing it myself?

Now, I know there are differences between the books. But the similarities are there. Both are about a young female music journalist who goes on the road with her favorite band and falls in love with the hot, tattooed bad-boy rockstar. There are shenanigans with bad behavior and groupies. There’s angst. There’s sex. There’s music. Etc.

As I noted, there are differences. Mine is horror. It’s set in 1974. I was/am a music journalist and many of my own stories have found their way into the book. In Storm, the two lovers were childhood friends and sweethearts and are reunited. There’s another man in the mix. In Metal, Dawn is a fish out of water and Sage is one of her idols. There’s no other man. Mine’s not erotica, it’s horror/romance (I’d say paranormal romance but that has strange connotations with it).

For all I know they are totally different books. As a friend pointed out, you can’t compare Cujo and Old Yeller because they both have dogs with rabies. And I know that. I hear Towle did a fabulous job with The Mighty Storm, making it the next Beautiful Disaster and I do intend to read it.…one day, when mine is all done so that I don’t get wrongly influenced.

But the problem I am having — the one that makes me afraid to publish this book — is the accusations that I might get, the ones that say I’m jumping on this book’s bandwagon and that I’m copying it.

Not true. Coincidence is a funny thing but I can say with utmost honesty that The Devil’s Metal came from my little whacked head.

For one, I am a music journalist and I, one day, sick of dealing with real-life groupies of another band, thought wouldn’t it be great to write a period piece that dealt with this stuff, but had a demonic, scary spin on it. I wanted to put my experiences down but make it fun, sexy and entertaining. The Devil’s Metal came to me in summer of 2009. I even tweeted about it and called it The Devil’s Death Metal, before a friend suggested that The Devil’s Metal would be better.

I wrote the book into the fourth Experiment in Terror novel, Lying Season. It’s a hollowed out book in Dex’s office that Perry finds.

I started talking publicly about the book at the start of the summer of 2012 and even talked about it in an interview here: http://www.maryse.net/behind-the-books-interviews/behind-the-books-interview-with-karina-halle-15-gift-gard-giveaway.html

I’m just about to start a book called The Devil’s Metal, which I am hoping for a September release date. It’s a 2–3-book series, adult paranormal romance. A lot of it is based or inspired by my work in the music industry. It’s set in the 1970’s and it’s: Almost Famous but with demons instead of groupies. I’m super freaking excited to start it.”

And August 2nd, I wrote the blurb for it here: http://experimentinterror.com/2012/08/07/the-devils-metal/

I know this all seems like a bit much, but I feel it’s best to nip this in the bud before readers, or god forbid, the author accuse me of plagiarism. Not that I think the author would because she seems like an awesome and talented lady who is soaring into best-sellers list, but speaking from experience, I know what it feels like when you see books that come out after yours that read a little too much the same (don’t get me started on a paranormal YA book I saw about a lighthouse on the Oregon coast and a mysterious guy called Declan or “Dex” because that one did my head in). I’d hate for any author to feel that way.

So there you have it. This is my dilemma. I’ve spent most of my day grappling with whether I should still release the book or not. I still don’t know. I know if I do, I’m going to get some backlash, even with this blog post. I know people will compare my wee little horror/70’s piece to a book that’s not only selling well but getting 5-star reviews across the board. My book will be compared and it will not measure up. It’s not what people want — it’s not straight-up romance and it’s not a tearjerker. I have my work cut out for me and there’s a chance this book will flop…all because of bad, rotten timing.

Of course, it could flop because it flat out sucks but that’s something I was worried about anyway.

Sigh. I don’t know what to do. I might not publish. I might postpone it. Or I still might release it on September 21st and hope for the best. Plug my nose and take the leap.

I will keep writing it though, because it’s a story I always wanted to tell. I just hope my muse is gentle with me and that everything happens for a reason.

I’ll keep you posted.


