Stupid book that sounds just like mine!

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!

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15 responses to “Stupid book that sounds just like mine!

  1. Belle of Mountains

    I hate it when that happens. (Scares me to death, always.) Although you’ve probably already heard this, I’ll mention it anyway…it really is the characters that count. They are what make the story…if they’re original, then you’re good to go…

  2. That stinks. They say there are only a limited number of stories to tell. And it’s all in the telling. So maybe you two had a similar plot idea, but the characters, the subplots, the voice, they could all be different. 🙂

    • I almost bought it , just to see, but I couldn’t do it. Years ago I knew my first husband was cheating on me. I knew it in my gut. But until I actually caught him it wasn’t true. Seeing this book and reading the jacket is sorta like that. I know these stories are the same, but until I actually read her book I can remain in denial. Self-preservation. 😉

  3. Oh I LOVE this, Tania–I can so relate to your feelings, even though I don’t have a published book out, okay? I’d have been right beside you, ready to fight! So, count me among those who have not read your book yet–but think it towers above the competition, and that’s my final answer on the subject! It absolutely IS about the characters–because although our life experiences may parallel others, “we” are unique individuals–the way life shapes us and the choices we make, that is the difference in the stories.

    And by the by, I didn’t know Patterson wrote a romance too–hmm, may have to check that one out, if I ever get time to read a book….

    Thanks, Tania–keep the faith!!!

  4. Ergh. I feel your pain. I admire your turning the book around after turning it around though…I think I would have found myself slowly and methodically walking each one of the other copies to the back of the store and putting them next to the … oh, I don’t know, perhaps mechanical engineering 101 or something. I won’t admit to anything more sinister, this being a public forum…

    The moment when we catch our breath and ask ourselves if we are going to be popular, are people going to like what I wrote…? I understand it well, though I am completely unknown…It is the one person (or twenty or more) that I will never know about that read what I write and say, ‘oh, yeah, I get this’ or who bring it up when they are in conversation with a friend who needs it. That’s what I pretend I write for.

    But that is why I have a regular job that pays the bills too.

    Oh an aside, if you need a henchwoman, I do have a spiteful side that could do with a little nefariousness, for a good cause of course, just say the word!

    Best of luck.

    • I rather enjoy the thought of having a henchwoman, LOL. Together we can move books around the bookstores in our area. Or flip them upside down.
      Now, as much as I do aspire to be a household name, I really just aspire to make my family proud. I know they are, but they build me up so much to family and friends and acquantences that I don;t want to let them down. Still, I won’t scowl at making someone’s bestseller list.

      • Just say the word! You’re right though, the best seller list doesn’t sound that bad.

        Really, all the best. I am sure your family is very proud. Mine on the otherhand…the five year old told me yesterday that I was doing yoga all wrong and my eight year old told me I was the best mum ever because I let him watch things that the other boys mums don’t let them watch.
        Aargh. xb.

  5. I’m having the same problem although I’ve had this idea for years and finally am writing. however a japanese manga has nearly the exact plot and characters:( would i be breaking the copyright issues if i tried to publish it? and i feel really mad at myself for not writing it before that book came out because i don’t want people thinking i copied.

    • Hi Leaf,
      Every book has been written. Those words have been said to me so many times. Case and point, my book “Be Still” was in editing when a famous author put out a book similar to mine. I was ready to cancel my book. I was so mad. I went to the bookstore and turned all her books around. But as I thumbed through her book I realized we had the same plot but our stories were different. We even had the same ratio of characters, but my story had a different twist and that was enough.
      Did you know when you submit a query they ask you to know three books similar to yours. They ask so they know if books like the one you’ve written are selling. No story is new only told different. So unless your book is nearly word for word and starts and ends the same it is not a copyright infringement, plus that would be more of plagerism anyway. If this is your story and not taken from another persons then you’re okay. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you very much:) Everyone has been telling me to give up-even my parents-so i felt pretty down. Although my book has a scene that is just like the manga i read i had written it before i had even known about it. I really am glad though that i am not the only one to feel this upset-although at the same time i don’t want anyone to feel so depressed. Thank you again and I am going to be able to get a book tomorrow! I heard great reviews about your book, Be Still, and i will be purchasing it tomorrow. I’ve actually had it on my “to read list” on goodreads for a while haha. Again,

  6. thank you.

    • Your welcome. Anytime someone asks about my book they want to tell me about a book or movie that sounds just like it. I close my eyes and put my hands over my ears. I don’t want to know.
      I have such amazing family support and think it just sucks that you don’t. I have a kid who wants to be a professional skateboarder (he’s not great), so I tell him go for it but always have a plan B. I think it is important that we at least give our dream a shot. If it doesn’t work out we go to therapy and carry on, but at least we know, I spent 38 years afraid of pursuing a dream. That is a lot of wasted time. Follow your heart. Only you know what it says, and its okay to have plan B just in case. But really, do you know how many authors were rejected before being “Discovered.” Even editors don’t always get it right. Good luck.

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