Shannon Stacey


This is from a comment left on HelenKay’s blog in response to…well, you know what. I don’t want people landing here via Google because I could really give a damn about whether the rabid people think the wunderkind’s a good person or not.

…it’s unfair to say that she “plaigarized” when she’s merely internalized the lines until they became her own.

WTF is that supposed to mean? Let me go chant Christine Feehan’s new book to myself over and over until I’ve internalized it, and then I’ll type it up and make a shitload of money. Okay? Then I’m going to start my new series about a cop named Eva Houston and her rich, reformed husband, Borque. Oh gee, I’m sorry. I love J.D. Robb so much I internalized her work and made it my own.

In less than 24 hours internalized has become the hottest word on the planet. And it’s bullshit. Rewriting another author’s work just enough to dodge a phrase search on Google is not internalizing. It’s plagiarism. Stop trying to acknowledge her guilt without being mean to her.

Next time somebody pisses me off, I’m just going to kill him or her, then defend myself by tearfully admitting I externalized Mario Puzo.

21 comments to “Cop-out”

  1. Anna Lucia
      · April 26th, 2006 at 2:26 am · Link

    I’d love to have something to say about this. But I…. don’t. I’m one of those ignorant people who don’t watch TV (no time) or read newspapers (hate being told what to think), or live in the US, and I’ve been in a valley with no phone reception, TV, or shop for 48 hours.

    It was nice.


    If I develop an opinion, I’ll be back, I swear. :cheesy:

  2. Meljean
      · April 26th, 2006 at 5:04 am · Link

    “Next time somebody pisses me off, I’m just going to kill him or her, then defend myself by tearfully admitting I externalized Mario Puzo. ”

    I’ve got nothing to say after this line. :lmao:

  3. HelenKay
      · April 26th, 2006 at 8:10 am · Link

    You are smart to discuss this by reference only. Good grief, it’s as if everyone in the world (okay Anna Lucia, maybe not the entire world – you are lucky if you’ve missed this one :wink:) is hunting down this woman via google.

    Apparently the author from whom she “internalized” is not accepting that explanation either. Someone went to the touble of putting some of the paragraph comparisons as set out in the NYT in the comment section of one of my blog enties. I have to say, most seem much deeper than internalizing information. And this one:

    From ‘’Sloppy Firsts,” page 237: Finally, four major department stores and 170 specialty shops later, we were done.

    From ‘’Opal Mehta,” page 51: Five department stores, and 170 specialty shops later, I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keyes, and worn out from resisting her efforts to buy me a pink tube top emblazoned with a glittery Playboy bunny.

    Was the 170 figure internalized? That seems kind of specific, doesn’t it?

  4. Anna Lucia
      · April 26th, 2006 at 8:20 am · Link

    Thanks for making me an exception, Helen. :wink:

  5. Jaci Burton
      · April 26th, 2006 at 9:30 am · Link

    So glad I can’t ‘internalize’ worth a damn in my old age since I can’t remember shit from one minute to the next.

    I can’t even remember what I wrote in the last chapter of my own book without looking it up. Would be nice if I could internalize myself.


  6. Jana J. Hanson
      · April 26th, 2006 at 9:50 am · Link

    Internalizing chaps my ass! :rant:

  7. nataliedamschroder
      · April 26th, 2006 at 10:25 am · Link

    You’re not the only one, Anna Lucia. I haven’t heard anything about this, either. I’m off to HelenKay’s blog, as I hate to not have an opinion…

  8. Anna Lucia
      · April 26th, 2006 at 11:27 am · Link

    ggg Natalie. I’m rather enjoying not having an opinion. It’s like savouring a hazelnut latte in a roadside coffee shop when there’s a traffic jam outside…

    Mmmm Coffee. :coffee:

  9. Gabriele
      · April 26th, 2006 at 11:48 am · Link

    I found out about the mess in the blogsphere, not via the news I don’t watch or the papers I don’t read. And I have better things to do than google that girl who seems to have been either very stupid or criminal, both not character traits that excuse her in my eyes.

