Virginia Fox has plagiarized my book

This was a post I never wanted to write.

I’ve seen other authors go through plagiarism and copyright infringement situations, and watched with sympathy and anger as they’ve dealt with people who have stolen their hard work. The CopyPasteCris plagiarism comes to mind instantly, where Brazilian author Cristiane Serruya copied works from authors like Nora Roberts, Bella Andre, Courtney Milan and more.

Now the anger is all mine.

Over the last year, I have been getting my romantic suspense series, Norcross Security, translated into German. I have a fabulous translator and have been thrilled to see German readers enjoying the series.

At the end of October, I released Der Lebensretter, the German translation of The Medic (Book 8 of Norcross Security).

Imagine my shock when a German reader contacted me to say that parts of it were similar to a book written in German and released by a Swiss author.

I released The Medic (in English) in April 2022.

At the end of June 2022, Swiss author, Virginia Fox, released a book, Rocky Mountain Bone, in German. This is book 31 of her Rocky Mountain series.

I then had The Medic translated into German in 2023, which is how this all came to light.

After investigation, I have determined that Virginia Fox copied multiple passages from The Medic, changed character names, then translated it into German, and then published it as her own book.

I contacted Amazon and after review, Amazon has taken down the offending ebook, Rocky Mountain Bone.

Here are some of those passages (in English and in German):

I used real-life inspiration in my story. My book is set in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The Theranos health technology fraud debacle in Silicon Valley was an inspiration for my fictional company Chiron and its founders in The Medic. There were also real-life scandals at the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office which I also used as inspiration in my story. Fox just copied these San Francisco based things into her Colorado-set story.

There is a funny moment I remember smiling at when I wrote my hero saying it. It’s right there in another person’s book. My words.

When I started writing, I made a promise to myself to get entertaining stories to my readers as often as I could. I write a lot, working hard and pouring myself into my stories. I do this while juggling a busy family life. It helps that I love what I do.

Seeing someone steal my hard work is just plain horrible.

Last year, I had scammers take some of my books and illegally translate them into other languages and slap their own name on the front. It took a lot of time and energy to get those illegal translations removed.

This is an even worse kind of plagiarism. An author stealing parts from books in another language and then translating and mixing it with other bits (either stolen from somewhere else or written herself). It makes it much harder to catch this type of plagiarism. It was only because I am getting my own translations done (and thanks to an eagle-eyed reader) that I discovered this.

Thankfully, Amazon have taken down Rocky Mountain Bone, but Virginia Fox has had a lot of success off the back of my words.


Authors:

Fox’s series is a long one, and she has some other series as well. I have no idea of the scale of her plagiarism, but in other plagiarism cases, it’s never just been one book. Has she plagiarized more of my books? Or plagiarized books belonging to other authors?

There is no easy way to discover this. I currently have my anti-piracy team, Pirat Anti-Piracy Services (who have provided amazing support to me for both piracy and plagiarism) looking into this – but it is time-consuming and frankly, takes a lot of energy. Energy I would much prefer to put toward writing.

Readers:

The Rocky Mountain series has a lot of reviews on Amazon Germany. A lot of readers have, unbeknownst to them, been reading at least one plagiarised book. The author is also in the process of getting the series translated into English (I’m not sure how she thought the plagiarism would go unnoticed!)

Virginia Fox:

I would like to know if you have plagiarized any other books of mine or other authors. Then I want you to take those books down.


Despite the time, energy, and all the emotions (I’ve been through a whole bunch of them since this first came to light), I just want to get back to my writing. I will NOT let a plagiarist stop me from telling my stories.

Thank you to the reader who contacted me. Thank you to all my loyal readers who keep me inspired and motivated in times like this. I know you’re waiting for my next book, so after some time off to celebrate the holidays with my family, I’ll be getting back to work.

74 thoughts on “Virginia Fox has plagiarized my book”

  1. I felt physically sick reading this Anna. You put so much time and effort into your stories and making them as perfect as possible – it must feel dreadful to have your hard work copied like this. However, two thoughts…
    1) Copying is a form of compliment and clearly your work is amazing!
    2) Karma is a b***h!!
    This may not make you feel less angry, but it might make you smile. You have a lot of support out there. xxx

    1. Thanks, Helen. I’ve been through all the emotions, but the first time I read the passages I did feel ill. BUT, I won’t let this discourage me. I have amazing readers like you to keep me motivated 😀

      1. This makes me SO mad! You, and other authors, work so hard to write books that your readers will love. You take pride in your work and your words. How infuriating it must be to see the words you sweated and teared up over with someone else’s name!
        I checked my personal Kindle account to see if I had any of this thief’s work. I did not, thank goodness.
        Here’s hoping you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, in spite of the larceny!

