Prose and Cons: A Plagiarist Faces the Judge

This post by John Doppler originally appeared on The John Doppler Effect on 9/2/14.

To an author, there are few crimes more heinous than plagiarism. Every author knows the agony of the untold story, the grueling birth of a novel, the joy of finally bringing that creation into the world and holding it up for all to see.

Having that joy stolen from you is an unspeakable cruelty.

That’s why Rachel Ann Nunes’ plight has struck a chord with so many authors. Rachel’s novel, A Bid for Love, was stolen, mutilated, and repackaged as a sloppy knock-off titled The Auction Deal.

Rachel’s work has already hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller lists for Christian fiction, but the plagiarist believed she could improve it by injecting explicit sex scenes into the work. She then offered the book for sale under her pen name, Sam Taylor Mullens, and pretended that it was her own, original creation.

The plagiarist tried to take credit for Rachel’s inventiveness, hard work, and perseverance. It was a cowardly act, but it paled in comparison to what followed.


An impersonal crime becomes personal

It’s said that character is what you do when nobody is looking. Mullens felt invisible and untouchable behind her pseudonym, and her true character was quickly revealed.

First, she attempted to deflect criticism by offering a bewildering series of lies: that she had permission to use the work; that the work had been given to her by a mysterious, nameless man who later died in a car crash; that she was the niece of the CEO of Rachel’s publisher; and that she had collaborated with Rachel to write the book.

When those flimsy lies failed to stand up to scrutiny, she turned to a campaign of harassment and vicious libel against Rachel.


Click here to read the full post, which includes more details on how the plagiarist was caught, what charges she’s facing, and how other authors can help the case, on The John Doppler Effect.


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