“I had HarperCollins, one of the largest publishers in the world, interested in my material. But when I sent them my sample chapters on request from one of the editors, they actually had one of their other authors (my former friend Peter Levenda, who had recommended me to them) steal my work and publish it as his own. The book Papal Magic by Simon (Levenda’s pen name and the “editor” of the Necronomicon) was almost entirely ripped from one of my sample chapters, word for word. I can’t afford a lawyer and thus can do nothing about it.
The Da Vinci Code Decoded by Martin Lunn, an international bestseller, was essentially written by me as well. But at least I was in on that scam and agreed to it willingly. The publisher came to me and asked me to write it, but since I was already in a prohibitive contract with Weiser at the time, I couldn’t take the offer. So I let one of my friends take credit as the author and I only got a 10% agent commission. Then I lost my contract with Weiser because of Boyd’s [Rice] behavior, and that was it.”
“The roots of the Hocus Pocus essay actually come from a detailed chapter outline I wrote for another book that I proposed to HarperCollins in 2006. I asked Peter [Levenda] if he could hook me up with his editor [Peter Hubbard] there. He gave me the guy’s email address, and I sent a 1-page query to the editor. The guy wrote back saying he was interested and wanted to see a detailed outline with sample chapters. I sent these to him. I never heard back from him. A few months later, Papal Magic came out. It followed my outline almost exactly.
Yes, I am saying that Peter Levenda stole my book. Probably on the advice of his editor [ Peter Hubbard at HarperCollins – William Morrow ]. It’s not uncommon for editors to take book proposals they like from unknown authors, and give them to more famous authors to write, screwing the original author completely. I just didn’t think Peter [Levenda] would do that to me, but he did.”“[W]ell, it took me a while to figure out what happened.
After I didn’t hear back from the editor, I just forgot about the book proposal completely. I interviewed Peter for the radio show. Everything seemed kosher. He didn’t tell me about Papal Magic when it came out. I found it myself at the book store one day. And in fact, even when I read it, I noticed some similarities with what I had written, but I actually assumed that I had sent the proposal after Papal Magic was published, or after it was in production. I thought maybe that was why the publisher hadn’t gotten back to me–because he already had a book about the same subject in the works. Until one day I was came across the original emails I sent. I checked the dates of the emails and the dates of Papal Magic’s publication. And I looked at the chapter outline I had sent, and compared it with the book. In some cases entire paragraphs are almost identical. Then I realized what had happened.”