Nightshade v. Nightshade
In my novel The Bimborg, I have a character who starts out as a rebellious teen girl in a small Georgia town. To get under everyone’s skin, she tells everyone she’s a witch, and she even belongs to a “coven.” She’s not really a witch, though—she can’t curse people or cast spells. Her given name is Rose, which means that she’s named after a girly plant; but to again show her rebelliousness, she names herself after a very different plant: Nightshade.
So in The Bimborg, published in 2013, I have this major character who calls herself Nightshade and who claims to be a witch. She is entirely my own creation; I didn’t steal her from any other story. In fact, she’s one of the better-developed characters whom I’ve created.
My friend Bennett recently recommended the novel Magic Kingdom For Sale—Sold by Terry Brooks. I’ve started reading it. Turns out it was first published in 1986. It also turns out that the whole friggin’ series contains a major character who’s named Nightshade, and who is a witch. A real witch, as in “…and your little dog, too.”
I state for the record: I did not steal “my” Nightshade from Terry Brooks; not even a little bit; perish the thought; not a single time, never, these allegations are false. But I can’t prove that, because I can’t prove a negative.