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August 6, 2009

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Legal action may bite vampire book author

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 in Los Angeles.

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 US$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.

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."


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