Join Prism Book Alliance® as Ethan Stone goes Outside the Margins today.
Authors aren’t perfect, not by any means. However, there is one thing that should always be true. What we publish as ours should be something that we wrote. In other words, don’t steal other people’s work and claim it as our own.
This post may piss people off. I may make enemies of readers – both authors and publishers – but I don’t care. What happened needs to be known and publicized. After that everyone can make their own decision.
There is a plagiarist in the m/m genre. She has admitted her actions and apologized to her victim but as of yet I haven’t seen any public statement, by either her or her publisher, who is also aware of what happened. I believe in naming names when it comes to things like this, so here goes.
Lynn Hagen and Siren Publishing.
The book with the copied words was Saving Sean which, I believe, has now been pulled from most booksellers. The victim was Raythe from www.raythereign.com and her story Sanctuary.
Here are some examples of the thievery:
CHAPTER 26 OF SANCTUARY
“What do you want to happen in this bath, my Alexander?” Demetrius asked, his voice low and smoky.
Alex never been one to mince words. He was nervous and he knew he was going to stutter a little as he said this, but he was going to say it anyways, “I want us to have sex. To make love. I really want you inside me, Demetrius. I don’t want to wait.”
CHAPTER 8 OF SAVING SEAN
“What do you want to happen in the bath?” Isla asked, his voice low and smoky.
Sean was nervous and he knew he was going to stutter a little as he said this, but he was going to say it anyway. “I want us to have sex. To make love. I really want you inside of me, Isla. I don’t want us to wait.”
CHAPTER 27 OF SANCTUARY
Alex’s sweet, surprised expression at his appearance, nude, in the doorway made Demetrius smile. He hid his smile though behind the lip of the decanter.
CHAPTER 8 OF SAVING SEAN
Sean’s sweet, surprised expression at Isla’s appearance, nude, in the doorway made him smile. He hid his smile, though, as he turned away.
CHAPTER 27 OF SANCTUARY
He sauntered over to the young man. He took his time so that Alex could watch the beautiful play of muscle beneath velvet skin. Alex’s eyes darted all over his body. It was as if he didn’t know where to look, or more like, he wanted to see everything at once.
CHAPTER 8 OF SAVING SEAN
He sauntered over to the young man. He took his time so that Sean could watch the beautiful play of muscle beneath velvet skin. Sean’s eyes darted all over Isla’s body. It was as if he didn’t know where to look, or more like, he wanted to see everything at once.
This disgusts and infuriates me, as both an author and a reader. All authors have had times of not knowing what to write, whether the muse isn’t cooperating or a bad case of writer’s luck, but that doesn’t make it okay to steal from someone. And that’s what this is—stealing. Stealing words and stealing money. Lynn Hagen is no different from the pirates we all complain about when they illegally download our books. If we hate those people, why aren’t we mad at Lynn Hagen and Siren?
Readers should feel cheated too. They paid for a book that Lynn Hagen did not write. She took money for something that wasn’t hers. She would still be doing so if a reader hadn’t alerted Raythe to the plagiarism. Yeah, Lynn Hagen has admitted to the theft to Raythe, but she didn’t come clean because she felt bad about what she did. Her morals didn’t make her admit the truth. If she did feel bad for doing what she did, her conscience wasn’t so bothered that she had to confess. Maybe I’d have more sympathy for Lynn Hagen if she had done so, but that isn’t what happened.
Why hasn’t Hagen or Siren made a public statement about this? Are they hoping it will all be swept under the rug? That bothers me a great deal too. I’ve always had more sympathy for stars or politicos who do the ‘my bad’ thing and admit their wrongdoing, even if they were forced to do so. The absolute silence in this case tells me the author and publisher are hoping the damage can be controlled.
According to Raythe’s website. Lynn Hagen did contact her.
When Lynn called to apologize, which she knew was not enough, she stated that she had a lot of bills and her normal fertile imagination just went blank.
Lynn Hagen apparently loved the story and plagiarized even though she supposedly knew it was wrong.
Siren’s response to Raythe was apparently that they were allowed to keep the money made from the plagiarized work and that Lynn Hagen would pay Raythe all she was owed. Ummm….what? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure they didn’t know what Lynn Hagen had done when she first submitted the story. But they know now, and they aren’t doing anything about it, even though they have benefitted from the theft. I’m sure Siren has no legal culpability here, but morally there are things they should be doing.
First and foremost, they should be making a public statement and apologizing, even though it was Lynn Hagen who violated her contract. Their silence on the issue is part of what infuriates me, like they just want to sweep it all under the rug.
They should also be recompensing the readers who bought the book. The readers were victimized as well, buying what they thought was an original piece of work from Lynn Hagen. Even if it isn’t Siren’s fault they should be offering refunds to everyone who bought Saving Sean. If they end up losing money in the deal they could just go after Lynn Hagen since it was her fault. It’s all money they shouldn’t have and wouldn’t have if Lynn Hagen hadn’t stolen from Raythe. Making an offer could go a long way to appeasing not just Raythe but also all the people who are incensed at what has occurred.
Lynn Hagen’s readers and fans should be pissed. She may claim this was the first time she’s done it, but how can anyone be sure? Lynn Hagen has written a ton of books, I’ve even read and loved several of them. This may truly have been her first act of plagiarism, but it’s also possible she’s done it before and gotten away with it. I can’t trust her or anything she’s written.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I won’t ever read another book by Lynn Hagen. She will get no more money from me, that’s for damn sure. A heartfelt public apology could change that, but I’m not sure.
Siren’s actions to Raythe also mean I won’t give Siren another penny, not that it will make a difference to them. Losing one reader won’t mean a thing. Losing several could change things. I’d like to see other readers boycott them at least until they offer more than the fuck you they’ve given to Raythe. However, everyone has to make their own choice.
Raythe isn’t the only victim here, readers are too. How do we know this won’t happen again? Shouldn’t there be stricter controls to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Oh yeah, this has happened to Siren before when Christine Phoenix plagiarized from J.L. Langley. Their response was basically the same back then. I don’t have a link to that because the original blogger has since shut down his blog.
Lynn Hagen and Siren should pay for what has happened. Raythe is owed money from Lynn Hagen and the readers are owed something from Siren.
Here are links to Raythe’s blogs so you can check it out yourself.
About Ethan Stone
Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.
Readers can find Ethan online.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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