I’ve been meaning to do a post about the rip-off conversations going around right now, but my cable connection’s been really wonky and trying to get all the links together was too much for me. But you’ve probably seen them. This book’s a rip-off of that book because the heroes were statues. This book’s a rip-off of that one because the heroine’s a tough cop in the future. Or gee, they both have clans of vampire brothers, or a necromance. And living in New Hampshire we’re pretty much inundated with how Dan Brown’s faring over in London.
So how does that work? Do you have to hit the big list before you have the lock? We can’t do necromances because LKH did it? No more football heroes because SEP did them? And SK’s got the vampire clan and JD Robb’s got the kick-ass cop heroines?
So in our futuristics can our society have credits instead of cash, or is that an In Death rip-off? And what if our cop heroine has a weapon that sets to stun? That might be a rip-off, too. But is it ripping off Eve Dallas….or Captain Kirk? And that oh-so-original Serenity/Firefly thing? Gee, there are some similarities to Battlestar Galactica, no? Or Buck Rogers? They’re all set in space, after all. With space ships and doors that whoosh. Clearly a rip-off.
I find this to be one of the most annoying things I’ve seen in the romance community yet, and it’s so insulting to authors. And, depending how the comparisons are worded, potentially damaging. I’ve seen a couple of particularly dumb-assed comments recently that, if I were the author, would possibly have me flipping through the lawyer section of the Yellow Pages.
I don’t remember who, but somebody said once if you give five writers each the same basic premise, the same hero and the same heroine and put them in front of the typewriter, you’d have five very different stories. I believe that.
And really, who wants to read a series about a bunch of ugly, unrelated vampires with no sex appeal and no bonding? But I guess if you write a vampire series with yummy Alpha males, you’re just a knock-off.
I’m so annoyed I’m going to end up sneaking the Easter stash.