I made this statement days ago on my public FB page, but obviously, it needs to be posted here.
Well, if you have the Internet and follow m/m fiction, then you probably know that a few individuals have accused me of plagiarism for Bear, Otter, and the Kid, which was then picked up by a specific blog with a tabloid-like headline. Now, to be fair, I have not read the blog post nor any of the comments that followed there or on GR, but I have been told that it has turned into a kind of free-for-all bashing about me, Dreamspinner, editing, and the m/m genre in general. And, I feel it only fair that it be noted that this same blog did not like BOATK from the beginning. In their initial review of BOATK some months back, they indicated that they felt certain parts of BOATK bordered on pedophilia, while also bashing DSP. Bad reviews don’t bug me. Accusations of pedophilia and plagiarism do. So, take from that what you will about their veracity.

A few points I want to make, and these will be my only comments on the matter.

First, I stand by my work. I did not plagiarize. If you do not believe that (which, appears some people don’t, even some who state they have not read my book, nor have seen the movie, “Shelter,”) then I am not going to spend time trying to convince you otherwise, seeing as how your mind is already set. You are entitled to your opinion as is the rest of the free world. Yes, I have seen Shelter. But the majority of BOATK was based upon my own experiences growing up in Oregon (ironically, about an hour from the coast and a small town called Seaside), but frankly, that’s really none of your business and therefore, I don’t need to share it with you beyond what was already done in BOATK. Again, I stand by my work.

Second, it has been said that I “admitted” to this charge. Bullshit. I made a joke on my own blog on GR in an attempt to make light of the situation which, of course, was taken out of context and spun in such a way that it was used how people wanted to use it. I deleted the comment, as this situation was serious for people. I will remember for future reference that I am not allowed to joke on my own blog, even if it is at my own expense.

Third, to bash me is one thing. To bash my publisher? About ANYTHING? Good Lord. Dreamspinner is one of the most successful publishing houses in the m/m genre for a reason. Is everything they put out perfect? No. But you show me a publishing house that does put out perfection every single time. I am only sorry that they got pulled into this as well and are getting subjected to such a disgusting display from people.

Fourth, to the other authors who have commented against me in this matter, you are entitled to your opinion as well, obviously. Just remember when it is your turn to be in the crosshairs, that it sucks. But you won’t see me commenting against you, nor have I ever. I thought (read: hoped) authors were supposed to be a classy bunch, and for the most part they are. Some are not. To those authors/publishing houses that have commented on this as a means to promote their own books: you suck. Like seriously suck. I will never point fingers (given that old saying that every time you point your finger at someone, you’re pointing three back at yourself), but you know who you are. Glass houses and all that. Please remove yourselves from my fb/gr/blog page, or I can do it when I get around to re-joining the real world. Anyone else who wants to delete me, totally your prerogative, and go for it. I’m not going to hold it against you, as life is too short for grudges.

Fifth, to those that have offered their support, thanks. I think you are all pretty neat, and I will attempt to respond to all of you individually. And, in case people were wondering (undoubtedly some were—conspiracy theorists never tire) I never asked anyone to say anything in my defense, AT ANY POINT. It was of their own free will, and while I think it unnecessary, I still appreciate the sentiment. To those strangers that have emailed me out of the blue things like “You are a cheating asshole” and “I’ve never read your book and I never will because you are a liar” uh… just remember, I have your email now. So much for anonymity, geniuses. And “hate” emails? Really? What are we, thirteen and I’ve stolen your boyfriend? Well, he says I’m prettier than you and that he never liked you anyway.

And lastly, to the comment that resonated with me the most. I was told a poster left the following somewhere to the effect of “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Interesting. I never thought I was “big” to begin with, and funnily enough, I haven’t fallen. I am still standing on my own two feet. You just can’t tell because you are so far up on your pedestal that everything looks the same when you look down. You can scream for my blood all you want, but you can’t have it (my god, this is one of those moments I wish I had a fainting couch, just so I can say that line again and then swoon onto it).

Now, if you will excuse me. I have to go finish writing a new story about a guy who ages in reverse. I am calling it The Strange Case of Benji Button. I hope it gets made into a boring three hour movie one day. (that was a JOKE, people, but let’s see how long it takes for it to get twisted around, or any of what I’ve said, for that matter: “Did you hear?!?!?! ZOMG, TJ Klune said he was a pedophile who is going to steal our husbands and he is copying that Brad Pitt movie now!!!!! WHEN WILL IT END?????”)