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Published on August 27, 2012 16:25 • 297 views
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message 1: by Maria (new)

Maria Please, Please, keep writing Devil's Metal and Release it!! Huge Fan Karina and I would hate to see it not released because of another Book. I just Finished The Mighty Storm and I thought it was a Great Book but I would still Love to read Devil's Metal and plus it's Minus the Cheating and that's even better and who doesn't love a Bit of Horror in a Story, I do FO SHO!! Good Luck with everything and Keep on Keepin On!!

message 2: by Karina (new)

Karina Halle Thanks Maria! I will release it (got too many threats of having my butt kicked if I didn't). I mainly wrote this post so that people are aware that I KNOW the books are similar...and so that no one has to mention it to me when The Devil's Metal is released (though I am sure they still will). :)

message 3: by Maria (new)

Maria Well I'm sure it will be Great and I'm looking forward to reading it!! :)

message 4: by Tiki (new)

Tiki Glad you're sticking with it...I'd be disappointed if you let TMS scare you off!! what's truly original anyway? Art, movies, literature....throughout time we've had the same concepts - just expressed with 'originality'. Same theme, but different take on it... That's what matters. Your interpretation .... Cause what comes out of that crazy little head of yours is SO much fun to read. 70s. RocknRoll. Horror. Romance. I can't wait!!!!

message 5: by Sue (new)

Sue But I don't WANT straight up romance which I find borrrring. I am not the least bit intrigued by The Mighty Storm. I want paranormal, horror and terror with my love stories because I am kinky that way, which is why I read YOUR books. Your voice is unique. Writing exercises prove that if you put five people in a room with five objects they can write an infinite number of stories. Worry is a creativity killer. Keep rocking it Karina style and all will be well!

message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna In the most smidgen of a way are they similiar. when i looked at the book description I was like trying to find the paranormal aspect of the book...there is none! KARINA!!!!! Your book will have so much more story to it!!! Who wants boring old romance??? Well some might but not your fans!!!! I have no interest in reading that book and will defend you to no end if they say you are a copycat. Keep your chin up you rock!!!!

message 7: by Addicted (new)

Addicted Reader Oh, I guess it is really bad when things like that happen. But I've never heard of the Storm book before you mentioned it. And I just can't wait for Devil's Metal. I fell in love with EIT, your style, your strangely mixed up and original genre. So guess which book I would read :)

As a reader that have already experienced books that have similar stories or themes or just minor but definite similarities I have to tell you that they do not bother me. It is the actual book, the whole deal with every word, nuance, character etc that does the deal with me. In the end it does not matter to me which book came first. If a thing so complex and important as the radio can have two separate inventors, what is to say about books, when even the different editions could vary. For me as a reader what matters is the overall quality of the book and the way it touches me, personally. Even if I read similar ones. It's inevitable, a huge percent of the stories are already written, way back in ancient Greece :)

I hope the above helps. I love your works and really hope that Devil's Metal comes even better than EIT. Even if it is just for the fact that I happen to love metal :)

message 8: by Trisha (new)

Trisha I have both books on my TBR list & your book was on it first! The Mighty Storm just came out last week, so to me neither book is a knock-off. Many books feel familiar to me when I read them, but as long as I can feel the characters I continue to enjoy each book. It sounds like these stories have a similar basic outline, but that's it. I'm totally excited about a rock story set during the 70's (something I have NOT read before) and with your professional experience in the music business I can already feel that your story will be credible. (Another plus is you have the best taste in music!). I'm a BIG EIT fan so anything you write I buy & read! Stick with this one...it will be another winner!

message 9: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 29, 2012 05:30PM) (new)

Jennifer You don't write "straight-up commercial fare" because you're creative, orginal and real. You believe in your books and your characters and it shows. I can't wait for Devil's Metal to come out! And if you get any backlash, tell those douchecanoes to shove it :)

message 10: by Milly (new)

Milly Hey Karina. I think that you shouldn't worry. A lot of books have similarities. Your fans love your style of writing, and will read your book either way. By doing this, you have really stressed how worried you are and I think that will help clear up a lot of issues.
You want similarities, try Fallen by Lauren Kate and My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares- At least your characters dont share the same names!!

