Paul Tolme, who wrote the original article on ferrets for Defenders Magazine, responds with an article about his work and his reaction to seeing his writing elsewhere in Newsweek magazine:
[T]hat is some bad dialogue. It stands out as clunky and awkward even by the standards of romance novels. That’s because Edwards didn’t write it. I did.
I traveled to South Dakota in the spring of 2005, flying into Rapid City airport, renting a car and driving to Wall, where I checked into a dumpy motel overlooking an industrial yard. It was as unromantic a location as you could imagine….
From dusk until nearly dawn we sat in Livieri’s truckâ€”two dudes looking for weasels. Nobody said science was sexy.
After three days in Wall, where the highlight is visiting the famous Wall Drug Store, I could hardly leave town fast enough. I returned home and wrote the story for the Summer 2005 issue of Defenders magazine, which detailed how ferrets in the Conata Basin were being threatened by a federal effort to poison prairie dogs.
Had I known that my text would one day appear in a romance novel, I might have sexed up my story: “Hot-loving polecats do it in prairie dog holes.” Instead, here’s the passage where I detail the life history of black-footed ferrets. You may recognize it.
I do wish Tolme hadn’t dismissed the Edwards novel as “standard romance-novel shlock.” That particular prose may be shlock in his opinion, but it’s not standard for romance novels. But you and I both know that.
For more information about Black Footed Ferret conservation efforts, visit the Black Footed Ferret Recovery effort site. Hat tip to Ishie, who dropped the link in a comment thread.