Picture this. You’ve got yourself a huge advance on your book. You need to finish it. Quickly. The publishers are pounding on the door. With the money bags. What do you do? You scurry to your library, pick up some novels you really loved reading and randomly start copying (or getting inspired) bits here and there. Besides, you’re only 17! Unfortunately though for you, several others too have read the same book.
In this case, the author happens to be none other than Kavaya Vishwanathan who made waves after being the youngest author in decades to bag a hefty advance and get signed on for a two-book contract with Little, Brown and Co.
Kavvya defends herself: “While the central stories of my book and hers are completely different, I wasn’t aware of how much I may have internalized Ms. McCafferty’s words. I am a huge fan of her work and can honestly say that any phrasing similarities between her works and mine were completely unintentional and unconscious. My publisher and I plan to revise my novel for future printings to eliminate any inappropriate similarities.â€
I can’t quite understand how someone can lift passages (with small changes of course and as many as 40 according to some reports) and then say she did it unintentionally. But I like the way she’s used the word ‘internalize’ to defend what she did.
The lady is smart enough to get into Harvard, but obviously not smart enough to figure out that people would eventually find out.
Is her career as a writer over though? People might be forgiving because of her age. On the other hand, perhaps not.
But if she does go and write a second novel, she’ll probably have to face a lot of challenges.
Apparently, Mcafferty, whose novels she has been accused of borrowing from has now refused her apology.