Isn’t this a pretty picture?

It’s the one Blogger didn’t want to let me upload on Tuesday. Maybe it’s because it was 666 day and Blogger is one of Satan’s minions. Therese and I like graphics. We like them loads. So it’s really . . . what’s the word I’m looking for . . . SUCKY when our bloghost regularly craps out. I can hear you all saying you get what you pay for, but it’s folks like you and I who keep Blogger on the forefront of bloghosts. If Blogger were a car, it’d be a Yugo.

Rant over. On to linky goodness.

Will it never end? I guess not when you’re talking about millions of benjamins, but NYT has an article about a Vanity Fair “exlusive” with another author alleging plagiarism against Dan Brown. The author of the VF article, Seth Mnookin (scroll down for my post on groovy names) supports the claims of one Lewis Perdue, author of the largely ignored DAUGHTER OF GOD, alleging that Brown ripped off the “plot, pacing and structure” of Perdue’s book. Perdue already lost the trial and the appeal, and owes Random House $300,000 in legal fees.

Here’s the thing, and I’m surprised that Mnookin, himself a writer, doesn’t get this. If you’re going to write a thriller/mystery/suspense novel about an ‘explosive’ secret the Catholic Church wants to cover up, storytelling craft compels the writer to come up with a) a protagonist who has an investment in unearthing the secret and b) an antagonist who wants to keep the secret from getting out. Therefore, the protagonist in this type of story will be some sort of religious sleuth who can provide the reader context and background to all the mysteries of the Church that lay people are not privy to; the antagonist will be a hardcore member of the faithful who has let his/her zeal for the Church blind them to his/her sins. A chase will ensue. Bodies will pile up until the breathtaking climax. That’s what the thriller reader wants.

It’s Plot Points for Dummies. After Holy Blood, Holy Grail came out in the ’80′s and opened the door to all kinds of speculative fiction in this vein, a ton of writers used it as the basis for their books. Does Brown have to defend himself against all of them just because his happened to catch fire? [update: in a bizarre twist, Boston Herald plagiarizes the Mnookin article. Please, stop the madness. For the sake of the children.]

God, I’m in a ranty mood today. More links after the jump.

Astrology for Writers is updated. This month is about money, and who doesn’t like money . . . . sad news, Writing from the Trenches is no more, but we wish Rob well and hope he’ll come by for visits now and again . . . Melly has a good link for those who want to publish their own book . . . Miss Snark on query letters that make her want to hurl . . . RReader gives Naomi Novik’s hot new historical dragon/alt reality series a thumbs up . . . Ray edits a sample: “This sentence construction has his voice trying not to lose face.” Ouch.

Cavan posts Part Two of his Adventures of Cavan in the Blogosphere . . . . MJ Rose has found another novel way to promo her books . . . . over at Murder She Writes, a post on how to be a gracious loser . . . . Eric recommends UNSTUCK, a book about overcoming writer’s block . . . one of my major buds Elena Greene has a good post today on the difference between history and historical Disneyland . . . . Hal sells one of his short stories to an anthology and promises that things will GO BOOM. Hee . . . . Paperback Writer has a contest going that you won’t want to miss–free books! . . . .

Uh oh, Blogger’s beginning to crash again. I gotta get this posted before I lose the whole bloody thing. Blog off and write on!

About Kathleen Bolton

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She has written two novels under the pseudonym Cassidy Calloway: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins. Her current project, Slumber, under the pen name Tamara Blake, released July of 2013 and is a dark suspense fantasy novel for teens.