Lunch with Wendy today led to a snicker-filled discussion about a flap in the publishing world I hadn’t heard about yet. Apparently a prolific romance novelist, Cassie Edwards, who has authored over a hundred romance novels, was outed as a plagiarist by the romance-novel review blog Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books, whose contributors used Google Book Search to spot numerous similarities between Edwards’ work and other works.
If you’re curious, check the site; Smart Bitches has posted transcripts. (Ouchie.)
The real winning moment, however, comes from this article in the New York Times:
“Ms. Edwards told an Associated Press reporter earlier this week that she did not know she was supposed to credit her sources. ‘When you write historical romances, you’re not asked to do that,’ she said.” (emphasis is mine)
Then again, I’m guessing after about the first fifty instances of writing the story of the hot, studly, yet psychologically wounded Native American warrior who kidnaps the innocent white woman (wearing a strapless gown) and then does carnal things to her on the harsh prairie, all while ignoring the lack of indoor plumbing and supermarkets … well, I suppose I can understand why an author would start lifting source material.
I’d ask in exasperation “How many times could you write something like that?!?” and “How many times would someone want to read the same story over and over?” but apparently the answers to both questions contain numbers larger than I’m prepared to comprehend.
Maybe I should write a romance novel about romance novelists who plagiarize romance novels. The thought of the recursive plagiarism thrills me … well, not quite to no end, but for at least long enough to go down the hall and fix myself another cup of tea before resuming coding.