Alleged Response from Cassie Edwards Issued via MySpace

Thanks to Nikki, who posted the following in the comments of our previous entry, we have the text of what is allegedly a response from Cassie Edwards issued via her MySpace account:

Original Message
From: Cassie Edwards
Date: Jan 11, 2008 11:58 AM

Hi, Lisa,
I just got on My Space and I found your wonderful encouraging letter. Thank you for believing in me, for I have done nothing wrong. My publisher is standing behind me 100%, for they know my work better than anyone, and they know that all romance authors who use research for historicals have to use reference books to do this. My readers love this accurate material about the Indians. And if I couldn’t use this material my books would not be worth anything to my readers who depend on me.

The sad thing is that I am writing these books now in a way to honor our Native Americans, past, present and in the future. And I am honoring my great grandmother who was a full blood Cheyenne. She would be so proud of me if she could read what I am writing about the Indians who have been so maligned for so long. And do you know? I feel picked on now as our Native American Indians have always been picked on throughout history. I am trying to spread the word about them and what do I get? Spiteful women who have found a way to bring attention to themselves, by getting in the media in this horrible way.

Right now I am getting hit from all sides….CNN, The New York Times, AP, everyone who those women could think of to contact. And what is also sad is that a fellow author, has spoken up and condemned me.

Thanks again for your support. When I am feeling stronger I plan to write a bulletin on My Space, but right now I am totally drained of energy from what has been done to me. I hope that you will tell your friends, who are so much also mine, the wrong that has been done to me, and tell them that I will get through this. I will be found innocent and vendicated of any wrong.

For now, it's all too raw and horrible, but I will be alright.
Love, Cassie

Categorized:

General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lucy says:

    Help help, I’m being repressed!

  2. 2
    Bronwyn says:

    That’s laying it on a bit thick.

  3. 3
    ArsenalTengu says:

    Pointing out copy-pasted paragraphs of statistical information about ferrets:  the smallbox blankets of the twenty-first century.

  4. 4
    Jennie says:

    1) Publishers have published plaigerized works in the past, just ask Nora.

    2) I fail to see how such liberal use of someone elses words without crediting sources is honoring Native Americans.

    3) I hate when people play the “My race is picked on and now look at me being picked on card”.  It’s has nothing to do with race/creed/color/gender—plaigerism crosses all lines.

    3) Candy and Sarah—are you included as part of “those women” sort of reminds me of “the other woman” and affairs. 

    In the words of Rhett Butler: “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but terribly, terrible sorry he’s going to jail. “

  5. 5
    Bronwyn says:

    To clarify, I meant that I thought Cassie’s response qualified as “laying it on a bit thick”, not the SB’s post.

  6. 6
    Mala says:

    ZOMG!Opreshun!

    It’s not exactly Godwin’s Law, but it’s definitely close. Edwards’ Law, perhaps?

    I wonder if some of her Cheyenne ancestors included a Chief Sitting Bullshit?

    I’m dots, not feathers, and totally offended on behalf of both!

  7. 7
    closetcrafter says:

    Was she kidding when she wrote “vendicated”, or was this a typo? I hope so….. happens to everyone in the heat of the typing moment, but if not, it won’t support her cause much if she also has issues with “spellifyin”.

  8. 8
    quizzabella says:

    “She would be so proud of me if she could read what I am writing about the Indians who have been so maligned for so long”
    Or, you know, what I cut and pasted from countless sources.  Honestly, if she’d just put her hand up and say that she was wrong most people would have a lot more respect for her IMHO.  Given that she’s written 100 books, most of which are probably being run through google as I type, this whole controversy is just going to run and run.

  9. 9
    Gwynnyd says:

    Are the misspellings and other errors in the original?  I itch for a red pen to edit it.

    vendicated?  Are her books sold in vending machines?

    And I suppose I ought not to pick on ‘alright’, but it seems typical of her general sloppiness.

    The comment that amused me the most is “And if I couldn’t use this material my books would not be worth anything to my readers who depend on me.”  – head scratch – I don’t believe anyone ever implied that she shouldn’t use her research, just that she should not copy it verbatim.  The clue phone is apparently still ringing into empty space.

