Travelling and Plagiarism Scandals!

I'm off to the UK  for the launch of 'Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21' at the Derwent Poetry Festival.  By an odd coincidence I've just waved goodbye to Neil who is off to Cambodia via Milan and I'm not looking forward to the next 3 weeks on my own.

Interesting story unfolding in Book World - Q.R. Markham's much hyped spy fiction 'Assassin of Secrets' released only a few days ago has been withdrawn after a tip-off that passages had been 'lifted' from classic spy novels.   Amazon described  the book (pre-revelation) as   'a narrative hall of mirrors in which nothing and no one are as they seem'.  It proved to be absolutely prophetic!

Red faces and big losses for Little Brown and Hodder who have withdrawn all copies -  end of career for author who didn't include the quotation marks.   According to the list on the Huffington Post and a number of blogs, this isn't just the odd phrase picked up and unconsciously repeated,  the book seems to have been a patchwork of other people's novels including classics such as Ian Fleming.  Even Markham's interviews were quotes from someone else.   How can this happen?   Do editors no longer read?  Don't they check for plagiarism?  Apparently the Huff Post compiled their list by putting phrases into Google and seeing what came up.  Shouldn't the publishers have done that?  I have to do it with my student's work to check for originality.

Rain still causing chaos in Italy.  Neil managed a couple of shots from the train as he passed through the Cinque Terre.  At Vernazza you can see the huge mound of rocks, mud and debris that's still being bulldozed from the streets.


  1. Perhaps - now - novels are presented as 'pitches' like films? They are just an 'idea' where the reading of the words is secondary or tertiary or non-exiatent? Do non literate publishers mean barbariabs at the gates?

    I love the way your posts include things like the images of the tipsy buildings and the piles of mud and roocks. They make me smile. wendy r

  2. Glad I made you smile Wendy! But I think you're right - novels are presented as 'pitches' now. We've apparently all got to learn the Elevator Pitch - how to sell your novel in 25 words. Nicola Morgan has a good blog on this and she runs courses in it. I suppose with non-literate editors this is what you have to do!


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