Wildlife writer discusses being plagiarized by a romance novelist
Did our writeup of a romance novelist’s plagiarism of a wildlife magazine pique your curiosity (or anything else)? Read a hilarious firsthand account of the action by Paul Tolme, who originally wrote the description of black-footed ferrets that romance writer Cassie Edwards lifted for pillow talk between a libidinous Lakota chieftain and a provocative pioneer. “It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats,” says the ravishing heroine as the two lie together in his teepee. Responds the hunky chieftain, “Mothers typically give birth to three kits in early summer and raise their young alone in abandoned prairie dog burrows.” Don’t stop, baby!
In the Internet age, every freelance writer fears that his or her words will be appropriated without compensation. First I was angry. Then I had to laugh. To see my textbook descriptions of ferrets in a bodice-ripper, as dialogue between a hunky American Indian and a lustful pioneer woman who several pages later have sex on a mossy riverbank, is the height of absurdity.
As a victim of plagiarism, I am left wondering how many other works of mine have been purloined? And what does Edwards owe me? Does she owe me anything, aside from an apology and maybe a free, autographed copy of her book with an “attaboy” on the passage in question? My words did not enhance her novel. They were filler. I can imagine frustrated and horny readers cursing the ferrets and skipping ahead in search of the next nipple.
Hey, where are you going?