Maybe it’s just me, and I’m writing this staring at a clock, knowing I should be getting ready for another fun filled day at the place that pays the bills … but, does anyone else out there in the literary world get a bit peeved when they come across a book or movie that is almost exactly your idea? Okay, I told someone at my job about my book and gave the elevator pitch of the story line and she says, “have you read …” So she pulls up this book online and I read he jacket and HOLY MOLY!!! It’s my story line. And I mean almost verbatim, with the exception that I my underlying undertone is not about a wolf pack. However, seeing this book did send some primal, animalistic reactions into my psyche. I found myself defending my book, like a mother defending a child who was just slandered. I had my, “oh no you didn’t,” face on, and the shoes and earrings were about to come off.
Okay, so that was sooo last week (By the way, how many “o’s” do you put in so of you want to drag out the point? Is there a standard?). Okay, so yesterday, because my car was almost smashed by a big rig and some jerk who pulled in front of the big rig and cut me off, I was forced to make a left hand turn into our small mall. Oh, well, I took my lumps and pulled into the Barnes and Noble to scope out the competition and pick up a new book (I vowed to be a good writer and start reading again). As I entered the store, there it was, right smack in my face like some big neon sign that read, “Ha ha. I made it to the front rack at Barnes and Noble. Where’s your book that is significantly so much like mine.” I know its a lot to be on a neon sign, but I swear that’s what the sign was showing me. So I did what any other writer in my position would do…I turned her book around. Sigh. Shallow? Probably, but don’t judge me lest you be judged. And don’t throw stones at my glass house unless you want some shards to fly your way. Anyway, before I walked out of the store I turned her book the right way…stupid morals and proper upbringing.
I do have to say that this has really bore a hole in my creative soul. I am trying so hard to realize we did not write the same book, and that every story has already been told….now it’s a matter of making it better, adding a twist, or whatever makes it genuine. But there are so many similarities, and now I feel like people will look at my book and think I copied off the New York Times Best Seller chick. I feel substandard. My dreams have been stomped on…but maybe, just maybe….Maybe I wrote it better. Maybe my characters are more believable. Maybe my story line excedes hers. Maybe…oh, well. I was almost fit to never buy another book again, but I did what I said I wouldn’t do because buying A James PAtterson book is my chocolate fix. So I bought his latest romance novel, “The Christmas Wedding.” I read his jacket that states he is in Guiness Records for selling the most books ever…240 million, and so I wallowed some more while I turned each page wanting desperately to read the last chapter and find out the big mystery. STUPID JAMES PATTERSON, master of the page turner, even in a romance novel. Yes he is my chocolate, but I’m always left with some guilty, inadequate feeling after, like I need a shower to bathe of his wonderfulness that I basked in more a spell.
Anyway, I’m still boycotting that other book, and if push comes to shove, and I end up in Barnes and Noble again, so help me, this time I will turn her books over and walk away with a clear conscience. I’ll do it, too!