Nora Roberts Quoted in AP Article regarding Cassie Edwards

Nora Roberts has been quoted in a revised AP article regarding the Cassie Edwards story:

Roberts, whose fiction has sold hundreds of millions of copies, told The Associated Press on Thursday that “it seems clear” Edwards acted improperly.

“Given the side-by-side comparisons I’ve read, it seems clear Ms. Edwards copied considerable portions of previously published work and used them in her books without attribution to the original source,” Roberts wrote in an e-mail to the AP. “By my definition, copying another’s work and passing it as your own equals plagiarism. As a writer, a reader and a victim of plagiarism, I feel very strongly on this issue. I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t see it as fair use, or fair anything when one writer takes another’s work.”

Both Roberts and Edwards are published by Penguin Group (USA), which on Wednesday defended Edwards, saying: “She has done nothing wrong.”

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  1. 1

    Nice just for the sake of nicety does everyone a disservice. I’m happy to read Nora Roberts being a classy lady, eloquent and not at all unkind, but at the same time sticking up for what’s right in her profession.

    It’s rare you read about women like these in today’s media.

  2. 2
    J.C. Wilder says:

    Yet another reason why we love Nora so much – she says it like it is. I wonder where my ‘I Love Nora Roberts’ sleepshirt is?

  3. 3
    Teddy Pig says:

    Go Nora! That is shooting dang straight.

  4. 4
    MaryKate says:

    I *heart* you Nora! You’re such a great voice for romance.

  5. 5

    *women like her.

    Not like these.

    Unless I was referring to a collection of Nora bobbleheads, of which there should be an immediate re-issue!

  6. 6
    SandyO says:

    We can do worse that following “WWND?”

    Nora rocks.

  7. 7
    Randi says:

    Sign me up for a Nora sleepshirt AND bobblehead!  Oh, my mom too. She loves La Nora.

  8. 8
    KristenMary says:

    I am so happy this is finally getting more attention than just the small community on blogs. And of course Nora is the best representative to discuss the situation. She is a classy lady and shows that by not being mean but by pointing to the evidence.

    WWND is my personal mantra most days.

  9. 9
    Marta Acosta says:

    And the story’s been picked up by CNN with a nice photo of La Nora and the Smart Bitches web address!

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/01/10/books.romancewriter.ap/

  10. 10
    Ruth says:

    I have to say, thanks to SBTB, Nora is my favorite author whose work I have never read :)

    Add me to the Nora Rocks bandwagon!

  11. 11
    Kalen Hughes says:

    The revised article on AP has also upgraded the John Barrie quote from “the author had indeed lifted material” to “Ms. Edwards’ unattributed use of other peoples’ work as her own definitely constitutes plagiarism.”

  12. 12
    rebyj says:

    CNN!! coolness!! now to get a plug in for the smart bitches upcoming book……

  13. 13
    Katherine says:

    I’ve been following this via other sources for the last few days.  I’ve read about two romance novels in my life, because my mother made me when I was 17.  I just want to say. 

    Nora Roberts, I now want to go out and find your books.  Which shouldn’t be too hard because I think there are a couple in my car from the last time I took my mother to the doctors.

    As a historian and an academic, I find it really frustrating that a professional author (CE) does not seem to have a grasp on what every college freshman is expected to learn and every college student gets reminded of in every class.  EVERY SEMESTER.

    I was beginning to wonder if intellectual honesty had gone the route of legitimate histographic discussion and science based government policy.

  14. 14
    J.C. Wilder says:

    What the heck is WWMD and where can I get a Nora Bobblehead?

    Me wants…me wants…

  15. 15
    Charlene says:

    I inferred from Cassie Edwards’s reply and Signet’s official response that neither takes non-fiction seriously. Do they think that non-fiction writers merely string facts together? Do they not understand that writing non-fiction requires judgment, balance, research skills, and the ability to explain facts clearly and accurately?

    This is why I was running amok yesterday calling for boycotts while steam shot out of my ears. I apologize if I went out of control, but really: plagiarizing a work of non-fiction is just as ethically wrong as plagiarizing a work of fiction.

    (I wrote you a longer comment earlier, but the server eated it.)

