On Ideas and Stealing Them

I received three Facebook notifications yesterday from people familiar with my work and my work in progress.

“Mike, this looks an awful lot like your book!”

So I clicked on the link of iZombie

And lo and behold, I thought, yeah–very similar.

My latest project is titled THE BOY WHO SWALLOWS FLIES and it’s the story of a boy who can see the memories of any bug, he just has to eat it first. Not the tastiest of superpowers. But I thought it was pretty original. So when I saw the iZombie trailer which is about a girl who can see the memories of other people when she eats their brains, I was like … how the heck would they have read my book? How else could they have come up with the premise? *Checked brain to ensure I still had it* yup.

iZombie is a procedural, solving crimes based on dead people memories.
TBWSF is a procedural, solving crimes based on bug memories.

But then I realized that iZombie is based on a comic book published in 2010! I wasn’t copied! I copied! It could seem that way anyways. I’m certainly not as original as I had thought.

It’s a reminder for me that well, I’m not all that special. The key is in the writing. Sure the premise has to kick butt, but you can’t eat a premise.

So … is this a problem in marketing the book? I don’t think so. In many ways it helps. Here’s an example conversation between my agent and editor:

Editor: What’s the book about?
Agent: It’s iZombie with bugs instead of brains targeting a middle grade audience.
Editor: Oh! Send it over.

After that it’s all about the writing.

Categories:   Writing Tips