Someone Accused Me Of Plagiarism…

Yesterday, I sent out an email to my BK Insiders List subscribers about an exclusive free short story I was sending their way. If you are familiar with my writing, you know that writing and posting short stories at no charge is something I do often. As I’ve explained on my blog where most of my short stories go, writing shorts helps me exercise my writing muscle, a.k.a. my brain. It also helps with taking a break from writing my novellas since writing a book can be taxing.

I don’t get any money from my blog. I don’t host ads for a reason because it really is a place where I can post freely and creatively. And I don’t sell my books here… yet.

It seems one of my subscribers saw the cover and the synopsis, jumped to a conclusion and sent a screen cap of that cover and synopsis to an author she believed I stole from. This must be the case because that author hopped in my DMs on Facebook and maliciously accused me of stealing her work… work that has yet to even be released or read by anyone. I told her that I didn’t know who she was and hadn’t read any of her books and I was accused of lying about that. When I realized I was speaking to her ego, I decided to step away from the conversation because it was destructive and not productive, and I’m all about building not destroying.

I’m a copy and content writer by day. I am well aware of the ramifications of plagiarizing texts and am extremely careful when creating copy for clients with this in mind and I extend that same discipline to my creative life.

I understand the grind of creating way too much to take from anyone’s plate. Whether that be a writer, a poet, an artist, whatever. I more than understand the gamble we as creatives take when we invest our hours, sacrificing time with friends and family, not watching that show that everyone else is watching just so you can create. So even the suggestion that I would steal from someone, as I told the author herself, is absolutely absurd.

Besides that, I love creating too much. I enjoy every step of the process… well, except for editing, and anyone who knows me, knows that. I adore character developing, creating setting details, filling in plot holes, and just creating fiction that could be read and connected to by simply the formation of a sentence. To rob myself of any of that would not make me a writer.

Since yesterday, I have watched as people created posts about this situation without once asking for the facts.

I wrote “3 in the morning” months ago. I wrote it for a 24-hour short story contest. The contest judges asked that I create a story within 24-hours and send it to the judges as is. The story didn’t win, but it received an honorable mention. I went way over the word count they asked for but I felt cutting the story shorter than it actually was wouldn’t make the story cohesive. But because I wrote it and enjoyed reading it, I sent it in any way.

I loved the story, but I would not release it as a short story for purchase, so I offered the story to my subscribers.

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

I got the idea from this quote. This is one of many quotes that speak on 3 a.m. being a creative hour. It’s quite common but obviously not common enough.  I’m always on Pinterest reading quotes for meditation and just to feed my motivation and this one struck a story idea. I’ve said many times that most of my stories start with a “what if,” so I wondered, what if a writer made one of her erotic stories real? Her erotic story was about a woman, a painter, who lost her drive for creating after having a bad break up. She vowed to be celibate but her celibacy seemed to get in the way of her being inspired to paint. So one night, she set out to change that with a perfect stranger. The cheesiness of the writer’s story has a purpose lol. The cover, is basic. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s similar to my No Fraternizing, PT. 3 and Forbidden covers. I wasn’t even going to make a cover for the story, just send it as a text to subscribers but that’s not my style. So I played on the 3 in the morning title, by downloading a free digital font to use. The photo, was one of the stock photos leftover from my Drinks On Me Blog series. You can take a look at the photos used in that series to see the similarities.

Without going too much into detail and making this post longer than it needs to be, I’ve posted the unedited first scene of the story. I will still send it out to my subscribers because I’m a woman of my word. Although I’ve been told to scrap it, I won’t because I stand by my word that I did not, would not, and have no reason to steal from anybody, especially another writer.

Moving forward, my subscriber list will be closed for new sign ups. I obviously have to streamline new subscribers since I see that people who seem like they are supporting, sometimes aren’t. Although I’m sure the person who did screen cap, send, and prematurely accuse me of stealing this author’s story has already unsubscribed.

I’m grateful to those who sincerely support my journey. But if you are not one of them, please unsubscribe if you are on my list. I won’t feel anyway at all. I encourage it. Because I work too hard and gamble too much of my time for my efforts and final product to be questioned regarding authenticity.

I think what gets me the most is that the story is free. It’s a story I spent half the time writing compared to the stories that I’ve spent more hours, weeks, months creating but this is the one that gets the attention, negative attention at that.

Below is that unedited scene (excuse any typos). The story takes an interesting turn but that’s something my subscribers will find out when the story is released to them. As always, thanks for reading. 

Love,

Brookelyn.

___________________________________________________________________________

“Cheers, best friend, to the completion of your third novel!” Adiza shouted as she clinked her wine glass with mine.

