I am an author and a mother of seven children. My life was torn apart recently when I learned that an anonymous person on the Internet, who is known only by a logo and a fake name, had plagiarized one of my novels.
Four separate readers verified that Sam Taylor Mullens took my Christian novel, A Bid for Love
(first copyrighted in 1998 as Love to the Highest Bidder
), and changed the point-of-view, altered the characters’ names, added steamy sex, and passed it off as her own book, The Auction Deal.
She distributed copies for review, uploaded to Amazon (see picture below), and even organized an online book tour with multiple reviewers. I have a copy of "her" book and have verified the blatant plagiarism.
When confronted, Mullens gave several explanations about how she came up with the story idea. First she claimed that she collaborated on it, then that a man gave it to her before conveniently dying, and last of all that I'd given her permission since she was my niece who had come up with the idea for the book. When the plagiarism came to light, she and several anonymous associates (friends? fans?) began harassing me and the bloggers who came forward. They put one-star reviews on my published books (under my name and my pen name Rachel Branton). Mullens also threatened me with a harassment suit for contacting bloggers about the stolen book.
You can read about all the bizarre twists to the story by clicking here.
A few days ago, everything regarding Sam Taylor Mullens began disappearing from the Internet. Even her other books are no longer for sale. I am confident Mullens's true identity can be discovered, but in order to make sure she never does this to me or to anyone else again, I will need an attorney’s help to wade through the lies. (The rights to the book have reverted to me, and while the original publisher is sympathetic, I am the one who has holds the copyright and must pursue the infringement.)
This woman has turned my life upside down. I feel as if she's broken into my home and stolen something very dear to me. She's tried everything she can to discredit and hurt me. I haven't been able to sleep since this began, and so much time has been robbed from my family and my writing.
Plagiarizers know it costs authors time and money to defend their work, and they bet on us not having the resources needed to prosecute. So when David Farland (author of The Runelords
series), approached me about creating a GoFundMe campaign to help with costs, I accepted his advice. Several other authors are also teaming up to spread the word.
We ask you to please help us fight against plagiarism!
A big thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer sympathy, leads, and a shoulder to cry on. Especially to my fellow authors who understand how much this means to all of us. My inbox has been flooded with support, and I couldn’t have made it this far without you.
Rachel Ann Nunes
Update 8/14/2014 - THANK YOU so much for all the love and support as we go forward. I am amazed at the outpouring from authors, readers, friends, and complete strangers who have passed along tips, words of comfort, and support. Someone is still at it online, even posting on this page under yet more identities to try to kill this support, but we have learned her identity. Things are in the hands of my attorneys, and I am proceeding under their counsel. There is a very long road ahead, however. I will post more when they let me. Thank you for your help!