Similarities between Mhairi McFarlane's IF I NEVER MET YOU and my novel, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE
by Leah Heart 10/30/20
If you happened to read both Mhairi McFarlane's IF I NEVER MET YOU and my novel, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE, you may have noticed a few similarities.
When I first found out about Mhairi's book, I was shocked and confused. I had no idea who she was and had never read her books. Meanwhile, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE had been published two years prior in 2018 under a different title and pen name.
For over two months, I plunged into a deep, dark depression, like a k-hole I thought I would never crawl out of. Some days, I still feel like I'm living in a nightmare. But after much soul-searching, I've decided to not let this unfortunate situation consume my thoughts any further. I could either let it slowly eat me alive, destroying my life and everything I love, or I could try to move on. For my own sanity, I choose option B.
While I did change a few character names in the updated version, I felt it would be unfair to force myself to alter the similar scenes/passages/dialogue when I have ample proof that I'd written and published those words first.
I would also like to note that I did reach out to her team, and they threatened me with a lawsuit. Sadly, I realized it doesn't matter who does something first--it only matters who's more popular. However, I also feel that readers are smart, and they can piece together the truth without me turning into a rampaging psycho.
So for now, I've decided to take the high road, no matter how hard it is. I need to move on and do what I love, which is writing more novels.
If you're curious, you can read my old blog post (under my previous pen name), which explains the situation in detail.
Until further notice, I probably won't be addressing the issue again.
Thank you for understanding, and if you haven't done so, you can download THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE while it's available for free.