Brazilian romance author Cristiane Serruya is being accused of plagiarizing from as many as 25 other authors. The list of potentially affected authors includes Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Kresley Cole, and Nora Roberts, according to one post on Twitter.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Courtney Milan accused Serruya of plagiarism via her Twitter account on Monday. The book in question is Serruya’s Royal Love, which, according to Milan, lifts passages from Milan’s 2012 book, The Duchess War.
Milan gave details of the alleged plagiarism in a blog post on her website. Some passages appear to be written very similarly, while others appear to be large chunks of copied text.
When Milan was alerted by a fan of the potential plagiarism, she contacted Serruya directly via Twitter. Suerruya replied initially, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, her Twitter account has now been shut down.
“Good morning, @courtneymilan I just woke up to this and I am astonished. I would have never, ever, done this. I am in this writing for a few years now and I am also a lawyer. Could we perhaps talk?”
After the initial contact, Serruya responded by saying one of her ghostwriters were at fault and that she would rectify the situation. According to Serruya, she had hired a ghostwriter — a practice often employed by authors who publish frequently — on Fiverr and was now looking into the situation.
“I just woke up to distressing news that my work has plagiarism from other authors,” Serruya reportedly tweeted. “I am taking down all the works I did with a ghostwriter on Fiverr — who btw has closed the account — until I have made certain this is solved.”
— John KILLMONGER!!! (@darkwriter) February 20, 2019
Milan has since posted on Twitter that she has been contacted by at least two ghostwriters for Cristiana Serruya. These ghostwriters are now claiming that Serruya contacted them with already written scenes and passages that she would like fleshed out into books. It is alleged that this is how so many potential instances of plagiarism have occurred within her books.
Cristiane Serruya also had a book submitted for consideration in the RITA Awards. Romance Writers of America (RWA) have responded accordingly, but without identifying Serruya specifically, saying the book in question has been pulled from the competition. The RWA also hinted that Serruya was one of the judges for the awards.
“Additionally, all books being judged by this author are being reassigned,” the RWA wrote in a tweet.
Authors of romance novels have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure about the alleged plagiarism, using the hashtag CopyPasteCris.
Tessa Dare, one of the authors who Serruya allegedly plagiarized, has been Googling passages of Serruya’s books and finding a wealth of potentially copied passages, which she has been posting to her Twitter account. While several passages are from Tessa’s own work, she has also identified other potential plagiarized sections from several other romance authors.
Nora Roberts is yet to comment on the allegations. However, in the past, she has been vocal regarding plagiarism when an author accused her of copying her book title, Children of Blood and Bone. In addition to this recent accusation, which the author later retracted, Roberts sued Janet Dailey for plagiarizing her work. The case was later settled.