Saturday, January 19, 2008

"When The Most Successful Author In Romance Judges Others"

Dudes, stop posting on here, the blog has MOVED!

Awwww....they make it so damn easy for me to be....

Anyway, since author, Deborah Smith (I believe she wrote the award winning book, Crossroads Cafe) has much to say for herself, I thought I'd give her comments the exposure they deserve, cuz you know, I'm nice like that.

Thanks to the Anon commenter who posted this link of a cached Amazon post that she wrote, presumably, at the height of the CE Love Fest.

This is what she had to say:

"Hi, y'all. I debated whether to post publicly {K: Ooops, too late, and Google forgets nothing unfortunately} about this tempest in a teapot in the romance world, because the last thing I want is to be eviscerated by Nora Roberts' avid fangirls. But there's a quiet little stream of conversation in the world of romance writers as to why Roberts, unquestionably the richest, most award-winning, most successful romance novelist in the world -- in fact, one of the most successful novelists in the world, period -- hangs out at a blog site called "Smart Bitches," where the topics include open attacks on authors so far down the food chain that one wonders how Nora has time in her busy career to even notice they exist.

Now Roberts has weighed in (via an interview with the national press) on a controversy surrounding old-school historical author Cassie Edwards. I don't know Cassie Edwards; I've never read one of her many (nearly 100) historicals. But so far as I can tell she's a hardworking, 71-year-old author who's never slammed any other author in public. To the best of my knowledge Ms. Edwards is considered a rollicking good storyteller who likes to write westerns and pirate novels. She does not appear to have any pretensions, and her fans clearly love her books.

But -- according to reports launched by the Smart Bitches bloggers, who admitted beforehand that they don't like Ms. Edwards' old-style books, and have spent considerable time making jokes about them -- the author "plagiarized" bits and pieces of research material. The horrendous offense? Some passages about (I'm not kidding) buffaloes and ferrets. Looking at the passages myself, all I see is a writer who maybe should have paraphrased some research info a little better. I don't see malicious or greedy intent; I don't see "plagiarism" in any serious legal interpretation of the charge. If there's more to the issue than that, I haven't seen the evidence.

But I kinda doubt that Ms. Edwards' success is built on her nature writing. I kinda doubt she sat at her computer thinking, "If I use this other author's description of a buffalo, I'll sell ten times more books."

But now this grandmother (and accomplished violinist) is fielding national wire service inquiries about her alleged misdeeds. And Nora Roberts -- unsolicited, unharmed, with no personal beef with Ms. Edwards in any way, as far as I know -- has stood up atop her unassailable pile of money and awards to say -- in the national media --that Ms. Edwards appears to have committed plagerism.

Why does Roberts feel compelled to play lawyer, judge and jury regarding a fellow author? Roberts has achieved a level of good fortune 99.9 percent of authors can only dream about. But does that make her not only the spokeswoman for the romance genre, but also its enforcer of public condemnation for unproven offenses?

Not for me, and not for thousands of other hardworking authors trying to earn a living down here in the trenches, that's for sure."

And on that bombshell, I'm off to the pictures with TTG. I may even buy a violin with my popcorn whilst I'm out. :)

Updated to add: Here at Karen Scott Central, (thanks to AztecLady) we've realised that Ms Smith's motives may not have been so pure after all. She was the lady who 'jokingly' accused Mancusi and Maverick of encouraging pedophilia by wearing their school girl outfits, at the height of the RWA Swanhat-gate Lovefest last year. She originally posted on the SBs blog, but here's her comments at DA.

Now we know why she's hating on Nora and the SBs so much; she's getting them back for making her look stupid and clueless. *g*

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