Romantic fiction readers and authors around the world have reacted angrily as it become clear yesterday that a plagiarist who goes by the pen names Kay Manning and Payton Bradshaw had not only plagiarized work by author Liz Fielding but a number of other authors. Romance stories by Julia Kenner, Catherine Mann, Marie Ferrarella, Gena Dalton were all discovered being sold online by Kay Manning/Payton Bradshaw following detective work online by author Elizabeth Chadwick and members of a Facebook group for professional writers, the Seriously Serious Scribes. According to Smart Bitches blog the real identity of Kay Manning/Payton Bradshaw is Kristal Singletary.

Author angel Graham posted on Liz Fielding's blog: "I've known Kay Manning on line for about 3 years now. She's one of the people, the "authors" I looked up to and respected. I wanted to write as well as she did. Well Liz, it looks like you and Julie Kenner are the two people I should have been looking up to, admiring, emulating... Please forgive me for my part in promoting "her work". Had I known the truth...I wouldn't have... I have to admit I'm crying. One of the people I looked up to has failed me big."

Kay Manning has issued a public apology on the Dear Author blog in which she has stated, "so there is no misunderstanding. I am a thief, a plagiarist. I am not an author." However she makes no mention of any financial recompense for the authors whom she has made money on from sale of their work.

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Comment by Francine Howarth on April 29, 2012 at 12:30

Hi Aniko,

Off the cuff, no I can't remember the author's name or title of her book, but I do know she was the daughter of a British diplomat and was born in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Her story covered the transition of handover from British Colonial Rule and the consequences of remaining in that country as a British family. It also covered her subsequent love affair with a member of the Jaffna family (royals).   

Comment by Aniko Eva Nagy on April 29, 2012 at 1:22

Francine, can you tell us what book it was? Was it in the U.S. or in the U.K.? That's a terrible experience, esp terrible because it involved the story of the real author's life, even if it was in creative form. I'm always skittish about putting stuff online.

Comment by Pamela Strange on February 28, 2012 at 22:48

I've just put three books on smashwords but will have a rethink if they can be downloaded to word processor so I have no control over content. Or money for it.

Its sad that people do this sort of thing but my article on my aunt Ena Roscoe musical star was highjacked by a german site and used in full to promote the sale of Ena's signature. So I know what it feels like -but to copy chucks of other peoples books is a diabolical liberty. I was warned that anything on line could be copies and one of my short stories sold to america was also pinched.  

Comment by Anne Cater on February 25, 2012 at 16:41

As a reader, I am shocked and disappointed to read this.  Readers trust authors, readers admire and respect authors, and most readers secretly want to be authors.   The majority of us readers though, do realise that we are NOT authors, nor will be ever be authors.  

I'm so sad that authors do not feel as though they can upload their work - shame on her

Comment by Debbie Viggiano on February 25, 2012 at 16:10

Celia, War and Peacefulness sounds Absolutely Fabulous dah-ling (the last three words of that sentence are definitely all my own work) xx

Comment by Jennifer Hines on February 25, 2012 at 15:04

This whole business is utterly unacceptable, to all of us genuine authors who spend blood sweat and tears to produce our work. I recently uploaded one of my short stories on smashwords and was delighted at the response of downloads. However having read Francine's comments below I too have removed the story. Funnily enough only this morning, my husband and I were discussing the problems with plagiarism and he pointed out to me how long this had been going on..not only with novelists but also script writers and film makers!!! It certainly opened my eyes, I was quite shocked and will always be wary in future about up-loading anything. The problem is though with all the hype about the industry moving into e-books....where do we go from here?

Comment by Francine Howarth on February 25, 2012 at 14:31

Kate, the whole thing is worrying, because she won't be alone in this practise. There are so many e-publishing houses out there to be exploited by this underhanded method of "gain" at someone else's "expense". That said,   there was a case of one author who sent a novel to a well-known publishing house (semi-autobiographical within novel format) therefore quite personal in many aspects and extremely unlikely another author would include all those personal aspects within one novel. It was rejected and two Years later a novel with exact same story, different character names hit the book stands. Said author made accusations of plagiarism and the evidence there in black and white, yet the publisher upped and said "Similar coincidences have occurred before. No plot is unique!"  What a cop-out clause!? But the thing that really stung the rejected author, was the fact that someone else had made good on a major part of her own life story. She even had evidence (rejection letter) when her MS was subbed, photograph evidence of events as experienced, but of course the title had been changed along with character names. She never received recompense for plagiarism and the book was made into a movie.    

I removed the one and only novel I had on Smashwords because of slack security, which enabled people to download a book and copy direct to Word file by utilising source code. In my little black book, that's open invitation for any thief for what ever means suits their ideal. Many books are counterfeited as paperbacks in the Far East, no royalties for the author nor payment to the publisher. But then, it's not so surprising in that perfume and other goods have been subject to counterfeit production. 

I think I'll take is as the sincerest form of flattery if anyone copies one or more my books, then I'll shoot them. ;) 

Comment by Celia J Anderson on February 25, 2012 at 14:29

It's a very scary thought, nothing's safe.

Comment by Annie Burrows on February 25, 2012 at 14:19

OMG!!!! I am stunned

Comment by Kate Allan on February 25, 2012 at 13:47

This is utterly shocking. Apparently this person lifted entire stories and just changed the character's names and a few details and then passed them off as her own. At least in the world of google plagiarism is harder to conceal.

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