by Eman Albash
Hate them or love them, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series has attracted a countless number of fans and sold over 40 million copies. Meyer’s novels have not only topped numerous best seller lists, but have also spawned a merchandise line promoting her novels and a box office hit film, Twilight.
J.K. Rowling is no stranger to success either. She has sold over 140 million copies of her Harry Potter series, even more than Meyer. However, Rowling and Meyer have more in common than their achievements; both authors are currently facing charges of plagiarism.
Meyer’s accuser, Jordan Scott, author of the 2006 novel The Nocturne, wrote a cease-and-desist letter against Breaking Dawn in August 2009 because she claims Meyer plagiarized several scenes of her novel.
At first glance, it would not seem that Breaking Dawn and The Nocturne have much in common. The fourth Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, is about vampires and takes place in modern-day Washington, while The Nocturne is the story of a young woman and a sorcerer who live in 15th century France. However, the two novels do share several similar ideas, such as the heroines’ death scenes. Scott said she believes these occurrences are too similar to be an accident.
Meyer denied the accusations of plagiarism, claiming she had never seen nor heard of the novel The Nocturne before the lawsuit.
In a statement provided to MTV News, a representative from Meyer’s publishing company Little, Brown & Co., said, “[Meyer’s] books have been a phenomenal sensation and perhaps it should not be surprising to hear that other people may seek to ride the coattails of such success.”
This is not the first time Meyer has been faced with a charge of plagiarism. In the spring of 2009, her former college roommate, Heidi Stanton, accused Meyer of plagiarizing her short stories to write the Twilight series. The lawsuit even delayed the production of the film New Moon for a while, but the accusations were quickly deemed false and were dismissed.
J.K. Rowling has also been hit recently with plagiarism accusations. In June 2009, Rowling was accused of plagiarizing The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, a children’s book by Adrian Jacobs, in Rowling’s fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Jacobs is not alive anymore, but his family is suing Rowling because they said that she copied Jacobs’ plot of the wizard tournament, as well as other plot points that occurred in both books. Like Meyer, Rowling also is denying the claims.
Junior Zaynab Amin, who likes both the Twilight and the Harry Potter series, said she believes both authors are innocent of the charges.
“I feel like it is one big lie,” Amin said. “[The authors] do not need someone else’s book to make theirs amazing. A lot of people have the same ideas.”
Whether the accusations are true or false, Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling continue to be among some of today’s most successful fiction writers. Amin said that she believes it is not likely that either of their careers will be damaged by the accusations.