Moving on.
I would also like to add that I have enjoyed my time here on GR. Some very good discussions about books.
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Published on February 29, 2012 17:12 • 6,890 views
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message 1: by T.J. (new)

T.J. Thanks blip. FB ate the post a few times, and I had to repost it. It is there =D

message 2: by Jaime (new)

Jaime Great post Tj.....is it April 27th yet, I'm counting down the days for Who We Are. I'm actually having surgery on the 16th so I will be laid up in bed and having a good book to read will be awesome.

Experiment BL626 Thank you for the response. Both sides have been waiting for this.

message 4: by Bubbles Hunty (new)

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions Tj wrote:"Yes, I have seen Shelter. But the majority of BOATK was based upon my own experiences growing up in Oregon (ironically, about an hour from the coast and a small town called Seaside), but frankly, that’s really none of your business and therefore, I don’t need to share it with you beyond what was already done in BOATK. Again, I stand by my work.

So does that mean the other parts are inspired by shelter?

Can you expand on what parts of boatk were the autobiographical parts?

message 5: by Dea (new)

Dea I think it's important to listen to other people's opinion but also to be able to form your own opinion without being so easily influenced. That's why I really got upset when I was reading blogs about this whole situation. When people are unfair in any form it upsets me a lot.
I don't believe you deserved to have people who haven't even read your book to attack you without reason. Also how can people be so crazy and waste their time sending hate mate?
In my opinion those people should get a life !
I respect your work and I will continue reading your books :) You totally have my suppot
This was an anti-hate response :)

message 6: by Connie (new)

Connie What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger TJ, we are looking forward to April :)

message 7: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode Tj, I want you to know how much I respect you and your work. I look forward to reading your work again.

message 8: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode Bubbles wrote: "Tj wrote:"Yes, I have seen Shelter. But the majority of BOATK was based upon my own experiences growing up in Oregon (ironically, about an hour from the coast and a small town called Seaside), but ..."

Hi Dane.

message 9: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 29, 2012 10:37PM) (new)

Mandapanda I hate all these vigilante, 'trial by internet' scandals. Hopefully you can put it all behind you and continue to entertain us with your stories. Keep your chin up.:)

message 10: by D (new)

D Such bullshit drama!! I'm so happy you're hanging in there and I can't wait to read Who We Are.

message 11: by James (new)

James Pullman TJ you are awesome. You have my complete support.

message 12: by James (new)

James Pullman Also, I'm from Seaside, and I totally had the feeling of being in Seaside when you I was reading it, especially about the rich/not so rich parts of town.

message 13: by Debbie (new)

Debbie *fistsbumps Sammy2006 again* ;)


Is it April 27th yet??????

message 14: by Deeze (new)

Deeze Hey Tj.

Keep smiling. Oh and writing lol. Waiting eagerly for the follow on book. Can't wait to get to all the intrigue and drama that you so evily hinted at lol.

@Dea, I'm totally with you. Its scary to know that these same people that judge without proof could be on the next Jury service.

message 15: by Vio (last edited Mar 01, 2012 02:09AM) (new)

Vio Hi Tj! Its nice to see you back keep on smiling and teasing we miss you.

I did want to say one thing you know what disgusts me the most about this never ending SAGA is the glee and snark shown towards a fellow human being. Yes hello Tj is human like the rest of us has everyone forgotten how to be respectful? What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

message 16: by Shell (new)

Shell Excellent post, TJ.

message 17: by Alby Krebs (new)

Alby Krebs Really looking forward to the new book!

message 18: by Karla (new)

Karla "People only rain on your parade because they're jealous of your sun and tired of their shade."

Don't know who said that, but I thought it was appropriate for all the crap being handed to you. May the sun continue to shine down on you and leave all the haters in the dark. You ROCK!

message 19: by Manuela (last edited Mar 01, 2012 06:19AM) (new)

Manuela I joined goodreads not so long ago. Being here has given me the chance to interact with my favorite authors and get a better insight on their work, but sadly it has also made me notice that there is a lot of hate around, people always looking for someone to go after and victimize every few weeks, if not days. I've seen awful things these past few days, people commenting on something, your book, without having even read it (!). I tried to defend you at times, but there's a saying in Italy that goes "there's no worst deaf than he who doesn't want to listen". Some people enjoy ganging up on others, especially if they're as successful as you are (envy, maybe?), and there's nothing one can do against it but let it go and look forward.

Keep up the great work. I, as many others, am looking forward to read your upcoming books. You have talent, a lot of talent, and nobody can take that away from you.

