Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Plagiarism Rears Its Ugly Head... AGAIN

Plagiarism has become a plague upon fiction. I very often write about current instances, scandals, exposures, and whatnot. Other outrage-minded folk may be fascinated by the current discussion at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, a favorite site of mine. While the discussion is decidedly snarky and unforgiving, it is an important one. And SBTB were, to be fair, the first to report on a very serious matter.

Cassie Edwards, author of 100 romances and counting, has some answers to provide readers. Quick Google searching showed massive numbers of large passages virtually copied and pasted, nearly verbatim, into her novels. I have never been a reader of Ms. Edwards. As someone of Irish and Cherokee heritage I avoid any novels that roll around in bad stereotypes like a pig wallows in slop. It's my personal opinion that all publishers of Indian themed books with SAVAGE in the title, and all publishers of Irish themed books including the phrase "top o' the mornin'" should be punished. Painfully. Frequently, until they STOP.

So no, I have not read a Cassie Edwards book. I have now, however, read lots and lots of passages of her books that were somebody else's passages first. While Edwards is to blame, and should be forced to find a new career (after sending a check to anyone dumb enough to buy one of her bad books to begin with), her publishers are far from blameless. Let's face it, if a bunch of snarky bitches can Google stuff that absolutely SCREAMS "I don't belong here," somebody reading through the first draft can, too.

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