So someone’s been plagiarizing Squirrel!Terror.
Here’s Squirrel!Terror on my LiveJournal. Now these are original posts, or parts of them, because my LJ is merely a backup for my blog here. Where the LJ entries cut off is where there was a cut directing readers to my site, which is why plenty of the Squirrel!Terror articles were unable to be resurrected from LJ export like some of my other posts were after the hacking.
Here’s the Squirrel!Terror tag on my website–the very same website that was hacked, during which I lost most of SquirrelTerror, which led me to the present-day attempt of getting the entries together for my Readers. The person I’ve hired to help me edit, copyedit, and format it into reasonable shape for ebooks found the plagiarism via some Google-fu.
I’m saddened, of course. I’m a little peeved, but I’m used to people stealing my work. I’ve sent a message through Facebook and through Kos to ask this person to take down the posts, there and everywhere else she’s tried to pass off my work as her own. I’ll be crossposting this to Kos as well. Since I’m planning on bringing the tales of Neo, Mercutio, and the gang to ebook form due to reader request, I want to be very clear about the fact that I wrote them, I own them, and this is not okay. I’m not sure if this will impact my plans to bring them to ebook.
It’s just…sad. Very sad. I hope this person does the right thing.
UPDATE, 5/11/13: Skyla Dawn Cameron, who is the above-named “person I’ve hired to help me edit, copyedit…” has gone public about how she found the plagiarism.
Also, I crossposted over at Kos, and was immediately buried under an avalanche of comments about how I must be lying. *shrug*
As things stand, I’m undecided about whether or not to bring out the ebook. This whole thing just makes me feel violated and like it’s not a good idea, even if the tales of Neo and the Backyard give some joy to my dear Readers. I don’t know yet. I’m thinking about it.
UPDATE, 5/11/13: Skyla has kindly compiled all the evidence into an easy form: SquirrelPlagiarism. That link leads to a ZIP file (right-click to download, I believe) where you will find, in her words:
“- A spreadsheet with links and dates to your original entry, the now-deleted link to Noddy’s, and a cached version of the page I viewed. Note that if you have trouble viewing the cached version, you can plug the deleted link into google–the result will have a little arrow you can click next to it that lets you view the cache. Also, some are still viewable in the Wayback Machine, at least the older ones.
– Screenshots of snippets from each entry. The entries were long and wouldn’t fit on one screen but *in case* they are needed, they can be easily blogged.”–Skyla Dawn Cameron, in email
I think reaction is setting in. I feel dizzy and shaky, and physically nauseous. So far there’s been no word from the plagiarizer, though I contacted “Noddy” before I wrote the initial post last night, both through the Kos site and through her listed Facebook profile to ask her to take the posts down. It appears 2 out of the 20 or so remain up, so maybe she has, I don’t know. Several Kos commenters asked why I didn’t stick around in the comments to “defend my accusation” and why I didn’t put up side-by-side examples. My intent in posting there, where the event had occurred, was to quietly but publicly let “Noddy” know that her theft had been noticed. As for sticking around for the comments, I’m glad I didn’t, given what the first avalanche of them was like. I didn’t put up side by side examples because looking at them made me sick. Instead, I put up the links and trusted that people would go and see for themselves. Perhaps that wasn’t the right way to handle it, but that’s what I did and I stand by every decision I made.
I’m hoping this is the last thing I have to say about this whole chain of events, unless it’s “Here is the apology.” If I receive any communication I’ll post it, and then hopefully this will be done. I’ve got books to write, I don’t have time for this bullshit.
UPDATE, 5/1//13: I received a message from “Noddy” through my Kos message box, which I haven’t used for five years until this unfortunate…chain of events. I’m going to paste the entire thing below, from the message I sent last night to her response.
Please stop plagiarizing.
Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:42 PM PDT
It has come to my attention that you’ve been plagiarizing my Squirrel!Terror stories. Please stop, and take them down everywhere you’ve posted them.
Re: Please stop plagiarizing.
Sat May 11, 2013 at 01:55 PM PDT
I’ve deleted my stories from here (the only place I put them) and I’m going to go through the stories and make sure I’ve removed anything that might be too close to my influences: Marn’s blog, The Destroyer, Wind in the Willows, Brian Jacques’ Redwall books, Jane Yolen, Beatrix Potter, and a few others.
