I used to laugh when authors would tell me that someone stole their stuff. Ok, it’s not funny – it’s not funny if it really happened, but in 99% of the cases it didn’t. It was the same sort of idea, along the same lines, but it wasn’t stealing. I often wrote it off as author paranoia, you know, “Everyone wants what I have!” Well, of course they do. In your head everything you do is worthy of stealing. Edward Snowden could learn a lot. Authors would contact me and insist: No, I swear that such-and-such movie is my idea, it’s completely like my book! Well, it actually was a lot like their book with the exception of the storyline and the characters. For years I wrote this off as absurd behavior.
But now that I’m an author, I sort of get it. I’ve become absurd. Well, at least according to my friends. It all started watching this season of Scandal, have you seen it? If you haven’t I’ll try not to list any spoilers but suffice it to say that the Mac/Nick battle over Kate plays out on that show as Fitz and Jake battle over Olivia. Shonda has no doubt read my books, loved the story line and decided to use it for Scandal because a) two men fighting over a woman is super original and b) I’m sure she’s not creative enough to think of this on her own. I had a few friends set me straight, actually they just shook their head, smiled and fed me a drink to (in their words) “take the edge off.” Now, however, things are starting to get serious.
In January the Hallmark Channel rolled out a whole series of new movies, love stories of course, and at least half of them are authors either writing books or women falling in love with famous novelists, etc. I am pretty sure that I’ve opened the floodgates. “Look at how sexy publishing is!” And now everyone has discovered this wildly interesting industry. You’re welcome Hallmark, sorry if I missed your thank you note or my royalty check. I’m sure it’s in the mail.
Then, just today, I spotted a book called After the Fall, which, if you’ve read The Publicist series, you know that Allan Lavigne wrote and Kate published it after he died. I was horrified, surprised, and, yes, paranoid.
Is this “Publicist” thing really catching on so much that the world has started imitating me? Will Kim Kardashian soon be releasing a line of Kate inspired attire? God, I hope not. But the rest is, you know, sort of flattering in a maybe-she-needs-medication kind of a way.
So, dear authors, to those of you who I poo-poo’d about your paranoid rants forgive me. I didn’t know. The world is indeed watching and, if you’re not careful, stealing your stuff.
Shonda and Hallmark I’m so onto you. Stop it.
Signed, the uber paranoid one