Home » Plagiarism » I am a thief, a plagiarist. I am not an author.

I am a thief, a plagiarist. I am not an author.

26 February 2012

From Dear Author:

So an RWA member, the treasurer of the Kiss of Death RWA chapter no less, is found to be plagiarizing. Name is Kristal Singletary aka Kay Manning | K.S. Manning | Payton Bradshaw.  The first signs were revealed by a fan of Liz Fielding who reported to her that “La Maison Romance” by Kay Manning, a free download on Smashwords, appeared to be a copy of Liz Fielding’s story “The Cinderella Fantasy”.

. . . .

Ms. Manning has commented and provided an apology:

I’ve gone back and forth on how to address this for several hours. A personal blog post would not be seen by enough people. Nor would a response to Ms. Fielding’s blog. When Dear Author posted this blog, I felt it was the answer I’d been looking for. I couldn’t find a more public place than this.

To all the authors, publishers, and editors I stole from, I am sorry. There is no excuse. All distributors have been notified and those I couldn’t take down/remove myself are being removed by the third party as soon as possible.

To all the authors, publishers, and editors I’ve met and known over the years, I am sorry. I know you will never forgive me and you shouldn’t.

To anyone associated with the Kiss of Death Chapter, you can be assured that all funds relating to the chapter are well managed and controlled by a dedicated President and Board. I have not had access to any accounts where wrongdoing could have occurred without their immediate and swift action.

Finally, so there is no misunderstanding. I am a thief, a plagiarist. I am not an author.

Link to the rest at Dear Author



10 Comments to “I am a thief, a plagiarist. I am not an author.”

  1. P.G.

    I’d be a bit concerned about someone in that state. I’d kinda prefer someone nicked my stuff than they went and turned out their own lights.

    I’ve had stuff nicked, property and copyrighted photographs, and the occasional idea from fanfiction. Nothing that was my livelihood, I might feel less charitable about that, I hope not.

    I hope she doesn’t off herself. She wouldn’t the only sinner.


  2. I agree with Brendan. This is a sad human commentary. It seems Ms. Singletary can’t forgive herself. Until she does that, she cannot be forgiven by the only One that matters.

    I hope she does.

    As for the rest of it, as publishers, we give away books for free all the time.

    Now that the notoriety has been returned to the creators, the harm has been removed, and there may even be a potential benefit. People realize … the only things worth stealing are things of value. Personally, I wasn’t familiar with Ms. Fielding’s writing, nor of her particular work, _The Cinderella Fantasy_. Now I am.

    We should all be so brave as to voluntarily show our contriteness for our sins committed with the explicitness of Ms. Singletary.

    As for the rest of us, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    Turn the page …

  3. How sad…I’m another one who hopes she doesn’t harm herself any more than she has already.

    I wonder what drove her to it?

  4. Well, she didn’t out herself — she got caught, and she had to apologize.

    And her stated reasons for doing it this was were reasonable and smart: she saw that this was a big deal and she had to get that apology out as quickly, and in the most public way possible.

    Maybe I just read it differently, but I didn’t read self-harm here, but rather thoughtful self-preservation. She did the right thing. I wish our politicians could be so smart about things.

    Still, it can’t be easy. You don’t do something like that if you don’t have an issue with self-image. I hope she has personal support.

  5. SHe sets an example the plagiarists before and after her should follow. The first step to healing is acknowledgment.

  6. Although the apology is on Dear Author, a more complete link to what happened is at SmartBitchesTrashyBooks: http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/kay-manning-peyton-bradshaw-kristal-singletary-and-plagiarism

    She didn’t just steal one story from one author. It was many stories, from many authors. She even stole material for her blog from other people’s blogs!

    I’m agreeing with Camille. I do hope sh has support but she’s been flying high as an author on the back of other people’s work for some time now.

  7. Also this mea culpa comes AFTER she got caught on one story and tried to claim it was something she misfiled on her hard drive and thought was her own, as if the plagiarism had been an honest mistake. This public apology came after the uncovering of her other “misfiled” documents. No. There was no mistake.

    I didn’t read any self-harm here, but my imagination never goes to that kind of place bc it’s something that would never cross my mind….

    • Plagiarism is something that would never cross my mind. I mean, I just don’t “get” plagiarism, and yes, I’ve had that it’s-due-tomorrow deadline for essays and papers and things and wished I could just have what I needed appear magically, but it never occurred to me to just go to one of those places that sell student papers (for instance) and lift some other person’s stuff and pass it off as my own. And that’s for something as insignificant as a school essay. I just would never do it. I don’t think I’m anything special — I’m not saying I have an especially strong ability to discipline myself; I don’t, as a matter of fact. I’m very weak-willed. But I just don’t have the psychological ability to copy-and-paste someone else’s work and put my name at the bottom of it and claim I wrote it. I just — I can’t turn myself inside out or drink a chair either.

      I can only look at it from the outside. I guess this person, and other plagiarists, are narcissists — they have a role inside their heads that they want to be seen as, and how they get seen as that role doesn’t matter. The role in this instance is “author.” Actually being an author isn’t a point — it’s being seen by others as “an Author.” I can’t think of any other reason to waste so much time in something that will be found out sooner or later. And of course now she has a new role: the person who was caught plagiarizing, got humiliated, wrote an apology, and is now felt sorry for. Maybe I’m very cynical, but the underlying problem with cases like these isn’t the stealing, it’s the narcissism.

      • Excellent assessment. I, too, am someone who has never understood plagiarism (or any other kind of academic cheating, for that matter), but it’s because what matters to me is what I accomplish not what others perceive me to have accomplished.

        And I don’t think you’re too cynical. Sadly.

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