Self-Published Romance Writer Exposed as Plagiarist

Self-Published Romance Writer Exposed as Plagiarist
Image via The Guardian

Plagiarism is one of the biggest sins a writer can commit, but that didn’t bother self-published author Laura Harner. Her romance novel Coming Home Texas was recently revealed to be a gender-swapped dupe of Becky McGraw’s My Kind of Trouble, reports The Guardian.

Harner, whose Amazon profile claims she has penned over 50 novels and sold nearly half a million books, turned McGraw’s book about a girl who returns home and falls for a local bad boy into a gay love story about a boy who returns home and also falls for a local bad boy. A reader spotted the crime and alerted McGraw, which led to further investigation of the matter.

“Her book was almost a word-for-word, scene-for-scene duplication of my book, except the characters’ names had been changed, and short M/M love scenes had been inserted,” McGraw told The Guardian.

Harner’s plagiarism doesn’t stop there. Her Deuce Coop series is eerily similar to Opal Carew’s Riding Steele, only with gender-swapped characters. Since her villainy has been uncovered, she has pulled both Coming Home Texas and Deuce Coop from retailers. McGraw intends to take legal action against the offense.

Hopefully Harner’s two titles are the only works of plagiarism she has in her repertoire—but something tells me romance writers should keep an eye out just in case.

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Raine Winters

News by Raine Winters

Raine lives in Cleveland, Ohio and works as a freelance writer and graphic artist. From an early age she has harbored a love of reading and writing, and is lucky enough to incorporate both into her daily work routine. Raine is a lover of all things fantasy and horror related, has a soft spot in her heart for middle grade and young adult fiction, and spends most of her free time running, wakesurfing, or wrangling in her husband and three cats while they perpetrate a massive amount of mischief around the house.

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edsikov's picture
edsikov from New York by way of Natrona Hts PA is reading absolutely nothing October 29, 2015 - 7:37am

Oh, she wasn't plagiarising. She was "sampling."



davidheath23's picture
davidheath23 from Brescia, Italy is reading Brave New World October 29, 2015 - 8:52am

This is a scary thing for indie authors (like myself) to have to deal with. To get exposure, it's important to send out a lot of advance copies of your work for review, feedback, etc. and you don't always know where it's going to. In most cases, we don't have the 500 bucks it takes to submit your work to esteemed publications, so personally run blogs and sites are the best option.

Thanks for bringing this problem to peoples attention!

Sarah Walker's picture
Sarah Walker October 29, 2015 - 9:53am

How likely is it that someone who "wrote" 75 books in several genres *in the last five years* only copy-pasted the two she's been caught with?

Oh, and her apology on being caught was the biggest non-apology possible. 

Apparently "it seems [she] may have infringed [her] ethical standards" (can't imagine why it seems that way, except you've been caught) and "when someone does something so out of character, it's helpful to ask why" - which kind of presupposes it IS out of character, which is currently moot.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 29, 2015 - 3:44pm

The Guardian says so, that must be proof right? Don't get me wrong, it's a vicious world for self-publishers. But it's not a non lawyers right to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner in this context.