A recent post on Reddit has me incredibly frustrated right now. Now, before I go on, I’ll say that none of this has been proven yet. But I find it damning nonetheless given the evidence shared. A Redditor started poking around with Mark Dawson’s published books and checking into phrases he’d written that felt unique. Many of those phrases were copied from other books published before. At first the examples seem hapinstance. Like, I’m sure some of the books I’ve written have similar phrases, but then the list just keeps going on and on.
This is maddening. I’ve written seven novels, and plucked up the courage to self-publish three of them. It took time. It was a lot of fun, and I loved every moment of it. I didn’t copy from someone else, I didn’t use AI to generate phrases, I hand crafted these books and made something that spoke to me, art that mattered.
Where did I get my inspiration from? Not from copying phrases in other books, but rather from the world around me, from the dozens of novels I’ve read as inspiration, but not as theft.
I’ll follow this closely and see if it comes out as true or not, but if true I think Mark Dawson owes a massive apology to the thousands of self-published fans who have followed his materials, listened to his podcast, purchased his courses.
I’ll give him a chance to correct this, of course. I appreciate so much of what he’s done. But this doesn’t fit the spirit of what I consider drawing inspiration from other sources.