Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Ultimate Betrayal

I recently received news of the “not good variety.” Now, for many at first glance, or “hear” it will sound like nothing but bitter beans being planted…au contraire my friend. What first looks like bitter beans is actually quite a bit more. Such as making a budding and up and coming writer (okay yeah it ‘s me) question whether or not she really has the talent to get herself to the “BIG TIME, or in this case NYC BABY! For those of you not familiar with writing…this is a big deal for a writer, the ultimate in “making it, “ which is being offered the coveted NYC publishing house contract. To the uninitiated, the industry is best described as a very frantic and random game of musical chairs. The players, in this case authors, are all circling the contract. Only one will be the winner…who will that be??? OH NO! The pressure!!!! So you can imagine how hard the industry is, how competitive and how high the stakes. So do you really think you need to have to worry about a knife being firmly pressed into your back, blindsided by news that your idea has made it to the big time without you???

Picture it, a conference call between three friends with shared interests collaborating on an anthology. Author 1 has little interest in the first idea brought to the table, insisting that she is incapable of penning a paranormal erotic tale of interest. Author 2, and 3 are left floundering thinking that the first idea author 2 had come up with, would be good enough to pique the interest of author 1, and more importantly, and editor. Oh I should mention that Author 2 has finally netted herself the ultimate in NYC contracts and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love author 2 we share a brain, and a love of rum and so much more…so I can truly be happy when someone “gets the call” but I digress. Author 3 (let’s call her Kristi…yeah that’s me) frantically googles an idea for a vehicle for hottie French men—did I mention this was the concept that we all three loved? No, okay, keep this in mind for it plays a key role in the upcoming problem. Oh and I should mention, anything set in France…mega hard sell to begin with…no seriously ask around…really, really hard. Anyhow where was I??? Oh that’s right….Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning from the blue, inspiration strikes, what could be hotter or sexier then stories built around French Fairy Tales??? Well, the obvious answer is nothing…nothing could be hotter…so the birth of Cinderfella, Chloe and the Beast and Sleeping Beau is born.

Well, due to awesome author 2 getting a chance at the big time in a big way author 1 and 3 decide to leave author 2 to create and work her magic…which pays off handsomely btw…with the understanding that we would all work on our novella’s write three rocking shorties that could be combined into the mother of all anthologies to be printed by NYC. Well, at least that’s what author 2 and 3 thought was happening. Turns out author 1 was just a tad more diabolical then the first two authors imagined. Way more diabolical.

Anyhow back to the problem. The three of us thought that this collaboration would be our breakout effort…three friends with a common interest reaching our goals at the same time what could be sweeter? Yes, author 3 lives in the world of perpetual hope and good cheer, never thinking anything bad would happen between friends, can you say error in judgment? Unbeknownst to author 2 and 3…okay author 3 had been given a slight heads up on author 1’s intention…never thinking in a million years, she was really going to run with the idea. Everything turns to warmer climes in a hand-basket. While author 2 works on her brilliant idea, something very dark and scary this way comes as it were…

Flash forward a few months and the “not good news” comes. Author 1 has taken the idea to an agent, owning it as her own and ***gasp***sells to the publisher author 3 had been hoping against hope to intrigue with the idea. Yeah, author 1 has stolen an idea sold it to NYC and is taking all the credit. Now tell me that just doesn’t stink???

Yeah, you can’t can you.

So what’s a writer to do. I mean it’s great to know that I had an idea hot enough that it could actually get into NYC. I won’t lie…very nice right? You’d think so but really…it’s not that great. One of my ideas is now in NYC without me. How do you get around something like that? How do you put that kind of thing behind you? My answer is to blog, vent it out and move on, hope that karma makes things right and that when I finally sell, which I will, I can’t believe otherwise, I will outsell this wannabe, idea stealing hack. Yeah, I know…not a very nice thought, but I really haven’t moved to the acceptance stage of this process. I’m hoping that this blog does that for me. Afterall I’m a writer and I express myself through my words and they’ve never let me down before. And if that doesn’t work…there is always Captain Morgan. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! I’ve always wanted to be a pirate wench!


Meagan Hatfield said...

I'm still in shock that said writer could do that without asking permission.

Karma, baby. It comes back 10 fold...

Debbie Richardson said...

Kristi - You know that I speak from experience when I say they always get what's coming to them. I have been burned by someone I thought was a friend, so I know exactly how you feel. Just be you and, as the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top. Your future success can be the best revenge. Keep plugging, Girl!

Phyllis Campbell said...

That's just awful, Kristi! I'm one of those authors who keep seeking a spot at the big time...but haven't reached that goal yet. Not very often do I brainstorm with other writers for an idea, mainly because I'm too afaid this might happen to me. It's hard to have crit partners, which luckily I have several, but it took me a long time to get to this level of trust.

I really hope author #1 strikes out big time and her book flops and makes her look foolish!


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jannine said...

Oh, Kristi, that is awful. Goes to show you don't know who you can really trust. Like Anna Kathryn said, author #1 still has to write the stories. The concept may have been sold, but the writing hasn't yet.

Move on from this as a lesson learned. You'll be the better person for it.

Hugs, sweetie.

Ginger Simpson said...

Boy, that sucks even more than the rotten review I received this week. I swear, scruples are a thing of the past. People don't think twice before they walk on your heart or your soul! Sorry, Kristi, but like someone else said...the best revenge is becoming a success and you know your ideas are capable of getting you there. Too bad someone went using your ticket. But what's Author #1 going to do when she has to think on her own? Should be interesting.

P.S. I at least got an apology today from the site owner about the snarky attitude of her reviewer. :( I thought that was very nice of her.

Arianna Hart said...

I'm sorry to say you aren't the first writer, or probably the last this will happen to. I've heard this sad tale many times before and it always irks me. The good news is, what goes around REALLY REALLY comes around.

Something to think about, ideas aren't like rare gems, if you had one good one, you'll have another and another. I know that's little consolation to you right now, but at least you know you could come up with something good and will be able to again!

Kristi Ahlers said...

Thanks everyone. What you've all said make sense. I just needed to hear it from friends in the industry.

Debra said...

Oh Kristi,that is just AWFUL!!Oh wow. no wonder you are feeling so angry and frustrated! You know I have some experiance with writing/almost getting published so I know how much this one really stings!Big time.
But, what came to mind was this--you have it girl--you now know--in a wierd round about way, that YOU can sell to NYC. You can do it again. The success will come your way. I just know it. You've proven it over and over again. Now this, being a very bitter pill to swallow, is out of your hands..out of your controll unfortunately. Turn this to your advantage--know you can do it darlin and keep going! We all have faith in you!

WindLegends said...

Been there, lady. One of my signature paranormal series had the name, concept, and even title ripped off by one of those NYC cutie pies. This one just happened to work for the same small press publisher I did and we did two book signings. During those signings, said cutie asked me many questions about my signature series. I even have a photo of her sitting next to me with a persona of that series standing behind us. (Should I say she balked BIG time when I posted said photo on my website???? Proof positive that in 2005 Cutie Pie knew all too well who had created that series. In 2011, Cutie Pie put out the first of three books with MY concept and signature creation in it. Unfortunately, you can't copyright an idea or a name or a title but you can wish itchy, smelly, contagious warts on the theif's private parts. Sorry you had to join the RippedOffAuthor sorority.