Ok. I admit: At This Time, I have some Glee

Throughout the whole Cassie Edwards internetasplosion, Candy and I have been accused of enjoying this. Nope, not really. It’s, no pun intended, serious business what we did.

But I have to admit, I’ve just had a huge giggle of glee: following the NY Times article, my mother in law looked up this here site and called Hubby with ALL kinds of questions about it. The highlight?

Hearing Hubby explain to my mother in law what “OMGWTFBBQ” is. That was one of the funniest conversations I’ve ever heard. And no, I don’t think she gets it.

Also: Note to those who have been having trouble commenting. It’s a consequence of traffic and having our site load balanced across nine servers (Thanks again Esosoft!). Your cookie gets placed on one server, then the next request you make of the server is handled by a different one, and the cookie is timed out or absent. Esosoft and Their Unbearably Awesome Tech Support Team have been working on it and it should be functional now. If you have problems, please let me know (sarah @ smartbitchestrashybooks.com) asap.

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  1. 1
    Wry Hag says:

    I lost you after the WTF, and I’m not even anybody’s mother-in-law.  (I think I’m going to start stringing together caps in my posts just to fuck with people’s minds.)

  2. 2
    azteclady says:

    You mean that’s not why the bitchery does it?

    *grin*

  3. 3
    Gemma says:

    ROFLCOPTER!

    That reminds me of what a colleague made of the flash animation Badger Badger Badger…. She couldn’t see any redeeming features in it, and eventually decided that it was to test the capabilities of the software. I didn’t know where to start trying to explain its pure daft catchiness.

  4. 4
    JaneyD says:

    I think you also have a right to a bit of pride for the job you’re doing and have done.  It could not and cannot be easy.  You blazed ahead anyway, knowing there would be the kind of nasty fallout that always comes when uncovering something so very unpleasant and polarizing to others.

    I admire you for staying with it and wish you well.

    You two are the Woodward and Bernstein of romance publishing.

    Go, Bitches.

  5. 5
    Poison Ivy says:

    Okay, I got as far as BBQ and then was stumped. Until I opened another tab and educated myself.

    As my mother often said, “You learn something every day.”

    Though I’m not sure how important learning the BBQ ending to OMGWTF was.

    Outing plagiarism was very important. Thanks from all of us who have been plagiarized (yes, me), and who will be in the future.

  6. 6
    Georgie Lee says:

    I also got as far as the BBQ. Now I feel like I must know. Don’t keep us in suspense.

  7. 7
    Chrissy says:

    When I had a brief loss of vision a few years ago I had a text speach program that would pronounce ROFLMAO as “roffle mayo” in a robotic voice.

    Still in my head.

  8. 8
    Wm. Shears says:

    I learned of this from the NYT article and came here to see just how egregious this “plagiarism” might have been.  Was it worse than I was staying up all night writing my papers in college and trying to paraphrase sufficiently to avoid having the entire page be a direct quotation.

    Anyway, I have never read a romance novel, but the thought I had from the NY Times article, confirmed by the material on your blog, is this:  has no one commended Ms. Edwards for the diligence of her research?

    Somehow I never thought that a “romance novel” would be something that involved research efforts to provide authenticity of the context for whatever it is that happens in romance novels.

    Just a thought.

  9. 9
    Chrissy says:

    If it had been research it would have been applauded.  The sad thing is good writers do real research all the time.

    Edwards didn’t do research.  She looked stuff up, copied it word for word, pasted it, and gave it to her characters as dialogue.

    That is neither difficult, involved, or in any way commendable.

  10. 10
    MamaNice says:

    Well said, Chrissy – well said.
    Haven’t had any comments to make as of yet with the whole CE thing, just glad I have been along for the ride – watching the Bitches in their awesomeness do their awesome thing.
    One thing I appreciated was the comments about how – the information in those LIFTED COPIED STOLEN non-fiction texts had to be A: actually researched and compiled, B: filtered and sifted through for significance and context, and C: written in an interesting as well as informative manner. The people responsible for all this work – be it writers or editors – deserve some effin’ credit. I agree with the SB’s – it doesn’t need to be much – just a simple page in the back of the book listing tests used or a note about further reading on the subject. Then again – when you, as Chrissy so aptly put it – copy and paste someone else’s research and make it your character’s dialogue…well then – footnotes may be required to make up for your extreme lack of creativity.
    I taught high school English before I just couldn’t take it anymore – and Miss Edwards, well, let’s just say she would not have done well in my class.

    Oh, and – methinks there was cover snark that made good use of OMGWTFBBQ, yes?

  11. 11
    B says:

    Shears, most successful and popular historical romance novels are researched quite diligently, in the tradition of emulating the classics such as Georgette Heyer.

