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I was over at Book Binge reading a post by Holly, about the whole Cassie Edwards plagiarism thing, when I came across a familiar looking comment:

“There is more going on here than CE is wrong. What’s happened here is disgusting but sadly, not surprising. Not too long ago I was attacked personally. It went past attacks on my professional life and turned into brutal attacks on my personal life and most importantly, my family. Yes. My family was dragged into it. There is no line anymore of what separates right and wrong.

Sadly, our community has become a free-for-all, where no one is safe from attack.”

This was from Renee Rocco, AKA Rene Lyons AKA The Dishing Diva.

I came across a similar comment on Jenny Crusie’s blog, but I more or less ignored it. Seemingly though, it’s a message that she wants to get across to people so I thought I’d do her the favour of sticking it on here, so that she doesn’t have to repeat it on every blog that she visits.

I know, I’m far too kind for my own good.

She continues:

“No, back to CE. SHE WAS WRONG. NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT SHE’S DONE. NONE. (had to put that in). Nevertheless, what should have been a reporting of the facts and kept to reasonable debates and discussions, sank so low that I too, am ashamed of what I’ve been reading out there. Blogs ripping her apart, tearing anyone to shreds who dares to questions THE TONE of the attacks.

This has become a virtual lynch-mob. With the AP involved now, brining more eyes on us all, it’s shameful that this is what people are seeing when they look at us. It was bad enough that CE cast a shadow over us. What came after only made us look like a pack of rabid dogs.

I wonder when this community will settle back down and these brutal attacks, not just on CE, but on whichever reader/author is the new “target of the week”

I just about nearly cried when I read her heartfelt plea to the romance community to stop tearing each other apart. Her words really affected me in a profound way.

So I pledge to thee my loyal readers, that from now on, I shall do my part and refrain from mocking those who don’t have the common sense that they must have surely been born with. I shall refrain from airing strong unpopular opinions, and I shall refrain from using the word ‘fucktard’, in relation to those people who seem to lose their minds on a daily basis in Romanceland. I shall also refrain from reminding people that the person in question set up a blog, pretending to be somebody else, just so that she could take potshots at other authors, for example, J.R. Ward.

This is my pledge to you, my loyal readers, and I will endeavour to live a life free of mockery and bitchiness, from here on in.

Updated to add: My pledge will be fulfilled when hell freezes over.

20 Comments »


  • azteclady
    January 12
    4:43 pm

    Karen, I saw that too. She posted pretty much the same thing to at least another author’s blog. The poor thing doesn’t seem to be getting the pats in the head she wants, is she?

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  • Shiloh Walker
    January 12
    4:52 pm

    “Sadly, our community has become a free-for-all, where no one is safe from attack.”

    Frankly, I’m not really seeing all the ”’attacks”’ that keep getting mentioned. Now granted, I’m mostly stick to the DA blog, I like their format, the way they express their views, etc.

    But it seems to me that people are attacking the act and not really the author. Yes, she messed up, we’d like to see some accountability, but I don’t see a whole lot of comments insulting the woman, her family, her dog or the guy that cuts the grass.

    It’s about the act not the person.

    I have absolutely no desire to destroy anybody’s life or career, or in being a participant in such. None. But I will air my opinions and I will be damned if I let somebody attempt to make feel guilty for have said opinions. If I was on the jury for some nice, sweet guy that loved kids, cared for animals, gave to charity but he just happened to be guilty of embezzlement, you can bet I would judging the crime… not looking at how ‘nice’ the guy is or worry that I’m ruining his life.

    Engaging in unethical or illegal (or both) activities come with a risk~ if a person takes that risk, what happens as consequence is on that person. Nobody else.

    Let’s flip this around from something other than plagiarism.

    You’re at the job, working on a big project. You do a huge amount of the work. But then a co-worker comes and copies half of your facts, enters it into HIS project as HIS data/facts and then takes it the boss before you finish yours.

    He’s taken YOUR work.

    Is it illegal?

    No.

    Is it wrong?

    Yes. Wrong doing is wrong doing. End of.

    To toss in another parallel, say your boss finds out about what your co-worker did. Not because YOU say something, but because the office gossip says something. Whether you like/approve/hate/could care less for this this person doesn’t matter.

    They saw something wrong. They reported it.

    The source shouldn’t matter.

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  • azteclady
    January 12
    5:00 pm

    Shiloh, what I don’t get is how this gets turned around to the whistle blowers ‘ruining’ the wrongdoer’s reputation/life.

    The person who did something illegal or unethical (or both), ruined his/her own life through his/her choices. Everything else muddies the issue, IMO.

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  • byrdloves2read
    January 12
    5:10 pm

    Yeah, right. Karen, if there’s no more mockery and bitchiness, um, just what will you write about? HA! If sarcasm had texture, my screen would be dripping from your pledge.

    Is there anyone defending CE’s plagiarism? Surely not. Beyond that, we’ve all seen how someone interprets something they’ve read in a way it wasn’t intended and they go off on a tangent, getting a little crazy in the process. I don’t really think it’s reserved for romance writers and readers. It seems to be human nature, unfortunately.

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  • Tracy
    January 12
    5:19 pm

    I started out copying the parts of Shiloh’s post I agreed with so I could quote her and then basically say “I agree” but then I realized I was pretty much copying her whole post LOL so I’ll just say “ditto what Shiloh said”

    Seriously, it’s about what CE DID, not CE as a person. I’ve not seen her or her family attacked. It’s not about what a nice person she is, it’s about the fact that she did something wrong (the embezzlement example is perfect).