  16. 16
    Chrissy says:

    FoxNews has it, too.  I wonder if we can get them to cover it on the tv??  I think Shep Smith is sexy.  But they may be too uptight to say the word “bitches” out loud.

    And “web site smart b-words trashy books” just doesn’t have a journalistic flow.

  17. 17
    Bev Stephans says:

    I thought Nora Robert’s e-mail to AP was very good and to the point.  Since she writes for the Penguin Group, I hope that she e-mailed them also.  It would be nice to know that one of their writers was standing up to them.

  18. 18
    Angela James says:

    Dang, Nora. Now I think this time I owe you a drink. At this rate we’re going to be getting sloppy drunk together.

  19. 19

    I also found Ms. Edwards’ explanation rather lame. No, authors aren’t expected to credit their sources when writing a historical piece, but you don’t copy and paste the Wikipedia entry directly into your story, for crying out loud!

    I recently spent 15 minutes composing one sentence about a wire bail cork bottle, based on two hours of research on vintage bottles derived from several websites. I copied and pasted pertinent text into my notes, then went back and culled two key terms: “wire bail” and “blob-neck”. From there, I wove my painstakingly researched terms into one whole sentence. The additional fifteen minutes was spent on ensuring I used my two whole words in a way that my character would naturally say or think of them, lest my sentence come off as one of those contrived “historical romance fact dumps”.

    I can only imagine the effort the non-fiction writer must put into gathering facts and then conveying them in layman’s terms. No, the facts themselves can’t be copyrighted, but the hard-researched text used to explain those facts is. Shame on Ms. Edwards, kudos to the Smart Bitches for calling her out, and triple-kudos to La Nora for, as always, speaking up as the intelligent voice of reason.

  20. 20
    Angela James says:

    What the heck is WWMD and where can I get a Nora Bobblehead?

    Me wants…me wants…

    WWND = What Would Nora Do?

    You can get a Nora Bobblehead online at her bookstore, Turn the Page. http://www.ttpbooks.com/

    Yes, I have one. My favorite birthday present!

  21. 21
    Unhappy Bitch says:

    I take it back, I’m happy now.  Nora is my new hero, despite the fact that I’ve never read any of her books.  (Must remedy that soon . . . )

  22. 22
    Nonnie says:

    msnbc.com has picked it up again also…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22590686/

  23. 23
    Karmyn says:

    Nora is my non-fictional female heroine. My fictional female herione is Emma Peel. I find either one a great role model. However, I have no desire to see Nora dress in tight leather catsuits and karate chop people.
    On fandom_wank we are deciding to change Ebert’s Law to Nora’s Law

  24. 24
    Lauren says:

    I was talking to my office manager about this (she was talking about books) and it turns out she used to copy edit some of Cassie Edwards books! But only for type and shit like that and not …er…quality.

    I asked her if her eyes bled at all in the process.

  25. 25
    monimala says:

    I popped in for my evening catch-up on “Cassie-gate” and have to echo everyone else in saying Nora is a class act.  Honest Illusions is still one of my favorite romances!

    I’m so, SO glad that the mainstream press has picked this up.  Go, Bitches!  This was a Grade A investigation and I’m happy to see that it’s being taken seriously by others even if Signet and CE are mired in denials.

    [insert requisite snarky comment here]

  26. 26
    Michele says:

    Nora rocks!

    And I have a bobble-head of her on my desk because I really want to be her when I grow up (but I don’t plan on growing up so she has nothing to worry about).

    Give ‘em hell, SB’s! You rock, too!

  27. 27
    Chasity says:

    Just in case you’re wondering, ya’ll smart bitches just made the yahoo entertainment page as well:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080110/ap_en_ot/books_romance_writer;_ylt=AuxXbeqLDQoHnyJdZNZbCZRX24cA

    It essentially says the same thing as the others though.

  28. 28
    Aemelia says:

    all I can say is “YAY NORA!!!!!”

  29. 29
    azteclady says:

    Nora completely rocks.

  30. 30
    Jeri says:

    It’s now #10 on the Most Popular stories on CNN.com.  ALL of CNN.com, not just the entertainment section.

    The absolute rocking continues.  I expect to see this on Keith Olbermann tomorrow night.

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