message 11: by Nalu.chan (new)

Nalu.chan For one, I'm hoping that your book's cover will be as awesome as EIT covers, because, seriously, The Mighty Storm cover is kinda cheesy (like those old harlequin romance covers with a semi-nude man holding an also semi-nude woman).
Second, even if the basic plot of the stories are the same, each author has his own unique way of writing! That's what really makes books different. A vampire book written by Anne Rice would never be the same as a vampire book written by Charlaine Harris (and I like them both!).
Third, if some ass dares to compare you with Samantha Towle, just tell them to f**k off. You know that your work isn't a copycat, your fans know it, and if someone wants to write a critic without checking the facts before, he isn't worth of your time!
Just pleaaase don't give up write The Devil's Metal! We are anxiously awaiting for its release, so keep writing brilliantly as ever!! All your fans are supporting you!

message 12: by Karina (new)

Karina Halle You guys rock - it's still being written as we speak. Now my concern is not being similar but...will it suck? But that's every writer's concern (and if it's not, I hate them). As for the cover, I must admit the male on the cover of TMS is pretty fine. Mine's...well, you can see my cover here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15... *very much not the same lol*

message 13: by Doreen (new)

Doreen That is an AWESOME cover! Can't wait to read this book! (Hope I win the giveaway!;))Counting the days until it's released!

message 14: by Nalu.chan (new)

Nalu.chan Karina wrote: "You guys rock - it's still being written as we speak. Now my concern is not being similar but...will it suck? But that's every writer's concern (and if it's not, I hate them). As for the cover, I m..."

OOOOOOOh, your cover is amazing! It just makes me want to read it even more! It also reflects your creativity and your spunk.
I think might have a small prejudice against naked male covers (those damn harlequin cheesy romance!), but it hasn't stopped me from reading the book.
Your book will not suck! You've already proved yourself as an awesome writer with the EIT series, so please have more confidence in yourself - your fans certainly have! And please keep the original publishing date - we (your fans from Brazil) are counting down the time until it is published.

message 15: by Carla (last edited Aug 30, 2012 11:32PM) (new)

Carla Oh no! Don't do this Karina, please publish your book and don't worry about this too much.
I think that it must really sucks and I get what you are saying, but at the end of the day, I think that this happens with a lot of author and books. See, The Mighty Storm is being highly compared to Thoughtless by S.C Stephens and there are differences between them too, but yet they've been compared. Do you think she shouldn't have published her book because of it? I don't think so, it's a great, I have read it myself and loved it and the fact that it reminded me of thoughtless didn't bother me at all. Actually I was glad. I miss books like that.
To be honest with you, I'm not really sure if the devil's metal and TMS are so similar... like you said yours is a horror/romance and TMS is a totally different thing. Just the fact that your book is horror and set in the 70's just makes a huge difference.

I don't really think you should worry about this. After EIT series we already know how great your mind and your skills as an author is, so although I haven't read it yet, I'm sure I'm going to love it. You have your own style and that's why you caught my attention. I'm really exited about it.
And also about what you said, maybe there're similar things, but it's another story, different characters, different situations... this is what matters.
Think about all the work you had to write this. I'm sure this book is part of you. Don't just give up. ;)

message 16: by Mary (new)

Mary I read TMS and liked it but, it is not you! Not even close. Write on! Can't wait.

message 17: by Nic (new)

Nic If you look at it another way, this could actually be a big benefit for you. When I first read Thoughtless & Effortless by S.C. Stephens I LOVED them and then went on a hunt for more books with similar themes. And apparently so did many of her other fans because a lot of the names popping up 'liking' and commenting on blogs and fb pages of similar books started to become familiar. Like a little family of fans, all hungry for more books that ran these storylines. You can never have too many stories of dirty rockstars in my opionion!! Besides that - you're super-duper talented, so The Devil's Metal is top of my list. Can't wait!

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with Mary. I tread TMS and can't imagine for a second that the two books will be in any way comparable outside the "female on tour with the band" factor. Fuck it Karina. Go for it ;)

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