What I DIDN’T Write

I received an e-mail from a woman who said her daughter planned to perform a monolog that I had written. She asked if the monolog’s narrator was based on a character in one of my books or if I could give her any other background information. She sent a copy of the monolog, which was titled, “Mandy.”  As I read it, my jaw dropped.

I wrote a monolog called “Missing Mandy” which was published by Meriwether Publishing in the book WINNING MONOLOGS FOR YOUNG ACTORS. It is still in print.  The piece this woman sent me had the same first line. Its last line was a direct quote from my monolog, too, although in my piece it was not the ending. The rest of “Mandy” is based on my idea and contains several sentences or partial sentences that I wrote, but it also contains actions and dialogue that I did not write. The end result is not something I would have published.

Anyone familiar with my books would be shocked to read one where a child discovers the dead body of her friend, covered in blood. I would never include such a scene. Yet, there it was, with me listed as the author.

 In “Missing Mandy” a child is asked about a burn on her hand and replies that she burned it while baking cookies. In the revised “Mandy” monolog, this child says she was scratched by her cat – also something I would never put in print.

I wonder how many copies of this distorted version of my work are circulating. I hope not many.  

When I responded to the mother’s e-mail, I explained that someone took my monolog, “Missing Mandy,” and rewrote it but left my name on it. I said that if her daughter performs the monolog she sent me, I should not be credited as the author.  I’m debating what else, if anything, I can do about such blatant misuse of copyrighted material.