Success comes in many forms
First came being accepted by a publisher, which was all kinds of cool. Following that I had some independent sales via another medium which brought in some (small) success. More coolness there. Generating more and more interest with my attempts at ramping up publicity, not priceless but on its way. And now the latest sign of success, some two bit hack, who moonlights as a troll that lurks under bridges and scares small children, has stolen one of my stories I wrote over a decade ago and included it in a book of stolen stories she claims are her own.
I wrote the story, called Yamara, back in the 90s. Back when I didn’t really know how to write well, or at least not in a way that was pleasing for an audience of anyone other than myself. Fantasy genre, and actually a second book in a series. I’d posted it on a website a friend owned that catered to sword and sorcery style stories. I did a chapter by chapter posting, rough draft and ugly. The woman in question snatched it up at some point before 2007. Before it was finished. Before I even did a rewrite to boost it up to something better. I have not published it in a making-money kind of fashion, but I have put it out there under my name and copyrighted it.
Today comes an email from an unknown person who had somehow managed to track down the pen name I had written it under to my real name. Not so difficult, but a sign of someone who cares. This person is also an author who has had their work stolen in the past, by this person no less. They offered up suggestions for dealing with it, suggestions I was happy to champion after I verified the truth of it.
Once I got past the shock and some outrage, I took it with a healthy dose of humor. She’s been selling this book since 1997, I’ve only been doing it since 2009! Why the hell didn’t I know about this back then?! I might have started this up a while ago! They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so I’m keeping that in mind.