As I sat staring at the screen, reading my words with an unfamiliar name attached to them, the world spun around me. Shane. Who was Shane? An interloper who had crawled inside my Aaron’s body and took over his life.  It was as if he’d been raped all over again, and the injustice of it infuriated me. When I first received the email from Dreamspinner Press informing me that Aaron had been plagiarized, retitled, recovered and sold by some unknown man claiming to have written it as his own, I couldn’t believe it. Of course, when I started writing, I’d copyrighted every one of my self-published books to protect them, but once I started with a publisher, the practice fell by the way side. L mean, I was a nobody, who on earth would want to steal my work?


 


I found out the answer to that question the night of July 14th while preparing to leave for RWA. On July 10th, an author named Michael J Wagner posted Shane on Amazon, and in no time at all a discussion popped up on the page entitled “Is this JP Barnaby’s Aaron”? Someone who had read and enjoyed Aaron contacted Dreamspinner Press who responded immediately, even though they were thousands of miles from home at the UK Meet Up. They requested my copyright documentation, so I immediately filed with the US Copyright office and sent the registration number to them. I also informed them how to prove that the book was plagiarized because if the offending author hadn’t taken the time to chance certain passages, the book would not make sense by merely changing character names. I also informed them that if needed, I could provide time-stamped emails of drafts. There would be no doubt the book belonged to me.


 


The longer I thought about it, the angrier I got. It wasn’t about the money. The man had even stolen my dedication and supplanted it with someone else’s name. Aaron is my soul. He came to me one night and woke me from a sound sleep to tell me about his monsters in the dark. He shared his story with me because we have the same monsters. By stealing my words, and taking my experiences, he tried to take something from me. But I am no longer that scared little girl hiding in the closet from her monsters. Sweet little Trish isn’t here right now, honey—it’s all JP now, and you will not take my boys from me. Aaron deserves better than merely being tossed aside while someone else steals his identity. Spencer is a strong and brilliant character who fought all his life to be who he is. You will not take that from either of them.


 


You picked the wrong book, my friend.


 


The stolen book whose only review is a rebuke for stealing someone else's work. Notice the sexualized cover on the book about a teenage rape victim. Nice touch.

The stolen book whose only review is a rebuke for stealing someone else’s work. Notice the sexualized cover on the book about a teenage rape victim. Nice touch.


 


My dedicaton to my college boyfriend Chris who, though straight, read Aaron and supported me through its writing.

My dedication to my college boyfriend Chris who, though straight, read Aaron and supported me through its writing.


A view of the stolen text.

A view of the stolen text.


The original version from my Aaron

The original version from my Aaron

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Published on July 15, 2013 05:53 • 1,010 views
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message 1: by Manda (new)

Manda Oh shit. Every time this happens it makes me so angry. What is wrong with people, do they really think they won't be caught?

Aaron is one of my fav stories and I feel upset about this as a reader too.


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra UGH, this is so upsetting! I'm so sorry this happened to you. We don't see eye to eye on some things, but what this person did to you is plain wrong. I'm glad you have the support of your publisher behind you.


message 3: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper I hope that since this person had to provide information to Amazon, you'll have some recourse to find and stop them. Doesn't change how painful that must be, to see your work stolen and mutilated. Especially for a book as personal as Aaron's.


message 4: by Sunne Manello (new)

Sunne Manello Okay - just to be safe I posted a review on the German amazon. The American reviews don't pop up if you search for books through your kindle.


message 5: by K (new)

K Gah! What a horrible thing to happen. I hope it resolves quickly.

"Review" written for Amazon UK and e-mail sent requesting they remove the stolen work from sale.


message 6: by Tam (new)

Tam To even steal the dedication? Seriously? The height of audacity. Hope Amazon removes it ASAP. Hugs.


message 7: by Sunne Manello (new)

Sunne Manello Oh - good idea K!

Send a message to German amazon, too, that I noted the stolen work.


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky Black Holy crap, this is terrible. To have it happen to any book is bad. But to have it happen to one that's so personal and dear to you must be twice as awful.

How can people be such shameless scumbags? Good thing they are also generally idiots. Did this moron really think they would get away with it? How long did they think it would be before someone spotted it?

I wonder what the odds are on them not having the rights to use the cover pictures either?


message 9: by Sunne Manello (new)

Sunne Manello Makes me wonder who's other books he had stolen because he has "published" before....


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky Black Sunne wrote: "Makes me wonder who's other books he had stolen because he has "published" before...."

It's rarely a one-off with these slimeballs.


message 11: by K (new)

K Sunne wrote: "Makes me wonder who's other books he had stolen because he has "published" before...."

He's got a few listed on Amazon, and there are a couple of M/M's in that - one of which is sounding familiar and I am trying to place it.


message 12: by Lillian (new)

Lillian Francis Sunne wrote: "Makes me wonder who's other books he had stolen because he has "published" before...."

I had that thought but nothing sounds familiar about any of the other blurbs. His releases are far too close together, makes me suspicious.

It's a terrible thing to do. I would be gutted if it happened to me. I feel for you, JP, I really do.


message 13: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Belleau What a sleazeball! The indiegogo campaign asking for FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS TO MEET PUBLISHERS is ridiculous too: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/shane. Guess he didn't realize that the original author didn't NEED 15,000 bucks to share her talent with the world...


message 14: by Sunne Manello (new)

Sunne Manello He even has a goodreads page...
http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/...


message 15: by Idamus (new)

Idamus *Hugs*


message 16: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow Holy shit! He even filched your DEDICATION? How lazy can a wannabe get?

