Friday, November 04, 2005

Plagiarism or Coincidence?

I'm pissed and ready to puke. Seriously. The idea of my second book has been stolen. I sent out 13 query letters between 6/11/05 and 7/29/05 and mentioned the plot briefly on my Publishers Marketplace page since then. I am looking for a lawyer now and trying to determine if the writer of the film is in anyway connected to any of the agents I queried:

Lohan Imagines Lennon Flick

Thu Nov 03, 7:05 PM ET

Lindsay Lohan is eyeing some killer roles these days.

Just days after signing on to Bobby, Emilio Estevez's low-budget ensemble drama about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the erstwhile Mean Girl is now set to star opposite Jared Leto in Chapter 27, an indie film centering on the 1980 murder of John Lennon.

Lohan will play a devoted fan of the former Beatle who befriends Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman (Leto), shortly before the murder in New York 25 years ago.
If you just change the word "befriends" in that last sentence to "encounters" it could be the tagline for my novel. I swear my idea was stolen. Last spring I sent out query letters for the book, and I summarize it on my Publishers Marketplace page. My idea has been out there to steal. The only difference is in my book she doesn't befriend the killer as much as try to avoid him because she thinks he's creepy. I have another great book with a funny plot that would be perfect for a book/movie if you want to steal it. It's called "Into the Sunset," but you can just use the idea and call it anything you want.

I know there is a good possibility it is a coincidence.
But on the other hand, in 25 yrs nothing has been done on the subject, and it happens to be done the same time my query letters were floating around out there? WITH A 19-YR OLD DEVOTED LENNON FAN FEMALE CHARACTER WHO ENCOUNTERS CHAPMAN?!

One more thing—my novel also gets into the head of Chapman (as the movie supposedly does), with 3 or 4 chapters from his POV as he prepares for the murder. But I never use that scumbag's name; I don't want to give him the satisfaction. My book is a loving tribute to Lennon, and how his loss effects my characters.

"Variety reports that Lindsay Lohan (hoo-wwwhaaaaa???) and Jared Leto have been cast in the film. Leto will be playing Chapman, even though in real life Chapman was kind of a heavy geeky looking guy. Lohan is a Beatle fan that Chapman befriends the weekend he kills John Lennon. Newcomer Jarrett Schaeffer will write and direct the pic."


SusanD said...

I think it's complete bullshit! That's what I think. There's coincidence, but the similarities here are just entirely too strong with the female lead even being the same age, Don. I WOULD throw up if I were you.

And, I'd immediately remove ALL references about SUNSET from all public webpages. Because I think that's a fantastic idea waiting to be stolen, too. Seriously.

Ellen said...

Don, I'm sorry this happened to you. I think there's a good chance it could be a coincidence. Really. And if it's not, I'm not sure you could prove anything, unless you had directly pitched someone involved in the movie. Are you going to talk to a lawyer?

Don Capone said...

I don't think there's much I can do. (I want to find out the name of the screenwriter, though. That could be a start). Basically I need to suck it up. I may start sending out queries for this novel now instead, though I had hoped to give it another run through first.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I'm sorry but no one "stole" your idea, your novel is based on a historical event. Get over yourself...

Don Capone said...

I hear you. But it's the 19 yr old female lead (who is a rabid Lennon fan) who encounters Chapman just before the murder that really concerns me. Same EXACT character description as my lead. Setting and time frame based on an historical event is one thing, similar characters is another.