      2. Anna, I just looked her up in Amazon US and they have all of her books there. just wanted you to know. I don’t own nor will I ever own any of that person’s books.

      3. Oh Anna, my heart goes out to you. I’m sorry to say that this another instance of the disappearance of morals and evil that has worked its way into human nature. I have been going thru some severe medical problems however your books have really helped me get. Best wishes and prayers to you and your family.

  2. So so sad to hear this Anna , you are a great writer and it must be heartbreaking for you to see your words and ideas being misused 😪

    1. My husband was an artist and it was interesting to observe how many people did not take into account the blood. sweat and tears he put into his paintings. I have read (and am in the process of reading) your books and am awed by the artistry I found in them. While imitation is thought to be an expression of appreciation, what the writer has done is a violation of you, your thoughts and your artistry. Please continue to write and know that you and your books provide a variety of emotions and escape to your readers.

  3. Helen said it best! I will just add I can only imagine what you have gone through and are still dealing with. You are a phenomenal writer Anna and your reader squad / hacketteers know it! Thank you for all your stories.

  4. This is such a personal affront to you! It’s stealing! Stealing your creativity. Talk about somebody without integrity. I’m glad that your reader told you your writing is so incredibly you I’m sure your readers/fans would recognize it. Way to have tenacity and go to Amazon, and have it taken down! Love your books, I get lost in them all the time. I reread them over and over and over again! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Oh Anna this heartbreaking! Stealing someone else’s words is just the worst kind of theft! Please bravely keep giving us readers your amazing stories!
    If he could, I know Atlas would go take her down for you! (I love Atlas)!
    Hope you have the happiest of Holidays with you family

  6. I was SO angry when I read this. I look forward to your books and the escapism they offer. You give me all of the feels in each one, and reading that someone is so impressed with your work that they would try to steal bits and pieces is disheartening. I will be on the lookout and report any books that seem too familiar in the future. I’ve never heard of this writer and hope she gets hers to the fullest extent possible. Happy Holidays and don’t be discouraged, you have a tremendous following and we are here for you!

  7. I have been writing since I was in high school, nothing like you or other authors do by any means. It has always just been an outlet for me during hard times. I can not begin to understand how someone could do that to another person. Writing is a piece of your soul that you share to the world. To have it taken and used, not to mention having claimed what you’ve done by another, is heart wrenching. You are one of my go to authors and I have almost all of your series, you are fantastic and I thank you for allowing us all to be able to read you.

  8. oh Anna, this makes my heart hurt for you. ❤️‍🩹 Knowing the sleepless nights, sacrifices, emotional, physical and mental toil that you have had to endure to put out your books only to have someone else swoop in and claim those words you painstakingly pulled out of your imagination to put to paper. It makes me ill. I appreciate everything that you do to put out your books for readers like me, including fighting against people like this to preserve your stories! For that you have my deepest thanks.

  9. Oh no, i‘m sad, hearing of this! 🙁 i‘m a german reader of you and i love your books. Each of them! You work so hard, i know how it is writing a story, because I‘m a author, too. Please don’t stop writing or translating your books in german, because I know, there will be so much (german) readers, who love your books! They are so wonderful!!! ♥️♥️♥️

  10. I am so sorry this happened to you and probably other authors. It’s utterly disgraceful and I hope that whoever Virginia Fox is is taken to task.

  11. I just checked Amazon US Rocky Mountain Bone in German is still listed. I am so sorry this happened to you! You work very hard to bring us interesting and inviting story lines, my first series of yours was Hell Squad and it is still one of my favorite series. Thank you!

    1. Thank you. The ebook is no longer available, and audiobook is a bit different so Amazon won’t remove it. There are still some third-party paperbacks floating around but should disappear over time.

  12. O.M.G!!!!! how bloody rude. I would imagine that you kind of feel violated. Obviously this person (I say person cause there are so many swear words that I’d like to call her) doesn’t have a creative bone in her body and lacks creativity. So what she looked up one of the best authors going and thought I’ve gotta get me some of that! Absolutely disgusting! Chin up mate your loyal readers have your back and as many have said before I will not read any of her books. Merry Christmas to you and your family I can’t wait for what ORIGINAL books you bring us in the new year….Cheers 🥂🍺

  13. so glad you caught this horrible person. I am with Helen and your other fans on their viewpoint!! I love that a German reader gave her input, too. It just shows how great your books are for all of us in many countries. It is just like the “Calgon” commercials say. You take us out of our humdrum lives and transport us to another place with such humor, love, and adventure we cannot get enough of your books!! I hope you catch anyone that tries for success piggy-backing on your hard work. Hope you can put this at the back of your mind long enough for you and yours to have an awesome Holiday!!