    Just because someone is NICE doesn’t mean they haven’t done anything wrong.

    Heck, my kids are great kids, but they still have consequences to deal with when they do something wrong.

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  • Bernita
    January 12
    5:21 pm

    To my mind, all this touchy-feely hand-wringing about “community,” the writer’s age, bitchiness, etc, the desire to sweep things under the rug,denying clearly presented facts as a “vendetta,” does more to lower the reputation of the romance community than the revelations about the fact that plagiarism exists within it.

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    5:45 pm

    Will someone please tell me what she said about JR Ward? I’ve read the old “Dishing Diva” posts here and haven’t been able to find it!

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  • Kayleigh Jamison
    January 12
    5:46 pm

    To my mind, all this touchy-feely hand-wringing about “community,” the writer’s age, bitchiness, etc, the desire to sweep things under the rug,denying clearly presented facts as a “vendetta,” does more to lower the reputation of the romance community than the revelations about the fact that plagiarism exists within it.

    I agree wholeheartedly, Bernita.

    After the first version of the AP article came out, I blogged about the entire fiasco, because as an author of historical romance myself I was rather bristled by CE’s statements to the AP about historical authors not needing to cite their sources, etc. Without recreating the entire post here; no, we don’t cite our sources in the text (though depending upon how heavily we rely on a certain work it would be prudent to list it in the acknowledgments or author’s note) but we also don’t drop passages from other books into our own, verbatim.

    I didn’t attack her, didn’t say a word about her personal life (other than to perhaps call her statement idiotic). Nevertheless, after I posted it I felt a pang of guilt. I mentioned to a friend that I almost felt bad for CE.

    “I don’t feel sorry for her at all,” my friend replied. “At her age, with all she’s written, she should know better.”

    And that about summed it up for me. Plagiarism is plagiarism, whether the offender be seventeen or seventy. I’ve seen a lot of people crying about the horrid personal attacks launched at CE and how cruel the romance community is, but I can’t say I’ve seen much of anything to justify their protestations.

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    7:04 pm

    Further proof that this is Renee Rocco’s world, we just live in it.

    You’d think she would have sat back and thought “phew, they’ve finally moved off of me and onto something else.”

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    7:38 pm

    “This has become a virtual lynch-mob…”

    And she says bloggers blow things out of proportion? This is more than a bunch of angry blog posts. Next I suppose she’ll compare the so-called attacks on her reputation to the Holocaust.

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    7:45 pm

    Curses! Foiled by my own attempt at snarkiness. The “this” in the Anon 7:38 post links to this page on lynching in America:

    http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/african/2000/lynching.htm

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    7:47 pm

    Sigh. I sometimes think in much simpler terms whether they match the letter of the law or not.

    “Oh, look. That house over there. They’ve had that same chair sitting there forever on that porch. Obviously, they don’t want it anymore. No one will mind if I take it.”

    Yes, that’s my simple version. But to me, and for me, it lays things out quite clearly (whether the law deems it right or not.) You don’t swipe. Period.

    No matter your personal mindset that these things can’t possibly be wrong because this person is beloved in the pub world, or worse yet, the person has been vilified by others and now your “feelings” play a part, hence, leave the poor woman alone. The universal truth is, Theft is theft.

    Crud bud. What a huge run on sentence that didn’t express my feelings properly because it was so poorly worded. Gurgle.

    This poor wording tells me it’s time to step outside in our limited sunshine for a while and smell the…no, not roses. Mud. LOL

    Anon76

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  • Karen Scott
    January 12
    8:16 pm

    Hey Anons, can you at least use the nickname option so that I can keep you all straight? πŸ™‚

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  • Kayleigh Jamison
    January 12
    9:01 pm

    Ah, Karen, the anons love you like…well, you know.

    Anyway, I fear you may have a discussion on the CE issue on your hands here anyway. I’d forgotten when I posted earlier that you didn’t really want one.

    Sorry to have fed the flames.

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  • Anonymous
    January 12
    10:04 pm

    Karen, you have always been a flower in the garden of sweetness and light. No change is necessary.

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  • Jackie L.
    January 12
    10:04 pm

    Oops–Jackie L.

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  • anonymous reader
    January 13
    12:42 am

    lol, always read never comment but now even my fave gossip site is talking about it

    http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/19270765.html#cutid1

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  • MERLIN
    January 13
    7:16 pm

    No comment other than 6-0.

    Now that’s what I call an attack.

    M.

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  • Karen Scott
    January 14
    8:26 pm

    If sarcasm had texture, my screen would be dripping from your pledge.

    I don’t know what you mean I’m sure. *g*

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  • Suisan
    January 15
    8:27 pm

    I saw those Rene Rocco posts too, and I was mildly alarmed.

    While in the middle of a conversation with people you feel as if have attacked you in the past, it is usually not wise to jump up and down in the air to say, “Hey! I used to get attacked too! Remember that? Huh? Cause that hurt my feeeeelings. Turn your sympathetic gaze away from that little lady behind the curtain and direct your attention back to MEE!”

    Someone very much needs to be the center of attention. I kinda feel sorry for her in the, “Little girl. Would you like some help across the street?” way. Sorta.

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