Monday, January 21, 2008

Hey, baby, want to see my ferret?

Man, if I'd only had smooth moves like this in high school. Check out this post-coital, ferret-centric pillow talk from Shadow Bear by Cassie Edwards:
"They are so named because of their dark legs," Shadow Bear says, to which Shiona responds: "They are so small, surely weighing only about two pounds and measuring two feet from tip to tail."

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. "I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats," she says. "Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population."

Damn, that is hot.

Too bad Cassie Edwards allegedly lifted the steamy zoological banter from other writers' work.

This from the story in the New York Times:

In the novel “Shadow Bear,” published by Signet in 2007, ... a reader was able to find lines that appear to have come, with little or no modification, from a few sources, though mostly from a novel, “Land of the Spotted Eagle” by Luther Standing Bear, and an article about black-footed ferrets from Defenders of Wildlife magazine.


An article by Paul Tolme in the summer 2005 issue of Defenders of Wildlife, headlined “Toughing It Out in the Badlands,” contains this line: “Researchers theorize polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska to establish the New World population.”

A quotable friend once said, "There's a fine line between plagiarism and influence." Apparently, Ms. Edwards saw that line and jumped over it.

But the most egregious crime here is not that Ms. Edwards lifted lines whole and pasted them into her novel. The real crime is that anyone would think what she lifted was acceptable dialogue between two lovers. Where was her editor?

Again, according to the Times:
Ms. Edwards told an Associated Press reporter earlier this week that she did not know she was supposed to credit her sources. “When you write historical romances, you’re not asked to do that,” she said.

No, novelists aren't usually asked to give attribution. We are, however, required to write our own stuff. And we're expected to have some small understanding of how human beings talk.

But what do I know? Maybe if you're a ripply-abbed Native American, you can get all the babes you want with talk of small carnivores.

Who knew?


Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

"“When you write historical romances, you’re not asked to do that,” she said." Really? She actually SAID THAT? Remember the question you had about , I think, Ann Coulter and who was it...Rupert Murdock? I think applies here only to someone else and someone else. Okay, I was suprised she can talk.

I have an even more disturbing question. Why David are you reading Shadow Bear? Nevermind! That's your business.


David Terrenoire said...


I'm a sucker for romance. You know that.

And it was Ann Coulter and Richard Mellon Scaife you're thinking of. Scaife is one of the few men in the world who could make Murdoch look honorable by comparison.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Oh the whole thing gets better and better. It's caused quite the furor in RWA circles.

I've got friends writing romance who are getting pulled into the fray. It's beyond stupid and ridiculous.

David Terrenoire said...

Yay for chaos!

But how can there be a fray, Stephen? The woman obviously lifted shit whole from other sources, and turned it into truly awful dialogue, I mean execrable dialogue, so who, dear God, would be among her defenders?

How could anyone defend this?

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Thanks Davud for filling in the blank. I guessed Murdock because of ... it's obvious.