“Yessss, finally!” I hollered.

Adiza and I were sitting in the busy Gray Area, a tiny bar tucked on a corner in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was Jersey’s little secret. If you didn’t know it by name, you wouldn’t find it. Gray Area just wasn’t the type of place you stumbled on while out and about.

This was my hangout spot, the place I visited to craft and create. Some people liked to type in coffee shops or libraries. I was more of the bar fly type.

“The result of six long months.” I beamed while clapping for my damn self.

“Wow, three whole books,” she said taking a sip of her red wine. “Brandi, I’m so proud of you.”

I imitated a bow in my seat. “Thank you, thank you.”

“Now if we could just get your life to imitate some of this art you create so well…”

I closed my eyes and took a deep cleansing breath.

“I’m saying, Brandi. You write erotica, really sexy erotica,” she bellowed. “But half the shit you write about you don’t even live. I don’t get it.”

“Yeah, so… what it sounds like is that it’s time to start talking about something else,” I said looking around us. Adiza had a penchant for speaking loud and not realizing it. And it didn’t matter where we were. Crowded rooms, empty spaces. She was always an octave higher than she needed to be… every time the woman spoke.

“And those scenes are fire. Sometimes I have to change my panties between chapters.” She nudged me playfully.

“Adiza, please.”

“Come on, live a little.”

“Refill?” the bartender asked.

His eyes sparkled. It was the one feature about him I could make out and save to memory because all the rest of him was covered with hair.

“Sure,” I said to the bartender then turned my attention on Adiza. “You need to learn how to keep your voice down.”

“Do you remember the dare you accepted when you first started writing.”

I looked up at the bearded, locked-hair bartender noticing he was lingering in front of us a bit too long after pouring my drink.

“Okay, thanks,” I said to him, forcing a smile.

He smiled back before walking away.

“First of all, you need to learn how to speak with an inside voice.” I poked her on the arm and she laughed.

“Secondly, I accepted that dare after having way too many tequila shots, okay? And you know anything said or agreed to during a drunk night doesn’t really count.”

Adiza rolled her eyes.

“You said,” she continued, despite my interjection, “that after you completed your third book that you would bring one of your short stories to life. Penning short stories helped with completing books, three is your favorite number, both are significant to you… yada, yada, ya. You made it a thing so here we are. Third book complete. Now it’s time to keep your word.”

“Adiza—”

“Come on, B, step out of your comfort zone, damn. Would it kill you to have an affair for once? See a sexy stranger and do something impulsive?”

“Actually, it could kill me. There are diseases and—”

“So… condoms are of a rarity these days?”

I rolled my eyes again.

She kissed her teeth. “Why don’t you live out your short? You know the one…” She snapped her fingers in the air. Once she remembered the story’s title, she slammed her hand down on the bar counter and shouted, “3 in the morning! Yessss!”

I turned my head slow in her direction.

“Head out to the city, stop in at Witches Brew, meet a guy, and hook up with him at a nearby Marriot.”

Her voice was loud again.

“Oh, and in room 333… it has to be room 333. Then, tell me about it.”

“You’re talking too loud… again.”

“I’ll even send a friend your way to make the search simpler since you want to get all germaphobe on me. He’s a law student, two years older than us. All man, boo.”

“Adiza–”

“His name is Cordell and he’s really cute. I haven’t fucked him yet but–”

“Adiza!” I spat. I glanced around myself again to make sure no one was looking at us as this girl spilled all my tea. “Please. I’ll pass.”

“You’re such a prude now which is quite disappointing,” she said under her breath. “What would your readers think if they discovered you were a fraud? Prudish and boring with a zero percent sex drive.”

I turned my head in her direction again and she stared back at me. “Excuse you?”

“You don’t even want it… sex,” she added. “It’s one thing not to have time for it, life can get in the way. But to be all, ‘ewww… I don’t do that…’” She said that last part with finger quotes then shook her head.

“Fraud?!” I said to myself.

“How you don’t like sex but you like writing about it?”

“Prudish and boring?!” I repeated.

“Just telling it like it is.” Adiza shrugged, real smug-like, then finished her drink.

“Fine,” I said throwing my hands up, defeated. “I’ll do it. But don’t even bother calling your friend. I’m not interested in charity dick in the least bit. I can catch my own.”

Her smile could be seen from Mars. “For real? Going to Witches Brew and booking hotel room 333 with a sexy stranger—”

“At the Marriott… yes, all that,” I replied. “I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll even arrive at Witches Brew at the time I said my character, Nova, did in my story.”

“3 a.m., on the dot?” Adiza asked, cheesing.

I nodded. “Just to maintain the authenticity of the tale.”