P.S. I wish I could know what the Kid would think about all this. I'm sure he would have some really interesting comments ;)

message 20: by Monika (last edited Mar 01, 2012 07:36AM) (new)

Monika Vio wrote: "Hi Tj! Its nice to see you back keep on smiling and teasing we miss you.

I did want to say one thing you know what disgusts me the most about this never ending SAGA is the glee and snark shown to..."

I agree with Vio, she just said it first, again!!

We aren't a society that thinks innocent until proven guilty unfortunately,but rather guilty until proven innocent or better yet shoot first ask questions later!

I'd say chin up Tj but it seems it is, hang in there!

message 21: by Deeze (new)

Deeze @ Manuela, Hear Hear, The Kid would be so fantastic in this kind of debate. He would put all those nay sayers to shame with his wit and wisdom lol. Maybe even say it in rhyme lol

message 22: by Dea (new)

Dea I read a comment somewhere how one of the rare things where BOatK is different from ''Shelter'' is that the Kid is so intelligent. Considering how many things the Kid said that stuck with all of us that loved BOatK I would say that just that would make the biggest difference.

@Deeze – you're totally right. The Kid would probably write a song about this where he would mention how important it is not to eat meat although it has nothing to do with this topic

message 23: by R. (new)

R. So good to hear this TJ! You rock and I look forward to your next book...and beyond! There are so many people out here rooting for you. Only a few ego-maniacal head cases who think being pretty makes them intelligent and that being sassy makes them interesting. LOL

message 24: by Dan (new)

Dan Hey TJ,
Thanks for friending me and especially for taking the time to post here.
Hopefully this will end the whole thing and everyone (mature) will move forward.
Looking forward to the next book!

message 25: by Dianna (new)

Dianna I loved BOatK and am waiting eagerly for the sequel - all the harsh comments have certainly not affected my love of the book or my appreciation of your writing style.

I have been a member of GR for some time and also of various blogs and find them useful for pointers for new books and authors to try, but it can be a very poisonous environment.

message 26: by momokaachan (new)

momokaachan You know, this reminds me of Lily Tomlin's comment (as Ernestine): "It was a dirty, filthy book and all my friends who've read it say so." (that was a paraphrase for all you sticklers out there) On a more serious note, these days it is extremely difficult to write anything without it being similar to something else. E.g. look at all the comments on the Game of Thrones series about how similar it is to the Lord of the Rings. Personally I enjoyed the story. For those who didn't,for any reason, I suggest they discuss it with Ernestine's friends.

message 27: by Kathryn (last edited Mar 01, 2012 06:32PM) (new)

Kathryn When I first read BOATK (which I LOVED), I did think of Shelter (which I like quite a bit), but I never thought there was plagiarism involved. Dude, I studied Literature at Harvard. This story is a classic story. If Bear and Otter were a straight couple, no one would have made plagiarism accusations because the story has been told So. Many. Damn. Times. BOATK just does it really, really well. This is not plagiarism. This is a sociohistorical meme.

message 28: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Thanks for the great post and for an awesome book. Can't wait for the sequel to come out.

And thank you for answering a question I've had about the town Bear, Otter & the kid live in. I'm from Oregon, born and raised, and still live here. I've read BOATK twice now, and every time I read it, I keep picturing Seaside & wondering if that was the inspiration for where they're from, or at least that area of the coast. Now I know :-)

message 29: by Moniqee (new)

Moniqee With DSP statement over at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/ or http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7793376/Dream..., I hope things would just move on.

Mr Klune, maybe you and DSP should just move forward your BOATK sequel release date to this month instead?!

message 30: by Diane (new)

Diane I have never seen Shelter, but I have read BOATK and loved it! Burn is amongst my current reads and I can hardly wait for the sequel to BOATK!
For all who have pledged support to you, please count me amongst them and I second, third, fourth etc their comments!
I was going to comment on how I cannot understand the choice to attack others when jealous or insecure, which I can`t but it is in fact a choice, however, I simply think of the one campaign I follow on Twitter, NOH8 - a helluva concept!
I also think of the golden rule - the original one of treat others as you wish to be treated, such a simple thing and I hope we can actually get to that place one day. Be happy for people`s success and use it as inspiration to improve your own goals, not try and tear someone else down! Admire someone and aspire to be like them rather than pick them apart to try and make them break. Choose love over hate or judgement.

TJ, I am a fan, a supporter and by reading the posts here, you have many of us beside you - to support for this situation, but to also support your work because like your publisher Dreamspinner, we believe in you.