  14. I am so sorry this happened. I remember seeing Fox’s books all over the Amazon DE charts. So glad you found her out but also likely she did this to others.

  15. I don’t understand why the Plagiarist’s STOLEN book in German, is still for sale on Amazon – nor why ANY of her books remain for sale. Amazon has acknowledged she Plagiarizes. That’s the ballgame. She should be expelled from trading in words. It used to be that when a Plagiarist was uncovered they’d slink away with their tail between their legs on their own, as no one would ever again deal with intellectual dishonesty, cheaters, liars, thieves of honor. I realize we live in a blip of time where our President was a known Plagiarist who should have lost his degree, and now an Ivy League President has been found to be a serial Plagiarist who should also have her degree yanked and subsequent position booted – instead, it’s being treated as ‘no big deal’. Words have meaning. Words are hard. The very act of thieving them is proof. Plagiarists May think otherwise, but they are criminals, commons crooks. And authors shouldn’t be the only ones hunting them. One of the most famous similar cases in the romance genre a few decades ago was also cracked by a reader. But more can be done. Publishing platforms that do little more than collect money for making books available are brimming with technology, they owe both of their clientele better.

    1. Hi Eileen – the book where she plagiarized mine has been removed in ebook and print formats. Only the audiobook has not been removed as apparently it is not identical to the ebook. I have no idea about her other books.

  16. I read the article and then the comments and it sounds like Amazon only took the one book down, but it seems to me they should remove all her books. Is there any doubt that they are all filled with other authors’ words? I think if someone is a proven plagiarist, then their account should be closed. Period.

  17. Gillian Wheatley

    I’m so sorry to hear this news, Anna. Plagiarism is a scourge, and anyone who has to steal another’s work to feel good about themselves is a stone cold thief. I love your stories, they get me through a life of serious health problems, but your characters take me to another world. Again, I am so sorry that this happened to you, but thank you for the real pleasure your words bring me. ❤️

  18. Oh no!! This makes me bloody livid! I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I hope this Virginia chick gets her due. I will never understand how someone can steal something – not a pen and certainly not the stories you work so hard to keep us beautifully entertained.

  19. Ugh, that is terrible!!! It takes a lot of hard work and time to create a good book, and to know someone literally stole your work is upsetting.

    I checked Amazon and this Virginia Fox still has many books listed there. If anyone is recognized as plagiarising someone else’s work, Amazon and other platforms should remove ALL the plagiariser’s books from their site, and refuse to post ANYTHING from that author. Otherwise, they are enabling them.

    Wishing you the best, Anna, and hope all works out for you.

    1. Thanks, Vicki. The book that plagiarized mine has been removed – Amazon will only remove books that are confirmed.

  20. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Your work is a piece of yourself and you must feel violated. I’m glad you found out sooner rather than later. I hope everything works out but I know it’s going to take time, time that you shouldn’t have to waste because of someone without your talent. Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best. ❤️

  21. Anna, I’m so sorry this happened. I remember the scandal when Janet Daily copied some of .Nora Roberts’ work. I had been a Janet Daily fan from way back but could never bring myself to look at another of her books. Readers need to check any Virginia Fox books but don’t buy any more of them. This is horrible. I stumbled onto your Help Squad series and was immediately hooked. you are such an auto buy for me and so many others. Keep up the incredible work. It is so appreciated.

  22. I am an avid reader of your books! The idea that someone would steal your words and put them forward as her own makes one wonder if any of her books are truly hers!
    We, your readers, are behind you 100% and are outraged for you!!

  23. I don’t understand people who plagiarize. Why be that lazy! There is no excuse good enough to justify it honestly.

    1. I’m with you! I write because I have a story to tell, so I have no idea why people copy other people’s hard work and creativity.