  10. 10
    Sara says:

    She made a lot of mistakes in the heat of the typing moment: spelling, punctuation, and so forth. (“All right” is not one word!) But I fear lingering on that will make me seem like a mean girl, so I won’t. I’m just surprised that a professional writer wasn’t a bit more on the ball with the “following the rules of written English,” even if she is traumatized by the meany meany Bitches at the moment.

  11. 11
    Sara says:

    Oh, dear. I don’t think the Bitches are mean at all! That might not have been clear in my last message. Thank you for all your work, Candy and Sarah.

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    There are a lot of excellent writers who are abysmal spellers so really, examining the message for style as a corollary to content really isn’t the point.

  13. 13
    Liz C. says:

    Why do I hope this isn’t really written by her? I think I still have too much faith in humanity or something because the idea that she is trying to say she’s being picked on because of her heritage hurts my head.

    No one is picking on her because she says she’s part Native American (isn’t everyone? Whether they really are or not?). They’re “picking” on her because she plagiarized!

    I would have a little more respect for her if she just stood up and accepted that she did something wrong rather than blaming “those women” for “picking” on her.

  14. 14
    ~d says:

    I’m surprised that she didn’t take a page from the Plagiarist’s Handbook and try to claim first that she received permission from the Native authors in some sooper sekrit handshake deal to “honor” them.

  15. 15
    Amy says:

    Oh hell no.  She did not just place the race card… She’s gone beyond research and reference books, and this “woe is me” letter just makes her look stupid.

  16. 16
    Eirin says:

    I think we have a clear correlation to Snacky’s Law here, what with us being such meanieheads an’ all.

  17. 17
    Teddy Pig says:

    *Somewhere Janet Dailey scurries out from under he rock in search of her own Native American heritage.*

  18. 18
    Lisa says:

    :::rollseyes:::

    Even if she were Indigenous, and I believe my evidence shows she probably is not, this is pretty offensive. 

    Elle

  19. 19
    Kimberly Anne says:

    I agree, Liz.  I really don’t want this to have been written by her.  I want to believe that her response doesn’t boil down to, “OMG, I’m being oppressed for being one-quarter Cheyenne!  It’s a total mean grrls conspiracy!”

    The only reason I know about her heritage is because she mentioned it.  I take umbrage with her plagiarism and “noble savage” portrayals, not what race her grandmother was.

    And off topic, I was taught that “alright” was, well, all right.  “Alot” was wrong, but not “alright”.  I guess you learn something new every day.

  20. 20
    Liz C. says:

    (“All right” is not one word!)

    It is if you pick up one of her books in Kroger. Although in that case someone at least made an effort and instead of ‘alright’ it was ‘allright’ but I’m pretty sure the copy editor fell asleep reading that book.

  21. 21
    Elizabeth says:

    No way that’s actually her. Bad books aside, no one who makes their living writing is going to whine about being “picked on now as our Native American Indians have always been picked on throughout history.”

    I don’t buy it.

    Also, I’m not familiar with her work, but is she likely to call them Native American Indians? I would assume anyone who actually knows that much about the Native Americans and says she is one wouldn’t use “Indian”, would they?

  22. 22
    NHS says:

    Can anyone please tell me WHY ppl on other loops and blogs are still insisting that this should have been kept quite and out of the news. I just don’t get it and it’s driving me crazy.

  23. 23
    a longtime lurker creping outta the woodwork for o says:

    I see in the centrw’, Cassie Edwards, 1alised PDF that a book by an author called Mari Sandoz was plagiarised. Interestingly I was just coming here to report an instance of CE plagiarism I’d noticed, which is from the historical preface/note to a different Mari Sandoz book. I thought I’d read the preview of a CE book on Amazon, you see, to decide if she was as bad an author as she’s made out to be (no comment). Anyway, one passage struck me as suspiciously different in tone. Google books kind of confirmed it for me.

    From ‘Flaming Arrow’, Cassie Edwards, 1997 reprint, Signet:

    “By 1864, with the United States at war, ostensibly to free the black man from slavery, the white pony soldiers had accepted a policy of extermination for the red man.

    This policy had been initiated as early as 1854.

