LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A woman who wrote an obscure vampire book as a teenager has sued "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer, accusing her of stealing ideas from the work for the fourth book in her vampire series, "Breaking Dawn."
Meyer's publisher responded that the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court in California, is a meritless claim meant to further the career of the aspiring screenwriter making the complaint.
Jordan Scott's lawsuit accuses Meyer of copyright infringement and argues that, as Scott wrote her vampire novel "The Nocturne," she posted passages online, and that Meyer stole ideas from Scott's work for her own book.
"The Nocturne" and "Breaking Dawn," which was published in 2008, show similarities in language, plot lines, characters and other points, Scott's lawsuit stated. For instance, the lawsuit said both books contain a wedding passage and an after-wedding scene of sex on the beach.
Hachette Book Group, Meyer's publisher, said the "alleged similarities" are "wholly lacking in substance," and Meyer based "Breaking Dawn" on an earlier, unpublished sequel to "Twilight" that she wrote.
Hachette called the suit a "publicity stunt to further Ms. Scott's career," and said it expected the court would dismiss it.
Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" is the fourth book in the "Twilight" series, which has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide and become the basis of a Hollywood movie series.
The first film, "Twilight," earned more than $380 million at worldwide box offices and the second, "New Moon," hits theaters in November. The books and movies are about a girl named Bella Swan, who has a star-crossed love affair with dangerous but handsome vampire Edward Cullen.
Scott's book "The Nocturne," which she started writing at age 15 in 2003, had an initial printing of 5,000 books and is about to go into a second printing, according to her lawsuit.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte