Nora Roberts Condemns Fellow Romance Novelist For Copying Passages

The Associated Press’s Hillel Italie got in touch with romance literature’s queen bee Nora Roberts yesterday and asked her what she thinks of the plagiarism accusations that have been hurled in recent days at Cassie Edwards, “the world’s most prolific and popular author of Native American historical romance.”

Ms. Edwards, who, like Ms. Roberts, is published by an imprint of Penguin Group USA, admitted this week to “taking” passages from reference books and magazines after a website about romance lit posted side-by-side comparisons of passages from her book Shadow Bear and an article about black-footed ferrets from Defenders of Wildlife.

Ms. Edwards has said she didn’t realize she was supposed to cite sources, explaining that “When you write historical romances, you’re not asked to do that.”

Though Penguin has defended Ms. Edwards, saying she has “done nothing wrong,” Ms. Roberts was less forgiving in her e-mail to the AP:

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 … 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.”
Nora Roberts Condemns Fellow Romance Novelist For Copying Passages