    To the Blackfoot, the white pony soldiers had been labeled “squaw killers,” for they had not hesitated to gun down women during their surprise attacks on the Blackfoot villages” – p 11

    From ‘Cheyenne Autumn’, Mari Sandoz, 1992, U of Nebraska Press:

    “By 1864, with the nation at war ostensibly to free the black man from slavery, the public had been prepared to accept a policy of extermination for the red. This policy was actually initiated as early as 1854 and 1855. It was given impetus by General “Squaw Killer” Harney’s unprovoked attack …” -p vi

  24. 24
    NHS says:

    See I can’t spell either. I meant keep quiet not quite.

  25. 25

    Pet Peeve – It’s ALL RIGHT…not ALRIGHT

    ARGH – She’s a writer (or copier or whatever)… She should know better…or should be copying from better sources.

  26. 26
    a longtime lurker creeping outta the woodwork says:

    Managed to mistype my chosen username to contain “creping” instead of “creeping”. Hmph. I am pancake-ing …

  27. 27
    Rachel B. says:

    Cornel West doesn’t feel the need to steal whilst working against the oppression of black people. Elie Wiesel did not need to steal while writing his books about anti-semitism.

    I don’t care if Ms. Edwards is 100% Native going back to the frickin’ crossing of the Bering Straits ice bridge. Stealing peoples’ work to spread the word about the oppression of Native Americans is still stealing. And I don’t think Ms. Edwards’ dear old Granny would be the slightest bit proud of her thieving ways.

  28. 28

    Help help, I’m being repressed!

    Bloody peasant! XD

    Also: with regards to the spelling/grammar issues noted: I’m sorry, but proofreaders and editors do not exist to fix a lazy writer’s bad habits; they exist to polish and correct typos. Mistakes are one thing, but laziness and the inability to spell correctly are quite another.

    Writers are carpenters and their tools are their words and they’d damn well better know how to use them correctly, no matter how beautiful they can spin a phrase. I have no sympathy for an author who cannot be bothered to crack open a dictionary/thesaurus or run a spell check program.

    It’s possible that this letter if it originated from the author was written under stress (duh) but that’s no excuse not to fix the errors before going out. Does an executive chef send a dish out half-baked and shoddily presented, just because they’re under stress in the kitchen? Not if they want to keep their job they don’t…

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    I found this blog after reading a yahoo news article about the whole Cassie Edwards thing, and I have to tell you that I am shocked at how blatant the plagiarism has been. 

    Her newest response is so over the top I almost don’t know what so say.  If it weren’t for the plagiarism of “The Laughing Boy” I could almost believe that she sincerely believes that her copy and paste work was doing research, but pulling out the race card and claiming persecution is just ridiculous.

  30. 30
    quichepup says:

    Consider me another skeptic, I’m not sure this is her either. There’s no note from her husband at the bottom.

    The Smart Bitches made yet another media outlet. Shelf Awareness tells the tale, complete with attributed quotes.
    http://news.shelf-awareness.com/nview.jsp?appid=411&j=371220

  31. 31
    Arethusa says:

    Argh, let’s try to keep away from hitting the low blows, eh? The digs at her spelling and her husband etc. don’t make anyone look good.

    That being said, I can’t believe Edwards wrote this either. I’d think she’d have contacted her lawyer by now…he/she would certainly have advised against such a poorly argued defence.

    Her books trade in on racist stereotypes and she only gets away with it because they’re romance books; the best thing you could say about them is they’re problematic. Does she really want to go down that route? Does she really want a media article picking apart her portrayals of Native Americans? Can’t be her.

  32. 32
    SB Sarah says:

    “Argh, let’s try to keep away from hitting the low blows, eh? The digs at her spelling and her husband etc. don’t make anyone look good.”

    Yes, please! Well said, as usual Arethusa.

  33. 33

    I agree that there are many great writers who don’t spell well. Not the issue.

    But as an aside… “alright” is an acceptable spelling, and has been for over a hundred years. Sorry, ladies. Just ‘cause you don’t like it, doesn’t make it a mistake!

  34. 34

    I’m sorry but I don’t see how criticizing a writer for bad spelling and grammar is a “low blow.” That’s like calling it a low blow if you point out your dentist uses Black & Decker. It’s a valid complaint and is part and parcel with the laziness argument.

