In some good, salacious book drama, Nora Roberts, a romance writer who has published more than 200 novels, is suing the Brazilian author Cristiane Serruya claiming that she has committed “multi-plagiarism” in copying work from Roberts and many other writers’ novels. Per The Guardian, Roberts claims that Serruya’s books are a “literary patchwork, piecing together phrases whose form portrays emotions practically identical to those expressed in the plaintiff’s books,” and that the Brazilian author’s work also plagiarizes from “dozens” of other authors. Roberts is asking for publication of Serruya’s books to be stopped until the allegedly plagiarized material is removed and damages of at least $25,000, which she promised to donate to a literacy organization in Brazil. Several other writers have come forward against Serruya, including Courtney Milan, who called her a “copyright infringer, a plagiarist, and an idiot” in a blog post a few months ago after discovering that Serruya had copied several passages word for word from one of her novels.
“A lot of the other writers involved in this, they don’t have the money to fight it,” Roberts told the New York Times about her suit. “I do have the money.” She’s previously blogged about Serruya, and claimed that Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited platform incentivized writers to produce large amounts of shoddy work because they are paid in terms of the number of pages readers read. In an interview with the Associated Press, Serruya denied that she had intentionally copied Roberts’s work but said she often used ghostwriters for her books and “could not guarantee that no part was copied.” “My books are big,” she said, adding that she’s using software to analyze them now. “In a book of 120,000 words it’s difficult to know how many supposedly came from a work of Nora Roberts.”