  24. We have each expressed our feelings of outrage that someone would do this to you and offered our sympathy and continued support. Many have railed against Amazon and other companies that continue to sell books from known plagiarists. But saying all of this to you reaches you and those who read this thread. If we want to change then we can show our support and hopefully make a difference, not only for you, but for all authors who have been bitten by the theft of your work but then betrayed by the limited support of the sellers building their businesses on your books.
    Readers, I invite, nay, I challenge every one of you who is offended by Amazon (and any other retailer who continues to sell the books Virginia claims to have written) write to Amazon and share your outrage. As a first step, write a professional type of request for them to remove ALL of her books in every format *until and if she can prove that each that she wishes to sell is her own work from her own mind, backed by evidence. If they don’t comply then take it to social media. There is power in public opinion.
    So let’s shape that narrative by encouraging (or forcing, whatever works) Amazon to support their legitimate authors by boycotting plagiarists!
    * Many will likely say that she should never be allowed to publish/sell again, regardless of the books being proven her own. However, I believe in the ability of people to change and turn their lives around. I think that if she apologizes, makes restitution, and can produce her own books (provably her own work) then it would be good for all concerned.

  25. I’m so sorry and so angry on your behalf. Authors who do this should be banned from ever selling anything again, for anyone to carry their work, ever!!
    This happened to another great author whom I always read, Linda Howard. on the book it had a T after Linda that was obscured. I got it just in time. Some didn’t, she said on her Facebook page that it took forever and lawyers ( of course) to finally fix it and get it off her page.
    I have become to dislike scam artists, people who steal ectopic
    I love your books beyond reason, you are such a fabulous writer, most I have read 2 or3 times…Can’t get enough!! ❤️ Hate you are going through this, but thanks for the warning. Happy New Year and please keep that wonderful work you do so well!! ☆☆☆☆☆ Stars in my book!!

  26. I am really sorry to hear this, honestly I feel sick (and very angry). Stealing your thoughts, mental effort, hardwork and labour is such an awful thing to do. What is wrong with people!?!
    I only recently finished re-reading the Norcross books (probably for the third/fourth time!). You are such a talented and gifted writer, I revisit your stories so many times (don’t tell my ‘to read’ pile!).
    Glad you have talented and supportive people on the case and hope it all gets resolved soon and things are put in place to stop this from happening again and to others, how heartbreaking as an author to see that happen. Wishing you all the best.

  27. Anna you are one of my favorite Authors and have been since you started. To have someone do this to is sicking. I wonder how many more she has copied! I just looked to see if I have read any of her books and I have. Maybe she is one of the Authors that I get a feel that I have read something like she has written somewhere else. I hope you get everything settled. Keep us posted on how things go for you. This should not be allowed and there should be a steep penalty for Authors that do so.

  28. I’m so sorry this has happened – I love love love reading your books!!

    While I only took a creative writing course, the time that an author invests in their work is not only time consuming but mentally challenging to come up with ORIGINAL work. This says a lot about her lazy attitude and lesser talent, that she would have to STEAL work from others, to get her name out there. How do publishing companies allow this to happen is beyond me. Glad you found out but sorry that it happened in the first place.

  29. I’d like to start off by saying that I LOVE your books! I just discovered your books about 2 months ago and am hooked!

    I’m upset on your behalf that your work was stolen. I can’t stand thieves. I wish I could say that I was shocked. It’s a sad statement to where society has gone when theft is the norm.

    Keep on writing your wonderful stories! You give readers like me the opportunity to escape into your wonderful worlds. I sincerely hope justice prevails for you and other authors who’ve been plagiarized.

  30. I once saw someone refer to a literary pirate; I rather think of literary vampires. They satisfy their own desires by leaching off of the sweat and blood of others, and feel no remorse. When their actions are brought to the light of day, they deny, deny, deny.

    I do believe that occasionally a writer may unknowingly write word for word or phrase another author’s work imprinted in their head by accident, but entire sentences, paragraphs or dialogs? Sorry, no can do.

  31. Absolutely disgraceful behaviour. I’m so sorry to hear your works have been targeted Anna. I can only imagine the stress this has caused. I hope that you are able to charge her through the court system to both increase awareness of this ‘crime’ against hardworking authors and also recup royalties earned off your work. Sending you support and best wishes that this is resolved quickly, Suzanne

  32. OMG, how can she – this is just awful. I wait for all your books to come out and literally devour them in approx 2 days – I have to try and pace myself so that I can make them last longer, but cannot help myself. This sounds awful and frustrating for you, instead of concentrating on your writing you have to go and investigate what she has stolen, this must be soul crushing.

    I am sure that your other fans (like me) are outraged on your behalf and would stand with you to defend your brilliant work (unfortunately I am on a different continent, but I am sure you get the sentiment). As they say: ‘Never give up, never surrender’.

  33. Anna, there are no words, to know someone has copied your hard work and is so wrong and unfair. I don’t know how anyone would have the conscience to do so! No one should be making money off of you. Let us your readers know as you have,so no profit would be made on her behalf. Your stories are some of the best, I have ever read. Us your readers are loyal to you.

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