    Personal digs about appearance, age, etc. however, are.

  35. 35
    Victoria Dahl says:

    (And I do apologize… I think it has nothing to do with Ms. Edwards, but grammar & spelling snobbery gets me every time.)

  36. 36
    Julie L. says:

    I already emailed this to Candy, but even the bloody introductory AUTHOR’S NOTE of _Savage Obsession_ is plagiarized.

    _Obsession_ p. 5, via Google Books:

    “The Chippewa, especially the Lake Superior bands, have been neglected by historians, perhaps because they fought no bloody wars of resistance against the westward-driving white pioneers who overwhelmed them in the nineteenth century.

    “Yet, historically, the Chippewa were one of the most important Indian groups north of Mexico. Their expansive north woods contained valuable resources, forcing them to play important roles in regional enterprises. They have remained on their native lands, still a proud people, and continue to develop their interests in lumbering, fishing, farming, and mining.

    “I found my study of the Chippewa a most rewarding and heartwarming experience. It was a pleasure to write about them!”

    *coffsplutterheaddesk*

    _The Chippewas of Lake Superior_ by Edmund Jefferson Danziger, University of Oklahoma Press, January 1990 (Amazon has the complete text of this book searchable online), Preface, page ix:

    “The Chippewa tribe, especially the Lake Superior bands, has been neglected by historians, perhaps because they fought no bloody wars of resistance against the westward-driving white pioneers who overwhelmed them in the nineteenth century. But, historically, the Chippewa were one of the most important Indian groups north of Mexico. Their expansive north woods contained valuable resources, compelling them to play important roles in regional enterprises such as the French, British, and American fur trade. Neither exterminated nor removed to the semiarid Great Plains, the Lake Superior bands have remained on their native lands and for the past century have continued to develop their interests in lumbering, fishing, farming, mining, shipping, and tourism.”

  37. 37
    KCfla says:

    I agree with Arethusa. I don’t really think ( or at least I HOPE! ) that Ms. Edwards wrote this. I would think that her lawyers would have told her not to comment about this until absolutely necessary. To ANYONE. PERIOD.

    Unless of course she wrote it before she contacted them.

    Who knows. I just know for myself, this has gone from terrible to just plain sad.

    And for the ones bringing up the age thing- My 76 yr. old, full time working, 2 league bowling, hospital volunteering mother would totally disagree. Hell, she wears ME out ( I’m in my 40’s btw. )

  38. 38

    all romance authors who use research for historicals have to use reference books to do this.

    Yeah, but most of them don’t run paragraphs through the Word Thesaurus filter in order to serve up a nice dish of ‘cut and pasta’.

    the sad thing is that I am writing these books now in a way to honor our Native Americans, past, present and in the future.

    So she gives all proceeds of her work to Tribal charities?  If she doesn’t, then this sentence means nothing?

    CNN, The New York Times, AP, everyone who those women could think of to contact.

    Wow, you’all must be incredible multi-taskers; you’ve contacted EVERYONE about her—and yet when did you have the time?  Do the guys on the space station know?  Perhaps it’s time to email NASA.

    Has anyone run her My Space letter through Copyscape.com, to see if she jacked it from another writer who’s been caught doing bad things?

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    I can’t tell you how grateful I am to Cassie Edwards for teaching me the truth about researching historical novels.  I’m off to write myself a novel set in 1930s California.  I hear that book “The Big Sleep” is pretty accurate…

  40. 40
    Marianne McA says:

    Well neither the OED nor Bill Bryson in his book ‘Troublesome Words’ like ‘alright’ but they both mention it.
    Bryson says that ‘even in the most respected papers ‘alright’ crops up from time to time’ then gives examples from The Observer and The Times.

    The OED gives it in a quote from Stoppard.

    I think I disagree with you anyway, Arlene. I know I read about a journalist on the Times who dictated his copy, because he was so dyslexic they couldn’t decipher it if he wrote it down: I’m wondering if it was A.A. Gill, but I’m not 100% sure.
    And I think Agatha Christie dictated her books because she was dyslexic.

    I know I’m prejudiced because my dad, brother and daughter are all really dyslexic, but for me an inability to spell is just an inability to spell – it doesn’t mean you’ve nothing interesting to say.

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