2013 was a life changing year for me. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan for a year, and I was on my own with two busy kids and a house to renovate. As you can imagine (and I know some of you don’t need to imagine), it’s important to your sanity to do something just for yourself. So, I fell back into an old and very familiar habit: Writing.

Like most authors, I had a drawer full of manuscripts that never saw the light of day.   

Sunset Rising Trilogy

But when I started writing Sunset Rising, something just clicked. It was the right story at the right time in my life. It was somewhere to pour my heart and soul during those evening hours I would’ve normally spent with my husband. It was a place where I could discover new things, fall in love, and win the war. 

I am absolutely sickened that someone would steal that from me. Not only did writing SR see me through a challenging year, it was the story that finally transformed me from a closet writer to published author. And I’m happy to brag that it made it into the top ten on Amazon — a victory I sorely needed to validate myself as an author and continue writing the rest of the series. So to see my story copied and butchered with an another author’s name claiming rights to it was a punch in the gut — the kind that knocks the air out of you and makes you want to vomit. And I don’t take accusing someone of plagiarism lightly. I truly believe the greatest form of flattery an author can receive is inspiring others to write. But this was blatant.

As this situation is currently in the hands of lawyers, I won’t talk more on it. The reason I’m writing this post is to shout out a massive thank you to everyone supporting me. I seriously don’t know how I would’ve handled this without your emails, comments and posts. From readers to authors to book bloggers to publicists and even professional ghost writers, I have been truly humbled by your offers of help, support and advice. I particularly owe Jaime at RockStar Book Tours a huge debt of gratitude for so generously volunteering her time to put together a book tour for SR to shed a spotlight on the original story.  

And as much as I look forward to the tour showcasing Sunset Rising, I’m also hoping that it starts a bigger conversation on social media about plagiarism. While I get that copypastecris stole from 50 different authors, including Nora Roberts and Courtney Milan, giving rise to a veritable army of outraged readers and authors storming the internet, what happened to me is no less shocking. Plagiarism should not be tolerated under any circumstances, because it will be a very slippery slope when we start accepting and making excuses for criminal behaviour. The researcher in me is falling down the rabbit hole on this one, and I’m honestly afraid for the future of honest writers. There’s a good overview in The Guardian if you’re interested in reading more.  

Thank you all for your support, love and encouragement. This is a very difficult situation for me, but without all of you I would be completely lost. Please keep your emails and posts coming! xoxo   

 

Susan McEachern
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