November 3, 2015

In The Headlines: Plagiarism

This week in romance news, gay romance author Laura Harner was exposed as having plagiarized at least two other authors, releasing a nearly word-for-word version of My Kind of Trouble, by Becky McGraw.


Numerous analyses have shown Harner's title, Coming Home Texas, to have changed enough details from McGraw's original work to make it a gay romance, but not much more. One character's name is changed from Imelda to Isabella, for example. The plot follows the same arc, and the only scene from My Kind of Trouble not recreated in Coming Home Texas is apparently the scene in which the female lead gives birth.

A perusal of Harner's other works shows at least one other title suspiciously like another author's straight release.

Harner has released a statement apologizing for her actions and offering some explanations.

The article above, published in The Guardian, includes discussion in regards to the ways in which plagiarism is handled among editors, publishers and authors. Quite often, authors are encouraged not to bring up issues of plagiarism... not to "rock the boat". 

What are your thoughts? Are Laura Harner's explanations sufficient? Was this perhaps a couple of isolated incidents? And what should authors do when their work is so blatantly stolen?


  1. One time is too many. It isn't accidental. She chose to plagiarize someone else's hard work. No excuse works.

    1. My feelings as well...why is it so difficult for people to take the work of artist's seriously, so that theft like this is actually seen as theft? I find the article's mention of how authors are encouraged to keep quiet and "be nice", very upsetting.


What do you think?