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"Twilight" author accused of plagiarism

 Author Stephenie Meyer poses at the premiere of the movie
Author Stephenie Meyer poses at the premiere of the movie 'Twilight' at the Mann Village and Bruin theatres in Westwood, California November 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
— image credit: Reuters

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A writer plans to sue "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer, accusing her of plagiarism by lifting passages from an obscure book she wrote called "The Nocturne" and using them in vampire romance "Breaking Dawn," an attorney said on Tuesday.

J. Craig Williams, who represents "The Nocturne" author Jordan Scott, told Reuters by phone that the passages in question involve few word-for-word similarities but that the two books have similar plot and character points.

Meyer's publisher, Hachette Book Group, called the accusation meritless, saying "The Twilight Saga" is entirely Meyer's creation and that she knew nothing of "The Nocturne."

"Breaking Dawn," which came out in 2008, is the fourth book in the series of novels about a teenager, Bella Swan, caught in a forbidden romance with vampire Edward Cullen.

The "Twilight" books, which the publisher says have sold 70 million copies worldwide, are the basis for a movie series from Summit Entertainment. The first film, "Twilight," has earned more than $380 million at worldwide box offices, and the second, "New Moon," hits theaters in November.

In "Breaking Dawn," Bella marries the blood-sucking Cullen and the book follows Bella through a difficult pregnancy and her new life as a vampire.

In a cease-and-desist letter Williams sent to Hachette Book Group, he provided comparisons from the two books of a wedding, a sex-on-the-beach episode and a passage where a human-turned-vampire describes the wrenching change.

As another instance of similarities, Williams pointed out that characters in both books call their wives "love."

Hachette Book Group said in a statement that Meyer's books "have been a phenomenal sensation" and that "it shouldn't be surprising to hear that other people may seek to ride the coattails of such success."

Williams said Scott plans to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against Meyer this week or next in U.S. federal court.

"I think the fans have to read both books and make up their own mind, like a judge is going to have to," Williams said.

He said Scott does not plan to seek monetary damages.

Scott made chapters from "The Nocturne" available online as she was working on the vampire book, which she wrote in her teenage years and released in book form in 2006, Williams said. He said he did not know how many copies the book sold.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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