Jan 9 2008
AP writer Hillel Italie obtain a statement and response from Cassie Edwards on the plagiarism charges.
“When you write historical romances, you’re not asked to do that,” Cassie Edwards told The Associated Press, speaking earlier this week from her home in Mattoon, Ill.
Edwards husband then chimed in with this defense:
“She doesn’t lift passages,” Charles Edwards said, adding that “you would have to draw your own conclusions” on how closely his wife’s work resembles other sources.
I’m not going to comment on this. I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions.
Importantly, the AP contacted a plagiarism expert, Dr. John M Barrie who “created the original architecture and fundamental technology behind iThenticate and Turnitin in 1994.” These programs are used by organizations to detect plagiarism. Dr. Barrie confirmed that the material was “lifted.” When contacted, RWA president, Sherry Lewis, claims that while the excerpts “raise some questions” that she (as a published author herself) says
“It’s not clear-cut to me,” she said. “You can see similarities in the passages, but I’m not qualified to make that assertion.”
I understand within the RWA that the Membership Committee makes a recommendation of exoneration or fault but the Membership Committee is comprised authors just Ms. Lewis so I can’t imagine what qualifications one must have to make such a determination. I also wonder whether RWA Honor Roll member Cassie Edwards will be investigated by the RWA.