A good song for a moment like this - I`m Still Standing by Elton John!

message 31: by Cam (new)

Cam Kennedy I've watched Shelter (and had even before I read BOatK), I've read your book. (and would love to post a review of it on my blog). Anyone who is paying attention should be able to see the vast differences. However, there will always be people out there that see what they want to see and will hate everything.

I am a fan. I remain so. (I loved Burn!) I am looking forward to future works from you. So much LOVE to you, Bright Blessings in your future, and a big cold shoulder to the haters.

message 32: by Erica (new)

Erica Pike I haven't seen Shelter nor read BOatK (I've had it on my Kindle for a while now *blush*), but I just have to say that authors should not be in the business of bashing other authors. They're only making things bad for themselves. Sure, they can complain to their friends in private, if there's an issue, but don't go pee in the wind.

When I see an author bashing another, it completely turns me away from the basher and all his/her work. There is already one I'm never going to read because of very bad public display toward a fellow author.

The "good" thing that often comes from situations like these is that you have probably gotten a lot of people on your side and they'll stay true to you. And you find out who your real friends are.

Before I go, "The Strange Case of Benji Button"? May I suggest "The Strange Case of Benji Bottom?" I think it might generate more sales in the m/m community.

message 33: by Jaime (new)

Jaime lol@Erica... great post!

You must read BOATK and watch Shelter, they are both awesome!

message 34: by Erica (new)

Erica Pike Jaime wrote: "lol@Erica... great post!

You must read BOATK and watch Shelter, they are both awesome!"

I actually have that movie on my to-buy list. I'm going to USA this year (GayRomLit!!) and will have it sent to my cousin's house for pick-up. BOatK is on my to-read-very-soon-list!

message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine I've seen Shelter and read/own BOATK, and not once did I think about the movie while reading the book. Whatever similarities there might be (though I didn't notice any), they'd be thematic, not line-by-meticulous-line plagiarism. Similar themes are plentiful in every genre, and if two people getting together is included in that war of themes, that makes all writers plagiarists.

The only reason people associate these two separate things is because both are about two gay guys. If either the movie or the book were about two straight people, this wouldn't even be an issue.

TJ, keep your head held up high. You're an excellent writer, and I for one can't wait for the sequel. Good luck!

message 36: by Juliana (new)

Juliana When I read BOATK it did not even remind me of Shelter (although i haven't seen it since 2009). Are they similar? I guess. Are they the same? No. There is nothing new under the sun and common themes come up all the time. It is all about the details. If anyone remembers the movie Raising Helen and the tv show Summerland, these came out around the same time. Both had an aunt being given custody of her sister's three kids. Were they similar? I guess. Are they the same? No. That wasn't plagiarism and this isn't either. Any story where a werewolf finds his mate and the mate didn't know werewolves existed aren't plagiarizing, just using a common theme. Your details made the story good and that is why it was so popular.

message 37: by Rhys (new)

Rhys Ford You know where I stand, baby. Offer for a shot of whiskey and ninja still holds. :::hugs:::

Mutters obscenities towards the asshattery.


message 38: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Keep your chin up, you have nothing to defend,it appears that Goodreads MM has become vigilantes are something lately. I'm ashamed to be a member.

message 39: by Lori (new)

Lori I loved this book T.J. and the M/M Romance group is happy to have it featured as our March Book of the Month Group Read. Don't let the detractors get you down.

message 40: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Fessenden I bought a copy of "Shelter" this past week to see for myself what all this was about. I certainly did notice some similarities, when I watched it, but what kept striking me was that it felt completely different. In the end, "Shelter" is the story of a young man whose life goals are being frustrated by his irresponsible older sister, who keeps using her lack of parenting ability to prevent him from leaving. BOATK is about a young man who is doing his best to provide a home for his younger brother, and encounters a lot of obstacles along the way. The two scenarios may seem the same, but they are not. What the protagonists want is different. In "Shelter," he wants his sister to take responsibility for her son (who is really a non-entity in the film), so he can go to college. In BOATK, Bear would do anything to prevent the Kid from being taken from him. Elizabeth summed all of this up well in DSP's public statement, and I applaud DSP for having the courage to 1) send a copy of BOATK to the filmmaker who made "Shelter," to give him a chance to weigh in, and 2) make BOATK available for a short time for free to anyone who wants to evaluate it for themselves.

message 41: by Sammy Goode (new)

