Sunday, 29 March 2015

Guest Post from Loukia Borrell

If the recent decision to award Marvin Gaye’s heirs more than $7 million from “Blurred Lines” isn’t overturned on appeal, it could have far-reaching effects on artists across all genres who are inspired to create by what they see and hear from other artists. Gaye’s children argued that “Blurred Lines” by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke borrowed too much from their father’s 1977 disco/funk song, “Got To Give It Up.” The legal case did not end with the recent payday for Gaye’s children. After the verdict against Williams and Thicke, Gaye’s heirs filed an injunction to hold rapper T.I. (who is also featured on “Blurred Lines”) and the record labels accountable. Gaye’s family also wants to stop the sale and reproduction of “Blurred Lines” until a settlement can be reached to include them in proceeds of the 2013 hit. Not surprisingly, with the high profile fight continuing, sales of Gaye’s music have skyrocketed. The week of March 16, there were 10,000 downloads for “Got To Give It Up,” according to A collection of Gaye’s greatest hits has also made Billboard’s charts.

If the verdict sticks, it wouldn’t be unusual to think there will be plenty of songwriters thinking twice – maybe three times – about how their next single sounds. There will be obvious concerns about taking too much away from other artists’ recordings. And there lies the problem: There is a difference between outright plagiarism and being influenced by other musicians. I think “Blurred Lines” falls into the latter category. It is inspired by Gaye’s style and sound, not necessarily the notes or the lyrics. You can’t round up people who are shaped by others in a creative way, declare them thieves and sue them. New lawsuits – not new music - would be all anyone would hear about.

People in creative fields – recording artists, writers, actors – all find inspiration in what’s been done before and who has done it. Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are colorful, successful entertainers but their provocative styles have a similarity to Madonna. And, as “original” as Madonna is, she has channeled Marilyn Monroe during her career, most notably in the 1984 “Material Girl” video. Later, in her 1990 pop hit, “Vogue,” Madonna looks similar to Marlene Dietrich as she praises stars from Hollywood’s golden age.

All those 1990s boy bands were influenced by the original boy band, The Beatles. Liberace and Elton John both play the piano, are flashy and wore wild costumes. Barry Gibb, widely considered the oracle of falsetto singers, has copycats in Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger (most notably in 1980’s “Emotional Rescue.”). I don’t think I could stop making comparisons if I bring up Elvis. Recently, I was in a bookstore’s teen section, surrounded by books about fantasy and adventure. “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” series can be compared to William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” while the mega-successful “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy was actually fan fiction – work written by a fan featuring characters from the teen fantasy romance series “Twilight.”

It all mean artists are constantly stimulated by others to create. Just as there are no original mistakes (every time we screw up, someone, somewhere has done the same thing) there are no original ideas. We all borrow and throw open the door a little wider to fit in our own ideas. In books, what matters most is not so much the idea of the novel itself, but the character development, details and plot twists. I came up with the idea for my first novel from an actual historic event – the 1974 invasion and division of Cyprus – that involved my relatives. From there, my characters and the situations they encounter in both of my novels, came from my imagination. That is something no one should have to worry about being sued over.

Loukia Borrell is a former journalist and the author of “Delicate Secrets” and “Raping Aphrodite,” books one and two, respectively, in “The Aphrodite Anthologies.” Both novels are available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble for Nook readers. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three children. You can follow Loukia on Goodreads or Twitter @LoukiaBorrell.

Loukia Borrell latest release is Delicate Secrets:

Ckuck on image to buy from Amazon
Ghost soulmate.

There are some women you know, even before you meet them. There is an immediate connection with how they feel, smell, sound and what they need. For Christian Colgate, that kind of once in a lifetime intimacy was something he found in Tash Moncada, a promising art student who awakened his senses and passion.

At 18, Tash is on the verge of beginning her life and has everything to look forward to after she graduates from high school. But, a chance encounter with Christian turns her world in a different direction. They quickly find
an internal synchronization; a primal need to hold on to each other that takes both of them by surprise. Christian doesn’t see Tash as his student. She is his soulmate, a sensual woman who makes him feel things no other woman ever has. As Christian and Tash explore their feelings, they also have to be careful to hide them or risk crossing a dangerous border that could ruin both of their lives.

Delicate Secrets is the first book in The Aphrodite Anthologies. To follow Tash and Christian on their journey, read the second book in the series, Raping Aphrodite, and find out how they cope with a dark secret that threatens the world they fought so hard to build.

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