(This story starts here with “Laurell K Hamilton Knock-Off for Teens” at StLouisToday.com and then comes here with “Writer calls Melissa Marr a ‘Laurell K Hamilton Knock-Off’“, continues in the comments, and on to another post here “St Louis Writer Writes Back” and continues in the comments, then gets picked up at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels with “Knock-Offs and Knocking It Off Already” and “On Ideas, Repetitiveness and Copyright Infringement“. And then claws come out, the fangs appear and the fur really starts to fly *g*, back at the original post. Then yesterday, Henderson posts “More on young adult fantasy, Hamilton” and “More on fantasy book, part 2” and mucks things up again. I will be keeping up with the discussions and posting the links here at “It’s Not Over Yet: More on Marr/Hamilton“.)
Where does this discussion go from here? How do we sort out this mess? Here are a few suggestions:
1) First, and most importantly, Ms Henderson needs to apologize for her original post. It doesn’t matter what her intention was, it’s how it’s impacted that counts. That is, you can have the best of intentions, but if your actions don’t show it, you’ve mucked up and you need to offer an apology. Several people have pointed out the impact of Ms Henderson’s choices of words– namely this copyright infringement business– and they’re not even the creator of the work in question. An apology should be issued to Ms Marr before any discussions take place.
2) We can have a friendly discussion about book covers, and I have supplied a few YA covers that are similar to Marr’s (but I won’t do the homework for you, Ms Henderson. If you want to talk covers, do the research yourself.)
3) We can have a friendly discussion about copyright infringement, a la the Cassie Edwards affair. (Ms Henderson, if you’d like to do the side-by-side comparison. I’m still waiting for the “evidence” you promised.)
4) We can have a friendly discussion about books that are appropriate for the 16+ crowd, but not for the 15 and under group, if you’d like. (But Ms Henderson, you’re going to have to do the reading. People are going to tell you they read Deenie and Flowers In The Attic at 12. And others are going to wonder why you haven’t mentioned other YA faerie authors: Holly Black, Francesca Lia Block to name two. And still others are going to wonder why you haven’t mentioned many other YA authors who also address issues of sexuality in a teenager’s world. You might want to get reading.)
5) We can have a friendly discussion about sexuality as an appropriate (or not) topic for teen readers (but Ms Henderson, you’re going to have to be clear about whether we’re discussing sexuality or rape. The two are not the same and cannot be equated.)
6) We can have a friendly discussion about an author’s responsibility to readers, but you’d better be prepared for a fight. This is one red hot issue, in part because it borders so closely to censorship.
7) We can talk about the recycling of ideas, the origins of originality. (Ms Henderson, you’d better be prepared to explain why you defended Ms Hamilton when she was said to be copying Anne Rice, but now you accuse another of copying Ms Hamilton.)
If you’d like to discuss some of these issues, and do so with one of the authors in question, please visit Melissa Marr’s journal, or feel free to pick a topic and talk. Just be sure you do your homework, and can support your opinions with facts.
And please, let’s pick one topic at a time.