Sammy Goode Tj, I hope dear man that you are feeling all the support that lives here on this site. I hope that you are holding your head up high and moving through this insanely tumultuous time. I can see your grace and dignity--it is apparent in every word you write. Regardless of what others find or say, I am grateful for your work. You tell a wonderful story--with wit and compassion and your own unique style. Thank you for sharing it with us.

message 42: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper Glad you haven't been driven away from us here by the controversy. And that your sense of humor seems to have survived the battering. No one could make a movie of Bear's inner monologues, and the Kid is unique. Looking forward to the sequel.

message 43: by AquaScales (new)

AquaScales Hey TJ,
Sending my words of support as well. I loved BOATK and you have a lot of fellow writers who support you as well. I know because I've been reading it in their blogs. : ) Chin up, The best revenge is being great and staying true.

message 44: by Thao (last edited Mar 06, 2012 12:37AM) (new)

Thao Dear TJ Klune,

First I want to thank you for writing BOATK. It was one of the most amazing 6-7 hours of my life I spent reading that book. Fucking hell I'm ordering a second copy right now just to show my support and how much I love your book. I can't put into words how amazing the book was. I love your writing style and the way everything just flowed.

Second I stand by you. I also call bullshit for those who accuse you of plagiarism. I have seen Shelter, three times, and I have read your book. Frankly when I started reading your book never once did it ever cross my mind, "Wait this kinda remind me of Shelter." Only when I read a review that pointed out the fact that I began to think about it. And I thought about it and I have come to the conclusion, yup it's nothing like Shelter at all. Quite frankly, I honestly think those who accuse you haven't even read a single page in your book before they started throwing the accusations. (And I don't even want to imagination how anyone would ever dare accuse you of pedophilia).

Third I just want to say I hope this doesn't deter you from any of your future works. Reading one of your books has made me a life-time fan and I look forward to all your upcoming work (especially the sequel to BOATK, which I have star and mark my calender date as first thing I order when I wake up on that day!) Definitely going to start Burn now!

As The Kid may put it (minus all the vegetarian references):

All it took was one book,
And now I'm simply hook.
So screw all the trolls, cause you're on a roll.
Your future definitely has a great outlook.

(Sorry, I suck at making poems...)

message 45: by Vio (new)

Vio Thao wrote: "Dear TJ Klune,

First I want to thank you for writing BOATK. It was one of the most amazing 6-7 hours of my life I spent reading that book. Fucking hell I'm ordering a second copy right now just to..."

Totally agree and the poem was....

message 46: by Deeze (new)

Deeze @ Thao That poem was great. I'm sure the Kid would be impressed,

I really hope one day we can get a poem from the Kid to all this crap lol. But I'm sure even the Kid has more of a life to get on with, unlike certain others that obviously have more time than they know what to do with.

message 47: by Melanie~~ (new)

Melanie~~ Mr. Klune,

Thank you for such a well-written book.

I had Bear, Otter, and the Kid

message 48: by Katie (new)

Katie Okay, after all of this I have to read the book. So take that for whatever it is worth. One more reader

message 49: by Blue Dragon (new)

Blue Dragon Plagiarism is a serious accusation and before someone throws it out there they had best be damned sure that they're willing to live with the consequences if the accused fights back and wins. I haven't seen Shelter but the first thing I did was look up the plot summary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelter_%28... and while there may be some common themes (falling for the older brother, family responsibilities) these are common to a lot of romance novels m/m and m/f. To say that no one else can ever write about those themes because someone else did it first is ridiculous. Go read the glut of supernatural vampire/werewolf/shape shifter novels out there now and you can see how often there is a common theme. Look at the "older vampire falls for young girl" genre. You didn't see anyone saying Twilight copied Buffy (tv series), or how about the Anita Blake series? Hello, these are all very different works but they all have a centuries old male vampire falling for young (teen/twenties) female.

Before jumping on the bandwagon go and read Dreamspinner Press' release on the matter:

I've read some of the reviews from others who have seen the movie and read the book who do not feel this is plagiarism. So now I'm going to watch the movie and see for myself. But before I do, let me say this: the plot devices in BOATK (older brother, no college due to little brother) were not what made the book what it was, it was THE KID and TJ Klune's unique writing style. So now to be fair I'll go check out the movie. Perhaps others should try that before posting/sending hateful and ugly comments without informing themselves first.

KindleRomance Reviews I just heard about what was going on and wanted to offer you my full support. I loved BOATK & Burn! Two amazing books! You're an amazing author and you'll be around a lot longer than your pathetic accusers. Looking forward to your next story.

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