    Although historical information can be inaccurate within romance novels (and other fiction), it is definitely nowhere near rare enough to conduct in depth research for any frequent romance reader to commend her for doing so.

  12. 12
    B says:

    And, Sarah, lol! Surprised she hasn’t seen your site before. Surely you should spread the sheer joy of it to all!

  13. 13
    Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    Mr. Shears;
    Most novelists do research. It’s considered bad form to misplace Central Park, get the weather wrong in San Francisco, or have your characters using devices that were unknown in their time and place.

    It’s all part of creating the mood and the suspension of disbelief that is necessary.

  14. 14
    azteclady says:

    Mr Shears, one thing is research—of which I expect at least a minimum in any historical novel I read, regardless of genre—and an entirely different thing is to plagiarize.

    There’s no diligence in grabbing bits and pieces of actual research done by other people, and plunking it down as dialogue in something that’s sold as original creative work—again, regardless the genre.

    That is called stealing—plagiarism by any other name…

  15. 15
    Kim says:

    The Smart Professors, Laura and Sarah, over at Teach Me Tonight, have just posted beautiful examples of exactly how historical research should be acknowledged or not in works of fiction.

    Brilliant as always ladies!

  16. 16
    Bernita says:

    Mr. Shears, just to give you an example:
    For a recent short story wherein a helicopter makes a brief appearance, I spent some time researching the type of machine likely in use ( a Bell Jet Ranger, as I remember), its range and lift capacity, even though those specific details were only implied in the story.

  17. 17
    Mala says:

    Somehow I never thought that a “romance novel” would be something that involved research efforts to provide authenticity of the context for whatever it is that happens in romance novels.

    This, sadly, just reinforces the struggle that romance writers and readers have been putting up with for years in terms of gaining respect as a legitimate creative pasttime.  Romances are not all heaving breasts and rippling biceps…though that’s certainly part of it.  Of course, even love scenes require research, you know… be it academic or hands-on.

    And “OMGWTFBBQ!” is what I’ve been saying at this entire saga!  Along with the sporadic “GMAFB” and “ROTFL.”

  18. 18
    Julie L. says:

    If anyone has a copy of _Savage Glory_ (Leisure 2007), _Wild Whispers_ (Topaz 1996), or _Savage Spirit_ (Dorchester 1994)—online info strongly suggests that they’re all different reprints of the same book; _Glory_ was the title that browsed through at the bookstore yesterday—check it against _The Mexican Kickapoo Indians_ by Felipe and Dolore Latorre. Google has parts of the Latorre book available from a 1991 Dover reprint, although the original edition seems to’ve been from the Austin: U Texas press in 1976.

    There’s definitely a match from a passage about cattle-branding, which rather suggests (based on our knowledge of her methods so far) that there’re probably several others as well.

  19. 19
    Charlene says:

    More? I’m absolutely not surprised, but I am saddened.

  20. 20
    Nora Roberts says:

    Is copying other writers’ work now considered diligent research? This is news to me.

    I’ve been writing Romance novels for years, and they’ve all required research. Just like any work of fiction requires it.

    Perhaps if you’re unclear on what a Romance novel is, why it would require the same sort of research as other fiction, you might want to read a few before assuming an author of same should be commended for plagiarism.

  21. 21
    Jackie McCollum says:

    Ooh, I have to borrow Jane’s favorite word.  Did anybody else conflate Mr. Shears condescending remark that CE should get kudos for doing sny research at all with the remarks in the Guardian that although we romance readers are reading crap, at least we’re reading.

    Well. . . I am off to do some hands on research myself (not that I’ll ever write anything).

  22. 22
    KateyJ says:

    Of course romance novels need research! Particularly historicals – there’s nothing worse than the whiplash of anachronistic speech or world-building, Wm Shears. My god, what do you think we are, we romance readers? What do you think we read? No, my knuckles do not drag on the ground, and yes, I have a degree, and yes, I will gleefully call BS on people who write badly, particularly about the middle ages, and read offending passages to the husband and explain why it’s bad/wrong. Apologies to all the authors who have written in comments saying what a struggle it was to research and write – I don’t mean to give you headaches…

    A side benefit of reading historical novels, romantic or otherwise – I’ve picked up some amazing nuggets of information. This makes me a terror in certain quiz games. (Quick – why did people step aside when they saw English nobles coming?)

    And Miss Edwards is known for her ‘meticulous research’, as quoted by Wikipedia. But that research is the current centre of the shitstorm. That she did lots of it, is undeniable.

    And congrats to the SmartBitches for making the Wikipedia entry under Edwards! It’s nice that my default go-to for general info is keeping well-up with the times.

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