“Ahhhhh,” she screamed, jumping out of her seat beside me to wrap her arms around me. “That’s my girl. Ohhh, this is going to be good.” She beamed. “You’ll tell me everything right? Right?”

I nodded. “Yeah, sure.”

END OF SCENE

16 Comments

  1. Latrice March 22, 2018

    That’s crazy…i sure hate this has happened to you. sending good and positive vibes your way! 😉🤗💋

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 22, 2018

      It really is but like I said this whole thing was a learning lesson in this journey of mine ☺️. Thank you sooo much!!! I accept them and send those good, positive vibes back your way ✨♥️🤗😘

      Reply
  2. Chris March 22, 2018

    Thats crazy. Ignore the hate and jealousy. This industry is full of snakes and people that just want to start drama. You are a creative genius, keep doing ya thing.

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 22, 2018

      Yes very true! This was very much a learning lesson. Thank you sooo much Chris!! I appreciate you 🤗🤗

      Reply
  3. Marquessa March 22, 2018

    I fully support you and from following you for so long, I know that you are a person of honor who would never do such a thing. Keep doing YOU!

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 22, 2018

      🤗 Thank you so much Marquessa! I really appreciate you saying that. I’m also way too paranoid to be stealing people’s work and passing it off as my own 🤷🏾‍♀️

      Reply
  4. Latasha martin March 22, 2018

    Well let me just say that when you posted the title, I did think about the other book But there are a Lot of books that I see have the same title or similar so I really thought nothing else about it. She only has one little book to your almost twenty something not including your blog short stories. We know that I get very aggressive when it comes to you and your work because I know that you pour your heart and soul into it so she bedda not better have several seats before I hop on her posts with some not so nice articulate words.

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 22, 2018

      No, no don’t do that lol. And I agree with you. After she reached out to me, I went to look for her book and saw the similarities in the synopsis and cover but from what I read, the stories are totally different. When I wrote the story, I wrote it for the contest. And when I decided to make it available to y’all, I didn’t bother doing research to see if there were any similar titles because the story was not up for sale, it just wasn’t that serious. I think her just asking me questions without jumping to conclusions without the facts would have kept it from going to the place it went. But you know how much I appreciate you ♥️♥️🤗. Don’t go running under no ones post tho lol it’s just not worth it.

      Reply
  5. Latasha Martin March 22, 2018

    I went looking but I didn’t see anything on her personal page nor her group. It’s just sad that people act out of emotions first and then think later.

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 22, 2018

      It really is sad. And there is no acknowledgement of fault when they’re wrong. The whole thing is just so immature. But all I can do is be me. Can’t control other people but I can have control over myself

      Reply
  6. LeTaraWrites March 23, 2018

    It happens sometimes. There are so many stories out there and there are bound to be some with similarities with one another. As a creative, it can be difficult to come up something that has absolutely never been done before.I was indirectly accused of the same thing once. I’m sure you didn’t plagiarize anything. I’ll keep reading.

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 23, 2018

      Thank you LeTara, I appreciate you!! To me, plagiarism is a serious accusation. I took several journalism ethics classes in college so even the thought of stealing someone else’s work is insane to me. Plagiarism implies literary theft and that’s something I consciously don’t do. There’s been times where I’ll read a line in a book that I’ve already added to my manuscript and I’ll go into my manuscript and remove it even though it was there already before I started reading said book, just to avoid any conflict. The concept of 3 a.m. is as common as the character concepts in most romance novels with having alpha males. My story and her story are completely different. The only thing they have in common are the mention of 3 a.m. and creatives. The whole thing was far more messy than it needed to be. This really was unnecessary drama. At least have all the facts before accusing. None of this was justified 🤷🏾‍♀️

      Reply
  7. Tierney carson March 24, 2018

    I wanted to let you know that I have everything you has written and I wanted to let you know that you are one of the few authors that I enjoy and admire your work and authenticity of your stories. Don’t let her words discourage or make you second guess anything that you do. Continue writing those stories girl and I will continue reading.😀

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 24, 2018

      Thank you sooo much Tierney!!! I really appreciate your words and your support ♥️♥️🤗

      Reply
  8. LadyObscure March 26, 2018

    I think it’s really unfair that you are being accused of plagiarism, as we all know that your stories are really unique. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll continue to read your books and that you should just ignore what this person says.

    Reply
    • bkmosley March 26, 2018

      Thank you!! I really appreciate you and your support! It was definitely unexpected and like I said I really enjoy creating and writing too much to ever steal someone else’s idea and pass it off as my own. It was a learning experience and helped me focus on those who are truly supportive so thank you ♥️♥️🤗

      Reply

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