The only book of yours I’ve read is The Hedgewitch Queen, Any plagiarism is inadvertent and comes second, third, or fourth hand, not directly.
I’ve got more than 50 stories spanning the last 30 years about Big Sarge (who is based loosely on Remo Williams and Chiun from The Destroyer series), his tribe of squirrels and his descendant Luke, and Janet, Han, Riff-Raff, Magenta, Elvis, Chad (the bird personalities that were influenced by Marn, a blogger I’ve been following since 1999 at Diaryland – especially Janet), Roots, Beasley, and other wild back yard critters and our domestic critters Dogmatyx, Eris, Catmatyx, Keegan, Shika, Drooly, Wudje, Weasel, Bandi Underfoot, Sophelia, Klumperdink, Rhapsody, Symphony, Remy, Itzl, Rafferty, Hector, Xoco. I have pictures of some of the critters (not the vixen, though, she was always too shy) that inspired the stories – the squirrel throwing peanuts at the house, dead squirrels, and their graves, the birds flocking in my trees, turf wars over food I threw out for them and food I threw out hoping it would just decompose (the gulls and geese from Dolese Park were the worst), squirrels scolding our dogs and cats, birds (mostly blue jays and mockingbirds.because they scold the most) scolding the cats and dogs, but I don’t have pictures for everything, since it’s hard to take pictures and wash dishes.
Most of the stories took place here at this house, with the Zombie Maple and the Encroaching Elm and the Not-Sweet Gum Tree and the Chinese Pistaches and the menacing row of cedars and the Moping Mulberry, but the earliest ones took place in the old house (Catmatyx and Maia were the main characters there). I started them for my children (who were born in the 70’s and 80’s) and added and altered them, especially the names and phrases like Dog of Chaos and Dog of Destruction (from a friend), and Giant Burning Day Orb, and Gentle Glowing Night Orb (from my children’s friends) and Fruits of Discord (that applied to any food the critters argued over – kibble and cereal and popcorn and birdseed, riffed right out of mythology and the Apple of Discord) and the Spam Chronicles and the Book of Lemonade and more (we used online Insult Generators to put words into the critter’s mouths as they scolded) because the internet is a rich source of awesome names and phrases.
Again, I apologize if they became too similar to your works. They have been evolving as the children and I told them back and forth, as stories do, watching the critters through the kitchen window (where we did dishes and recounted what the critters were doing, later working them into bedtime stories) and the bedroom window (which also overlooked the back yard but wasn’t as rich a story source as the kitchen window was).
The stories I put on DKos were the ones that included Dogmatyx, who died 2 years ago. In making his memorial scrapbook. the children and I recounted his stories, embellishing them and making them better for the grandchildren, and I thought to share them here. I’ve got a number of critter tales I’ve put online going back to 1999, but it looks like only the few we embellished after Dogmatyx died are the ones under consideration. I don’t know that any of my children have read your stories, I haven’t contacted them yet about it, but I have deleted the diaries. In following your links, I can see where there is a lot of overlap, and where you’d think I’d plagiarized.
The diaries are deleted and I marked out these stories from all my others, which I know aren’t plagiarizing anyone. There are two that were written entirely emulating Marn, the blogger I first encountered when I got my first bog in 1999 – she knows, because those were stories I did for Blogging for Books in 2005 and I linked her to them. Her style continues to influence my story writing – and it bears a slight resemblance to the style you used in your squirrel stories. It’s a contagious style.
It’s a lengthy explanation but I wanted you to know where my influences were and that I did not intentionally plagiarize these few I put on DKos.
I don’t expect you to forgive me (and I’m sincerely hoping you never had a vixen confiscate one of your trash cans as a lair for her kits, because I have a couple of stories about that, or that you never had cats like Catmatyx or Eris who feature in a number of my critter stories because that would be Just Too Weird), but I have deleted the diaries in question.
This does not explain the whole chunks of text lifted wholesale from my writings. This does not, in fact, explain a damn thing, but at least she’s taken the posts down.
Comments are open until the usual shutoff date for now. Please be civil, or I will ban. ‘Nuff said.