I do not understand the impulse to plagiarize. Where's the satisfaction in it? Is it done for the money? Out of a desperate need for recognition, or an intense frustration with one's own lack of talent? I'd love to hear a plagiarizer's explanation.

I'm sure you'll prevail, JP, and certainly sooner than later.


message 17: by Trisha (new)

Trisha Harrington I hope you get this sorted soon. You don't deserve to have your work plagiarized. This man obviously can't create his own ideas.


message 18: by Becky (last edited Jul 15, 2013 09:12AM) (new)

Becky Black This is happening so often I'm starting to wonder if the old idea that plagiarism is too rare for new authors to worry about needs to be revised. And authors maybe need to take more action to protect themselves. Not so much against it happening, as it will still happen, but to establish their bona fides as the author - since some of these knobheads come back and counter accuse the author of stealing from them! And some advice on 'what to do in the event of plagiarism' would be great.


message 19: by Becky (new)

Becky Black K.Z. wrote: "Holy shit! He even filched your DEDICATION? How lazy can a wannabe get?

I do not understand the impulse to plagiarize. Where's the satisfaction in it? Is it done for the money? Out of a desperate ..."


Money would at least be an understandable motive. Like I wouldn't rob a bank, but I understand why people do. But people plagiarise when there's no money in it. It's for the attention for many, I'm sure of it, including the attention when exposed.


message 20: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow Did you see this "update" on his begging-for-money site, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sha...: "Have been writing non stop for three days, story is coming along great, at a faster pace than I thought, so I can’t complain."

O.O Yeah, I imagine a story would proceed at a fast pace if all you had to do was copy, paste, and replace some names.


message 21: by Idamus (last edited Jul 15, 2013 09:36AM) (new)

Idamus K wrote: "Sunne wrote: "Makes me wonder who's other books he had stolen because he has "published" before...."

He's got a few listed on Amazon, and there are a couple of M/M's in that - one of which is soun..."


The Telling by Eden Winters? I saw that one in a tweet

http://www.eroticromancepublishers.co...

*Edit because the link vanished in the posting


message 22: by Derrolyn (new)

Derrolyn Anderson What a sonofabitch. I share your outrage, and if there's anything your fellow Goodreaders can do to help, please post about it further.


message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne Tenino What an asshole—this pisses me off so much, but it's a reminder to register my copyrights. So sorry this happened to you, JP. :-/


message 24: by Reggie (new)

Reggie I don't understand how Amazon allows this. Colleges have subscriptions that check papers for obvious issues of plagiarism. Why isn't Amazon obligated to scan for copies?

Anyway...((HUGS))


message 25: by Dennis (new)

Dennis JP, I am so sorry this has happened to you. Aaron is one of the most heartbreaking beautiful novels I have ever read. Aaron and Spencer belong to you. Thank you for sharing them with us. Evil shall not prevail.


message 26: by Wade (new)

Wade this is awful. I'm sorry you are going through this. WHY? Why the heck does someone do this? I am appalled.


message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Worrall OMG! He even stole your DEDICATION!!!
HOW STUPID IS HE????

Your boys are yours, honey, no one can ever take them from you - especially this no-talent THIEF!

Sending you virtual hugs xxx


Macky ~ Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews Im so sorry, its unbelievable that he thought he could get away with it. At least the asshole has been named and shamed,he's shot himself in the foot hasn't he! Stealing something that is YOUR heart and soul is absolutely disgusting.


message 29: by Lillian (new)

Lillian Francis Sunne wrote: "He even has a goodreads page...
http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/..."


Nope. I think that is a different guy.


message 30: by Cris (new)

Cris Did you guys look at "his" other books on Amazon? He's done the same thing to popular het romance authors Fern Michaels and Sandra Brown. Un-freaking-believable! at least his Aaron rip-off has been taken down, the others are apparently still for sale.


message 31: by Katyna (new)

Katyna He picked the wrong group of readers. The thing about m/m romance, it's not a very big niche. There isn't a few hundred top writers in m/m like there is in historical or modern romance. So when we read m/m, we tend to love it and we buy more and read more. But because it is a small niche of romance, the readers will have read all Amy Lane and Mary Calmes and Abigail Roux and Anne Tenino and Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan and K.A. Mitchell and J.L. Merrow. We are a tight knit community and we KNOW our books. This a**hole would have had more luck plagiarizing from a whole other genre.


message 32: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I loved Aaron. I am so sorry this happened to you!!


message 33: by Penny (new)

Penny Wilder What a tool. Talk to a lawyer and sue his ass.


message 34: by Dumbledore11214 (new)

Dumbledore11214 I think they took the book down finally. So sorry it happened to you.


message 35: by Sunne Manello (new)

Sunne Manello Lillian wrote:
Nope. I think that is a different guy."


Haha - now yes, all his books are gone. When I posted the link all the other books had been there. Looks like someone deleted them.


message 36: by Erichae (new)

Erichae Aaron is one of my favorite novels, there is no freaking way someone could be that crappy of a person! Maybe he should write the narration of a butthole that stole a timeless book >.>


message 37: by Adara (new)

Adara Oh, honey, that's AWFUL. I cannot imagine how livid you must be and how violating that feels.

I'm so glad that it was stopped so quickly and that his other works have been removed from Amazon.

Someone needs to tell IndieGogo that he's a thieving bastard and should be required to return all of the money donated to his 'cause'. Scumbag.


message 38: by Jane (new)

Jane I'm appalled by the sheer gall of these plagiarists and sick and tired of the way they calmly appropriate what isn't theirs as if they have a right to it.

I can only imagine how angry and hurt you are; you have all my sympathy and support.


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