Tag: plagiarism

Christiane Serruya's 'Royal Love'

Novelist Accused of Plagiarism Blames Ghostwriter

This year has been a wild one in terms of publishing scandals… and, of course, February isn’t even over yet. So far, we’ve got the Jill Abramson plagiarism scandal; the cancellation of a YA debut due to accusations of racist themes; and the cancer lies, urine cups, and possible plagiarism nightmare in the whirlwind of Dan Mallory’s well-documented B.S. Just before the month comes to an end, we’ve got another scandal for you—plagiarism allegations against bestselling romance novelist Christiane Serruya. Fans might’ve fallen in love with her books, but they’re not head-over-heels for her behavior.

 

Christiane Serruya Goodreads List

Image Via Goodreads

 

Christiane Serruya may have written the Trust trilogy, but she doesn’t exactly seem to be trustworthy. Fans of Courtney Milan‘s The Duchess War alerted the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author to similarities between her novel and Serruya’s newest release. Sorry, did I say similarities? I meant that these passages are so similar they look like a children’s spot-the-difference game—is it the comma hiding in the background? Is it the slightly different word order? Take a look at the plagiarized passages and see for yourself why Milan’s next war won’t be fictional:

 

Milan: “Her nostrils flared; he almost thought she might stamp her foot and paw the ground, like an angry bull.”

Serruya: “Her nostrils flared; he almost thought she might stamp her foot and paw the ground, like the bull that had attacked Siobhan.”

Milan: “‘If you’re any good in bed, I might fall in love with you. If that is going to be anathema …’ ‘No,’ he said swiftly. He looked away from her, and when he spoke again, there was a slight rasp to his words. ‘No. That would be perfectly … unobjectionable.”

Serruya: “She stared back, both fascinated and appalled. ‘And if I fall in love with you? Is it going to be anathema?’ ‘No,’ he said swiftly, and looked away from her. There was a slight rasp to his words, when he faced her again. ‘No. That would be perfectly … unobjectionable.’”

 

Courtney Milan with novel, 'The Duchess War'

Image Via San Diego Tribune

 

Milan has made her official statement on the situation—and it’s mostly (and understandably) an expression of anger:

I have not listed all of the similarities because, quite frankly, it is stomach-churning to read what someone else has done to butcher a story that I wrote with my whole heart … I wrote The Duchess War in the midst of a massive depressive spell and I bled for every word that I put on the page. But you know what? Cristiane Serruya has to be the biggest idiot out there. I’ve sold several hundred thousand copies of this book. I’ve given away several hundred thousand copies on top of that. Does she think that readers are never going to notice her blatant plagiarism?

As for Serruya’s own, original work, Milan dug deep: “no wonder you’re copying other authors, girl.” Yikes!

Serruya might have been a royal pain for Milan, but at least her response has been more appropriate than her actions. Immediately after the allegations went viral, Serruya pulled Royal Love from sale. Though she offered an apology, she also gave an excuse: according to Serruya, the ghostwriter she hired is responsible for the plagiarism.

 

Christiane Serruya, author under plagiarism allegations

Image Via Writers and Authors

 

Ghostwriters are legal and somewhat commonplace, particularly when it comes to bestsellers. World’s wealthiest author James Patterson has a whole team of ghostwriters (so, a team of Christmas elves who only talk about murder) to maintain his prolific output. Many celebrities use ghostwriters for their own memoirs as, let’s get real, it’s rare to be famous and a talented writer at the same time. While famous writers don’t need to be talented (which we can all agree on unless your Fifty Shades of Grey opinions are particularly intense) we can assume the combination is an unlikely one. Some fans may not be pleased with this explanation: ‘don’t worry that I didn’t write the book; it’s just that I didn’t write the book.’ But the explanation is logical, if not entirely satisfying.

Serruya called the allegations “distressing,” resolving to pull the book “until [she has] made certain this is solved.”

 

Featured Image Via New in Books

Ex-New York Times Editor Accused of Plagiarism

One of the worst things that any writer can do is plagiarize another person’s work. It’s even worse when it comes from a seasoned reporter. Equally, it’s one of the worst things for a writer to be accused of.

Former New York Times editor and Wall Street Journal reporter Jill Abramson has been accused of copying several passages from other writers for her book Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts.

The book is an investigation into four news companies (The New York Times, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and Vice News) as it talks about the impact of technology on the press and the challenges these companies face regarding journalistic standards.

Accusations of plagiarism were first made by Vice reporter Michael C. Moynihan. After finding a factual error regarding a Vice colleague in the book, Moynihan noticed several passages that he felt were similar to articles written from other magazines. Moynihan posted his findings on Twitter. The tweets went viral shortly after.

In an appearance on Fox News, Abramson has denied that she plagiarized anything and has promised to review some passages for errors. She has also responded on Twitter.

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia