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Sandra Lee Schubert
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Is it imitation? What would a Queen do?

By Sandra Lee Schubert | April 14, 2010

Or is flattery? When I can stay awake my favorite late night pleasure is watching The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. This week his guest was Kathy Kinney the infamous Mimi on the Drew Carey show in which Craig also appeared. Here is the show appearance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGfsb_3qk74

She was there to discuss her new book, Queen of Your Own Life: The Grownup Woman’s Guide to Claiming Happiness and Living the Royal Life You Deserve (Harlequin Non-Fiction Hardcover/April 1, 2010). What piqued my interest was when she started to talk about being called a crone and creating a crowning day for women as Queens.

The reason I became very interested was that Donna Henes wrote The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife back in 2005. Donna has really broken ground on this concept and developed quite a following around the book. For full disclosure, I interviewed Donna about the book and we know each other from traveling in the same circle of friends.

I was really surprised to hear the concepts of Donna’s book coming out of Kathy Kinney as new ones. Now I don’t know if she knew about Donna’s book. I am not saying she plagiarized it. I have not read her book to compare it to Donna’s so I couldn’t fairly say that. Below I will post a couple of links for further reading. But a little red flag went up. The similarities were close enough to make me uncomfortable.
This cover is different from Donna’s in color and design. The one similarity that shows up in both logos on their Facebook fan pages is a crown on the Q for Queen.

Looking at Donna’s fan page other people noticed the similarities. Again I am uncomfortable with this- anyone can pick up the concept and run with it. There are a slew of Goddess/Law of Attraction/Soulmate books on bookshelves. It happens. But acknowledge that its already out there. Don’t pretend like you discovered the idea of becoming a Queen on your own. The title and logo’s are too similar to be a mistake. Someone had to use Google at some point. Was it intentional on the author’s part? I don’t know.

Imitation is a form of flattery. At the end of the day this will just expand and contribute to the work Donna has already done by making it known to a larger audience. It is important for us all to remember to acknowledge those who have paved the road that is ahead of us. And when we birth a new idea some one else may pick it up and run with it. There is room for us all. I think I know Donna well enough that she will bless the other authors and continue to do her work.

What would you do in this situation?


Here are the links for both of the books:
The Queen of Myself
Queen of Your Own Life

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Topics: Writer's Life | 5 Comments »

  • Sandra! I’m so glad you wrote about this. I am a Queen myself and this whole ‘imitation’ issue has left me royally burned with anger. Donna is #1 as far as I’m concerned.

  • Sherli Evans

    I’ve read The Queen of Myself; in fact I’ve given copies of it to friends as inspirational (and inspired) birthday gifts. It seems almost impossible in this day of instant information access that the authors of the new Queen book didn’t know about Donna’s book. It seems to me there should have been an acknowledgment of some kind.

  • Donna Henes did it first, and she did it best. Her book will move you totally. Donna was redefining women of a certain age five years ago — I saw her do a delightful reading of her book and the whole crone/Queen thing was the first concept she presented. It was a fresh, new idea, and it was HERS. HAIL, Queen Donna! No more pretenders to the throne. Linda G-M

  • Linda

    Bravo! I agree that all is fair in publishing but at least acknowledge the original author. Donna can benefit more if she is acknowledged and receives the royalties from her own book. This is not about her ego it is her life’s work not a hobby or some “discovery” that markets her real career this is Donna’s bread and butter. Let’s get her book promoted on the mainstream media!!!!!

  • Sandra Lee Schubert

    Buy Donna’s book. She deserves the sales and the love for all the work she has done.