About two years ago Skrybbi (Librarian Lauren) and I did a video blog (bits of which may or may not appear at a later date) about a the plagiarism allegations against a bestselling Historical Native American Romance Novelist Cassie Edwards.
The ladies over at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books website uncovered Edwards's use of large sections of unchanged text from various outside sources including Standing Bear's "Land of the Spotted Eagle" and a Defenders Magazine article on the "Black-Footed Ferret". At first, her publisher, Signet, denied the allegations, but after the ensuing uproar and side-by-side comparisons posted by the Smart Bitches, as well as a statement of condemnation against plagiarism from Romance Giant Nora Roberts, Signet decided to re-evaluate all of the books they had published by Edwards.
That was the last Skrybbi and I heard...until I decided to look it up today. You will notice on Edwards's Wikipedia Page that Signet is no longer publishing her books due to "irreconcilable editorial differences". No kidding. You'll also notice that, although Edwards was able to churn out at least one (often two or three) novels a year, she has published nothing since the book that started it all in 2007, "Shadow Bear".
As an avid proponent of the "literary keel-hauling" method, as Skrybbi so eloquently put it, I'm relieved to see that--this time, at least--the right people won. I'm fairly certain none of the authors of the 12 sources Edwards plagiarized sued, so she got lucky. Despite her alleged whining about the allegations making her feel "picked on now as our Native American Indians have always been picked on throughout history", the consequences of her actions could have been a lot more severe. Sure, Crazy Horse isn't exactly in a state to sue, but there are 11 other plagiarees (new word!) to choose from.
In my opinion, plagiarism is nothing more than a sign of literary pigritude. Maybe if Edwards had stuck to only one novel a year she would have had the energy to writer her own material.
To read more on the Cassie Edwards Plagiarism ordeal, check out the ORIGINAL POST at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, or the Cassie Edwards Plagiarism Recap over at Dear Author .
To learn more about plagiarism and how to recognize and avoid it, check out any of the following links.