April 04, 2011

Nothing New Under the Sun

I spent two days gathering copyright free photos. Another two days cropping, retouching, hand painting and manipulating them in Photoshop and what did I get? The perfect cover for my novel "Enchantment"? Yes. An original cover? No.

Not only is my cover art nearly identical to Orson Scott Card's new novel, "The Lost Gate," I'm using the same title as his romantic fantasy published in April of 1999. The image with the book is the first, and favorite cover I designed. The one with the hands is the one I'm actually using. OSC's cover (and book) can be found at amazon.

I knew the title's were the same, but since his book is twelve years old, my storyline is so very different from his, and there are other lesser known works with the same title, I didn't think it was a big deal. Especially since he's the one that recommended I turn my short story "Name Games" into a novel. (This was just before I learned of a little series called "Hunger Games." Love the books, hate the title since it required me to change mine.)

Then, as if the whole title/cover thing weren't bad enough, I stumble across Kate Hart's description of her novel "Refuge" which is about a seventeen-year-old witch that leaves her family's mountain compound to attend public school for the first time.

My novel, "Enchantment" is a young adult paranormal romance set in Louisville, Colorado. The protagonists are Josh, a seventeen-year-old BMX racer and Channie, a transplanted witch from the Ozark Mountains. The main conflict grows out the chastity curse her parents place on her to protect her virtue and the young couple's disastrous attempts to free themselves from its restrictions.

So, yeah, it boils down to a story about a sixteen-year-old witch forced to move away from her family's mountain home and attend public school for the first time. As Channie would say ... Damn it to hell and back.

I am intrigued by Ms. Hart's story but I'm afraid to read it before I finish editing "Enchantment." I know my subconscious mind sabotaged my book cover design since I'd recently read "The Lost Gate." But I'd never even heard of Kate Hart before last week. And I'm ninety-nine percent sure she's never heard of me and one hundred percent sure she's never read my book since it's not yet published. I'm hoping the only similarities between her book and mine are the descriptions and not the actual stories.

I want to cry, but I'll settle for a pint of Ben and Gerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream.


  1. Chunky Monkey is always the best choice when faced with one of life's dilemmas.

  2. It depends on the dilemma. Cherry Garcia is the answer for all matters of the heart.

  3. Charlotte, would it help if someone who has read your manuscript also read the Refuge book and eased your mind about how different they probably are? (BTW, speaking of two books with the same title, Refuge is the name of a memoir-type book by Terry Tempest Williams.) Just an idea to help ease your worries.

    Love, Sharman

  4. P.S. I LOVE your portrait--you look great!


  5. Thanks Sharman, I would love for "someone" to compare Kate's book to my manuscript and let me know if mine is too similar. Are you volunteering? ;-) I'll buy you a copy of Kate's book and give you a copy of mine.

    I'm closing in on the fourth edit/rewrite, but it still needs to be line edited (Carol's job, but she's fast!) and read for consistency, plot holes and general weirdness that creeps in every time I revise (my job).

    I'm glad you liked the portrait. I was very pleased as well.