  10. mark
      · April 26th, 2006 at 12:29 pm · Link

    this is ridiculous! we are taught at a very young age to plagerise. regurgitating mindless lines for book reports and so on. Even college is this way. educational authorities reward children for searching out info on blah blah and grade them on how well they put back into sentences. How can we form an opinion on anyone when we have all done it ourselves at on point.. WOW.. now i know how a bed wetting liberal feels. peace

  11. Gabriele
      · April 26th, 2006 at 1:18 pm · Link

    That’s not the way kids are taught in Germany. I thought thinking by yourself was encouraged in all democracies, but obviously I’m wrong. :wink:

  12. Shannon
      · April 26th, 2006 at 1:26 pm · Link

    Gabrielle, I wish everybody was too busy to google her, but, unfortunately, HelenKay has found otherwise.

    Oh, so nicely said, Anna! Now I wish I didn’t have an opinion, either. :coffee:

    I decided to see how easy it would be to internalize somebody else’s work. So I’ve internalized the opening of Mel’s Dante’s Relic. Why? Cause she won’t sue me. :rofl:


    “Who are you?” Cammie gripped the edges of the cool stone platform that served as a makeshift bed and met the eyes of the upside-down face above her.

    Please hold for internalization…

    “Do I know you?” Bitsy grabbed the edges of the cold granite altar serving as a makeshift cot and met the gaze of the face looking down at her.

    Now, even if I’d just read Dante’s Relic yesterday, there’s no way in hell that happened accidentally. No way. And it might beat a search, and it might beat a casual reader who’s read dozens of books between the two, but no way will that be successful for long. And, judging by bits and pieces I’ve seen, that’s what she did. It’s different, but required no actual work on my part.

    And there’s a good chance if I “internalized” the entire book that way, I could get it published (Dante’s Relic is a damn good book) and it may pass the publisher and the editors and the reviewers and some of the readers, but eventually Mel or Jaci or Briana or one of Mel’s loyal fans will read that book and the whole world will hear the massive sucking sound that is the cheater’s career being flushed.

    And Mark, I sense that your true issue is a underlying frustration with the publishing industry because it continues to deny you your biggest dream…being a man-titty model.

    (My brother-in-law, everybody. :neener:)

    Although I am impressed by the point you made, I only hope my sister doesn’t find out what being the bedmate of a bed-wetting liberal feels like. :kiss:

  13. Shannon
      · April 26th, 2006 at 1:29 pm · Link

    And honestly, I don’t believe thinking for yourself is encouraged enough in our school systems. Too many kids to get through with too little money to be dinking around teaching them to think independently. And heaven forbid a child should have a different view on the causes of the Civil War than the textbook has put forth as the appropriate facts for a child to know. :doh:

  14. Gabriele
      · April 26th, 2006 at 1:36 pm · Link

    I agree that kids can get through school without having an original idea ever. But at least it’s not the way to get the very top marks, it’s the way to get a mediocre degree. There are career paths for those kids – politics, for example. :rofl:

    Lol, one thing isn’t allowed here, either. To say Hitler was a nice guy who didn’t kill any Jews.

  15. Shannon
      · April 26th, 2006 at 1:53 pm · Link

    And to Mark’s comments…I think that lends more toward a discussion of the whole DaVinci Code brouhaha than this one. Yes, children are taught to find the information they need and rephrase it. For instance, in a report on the Civil War, we were never allowed to simply copy a page from the book. We had to take the information there and put it in our own words. Research. We learned to take facts from sources and make a reasonable argument of our own. And the process of putting those facts into our own words helps cement those facts in our minds. I think it helps children learn to “learn” as it helps educate them on the subject matter.

    This isn’t a case of an author using another author’s work as a stepping stone for her own. She poached it.

    A child rehashing facts into an essay for school and a young woman taking a half-million dollars for another’s work—different animals.

  16. Kate R
      · April 26th, 2006 at 2:59 pm · Link

    I don’t know. I could imagine reading a book and being so touched by imagery that you forget is someone else’s later on. You have the picture in your brain — from a movie? a dream? a book from a long time ago? and you try to describe it and whoops! There’s your heroine on a stone bed.

    The current example racing around the internet/MSM is less obvious to me than the Ben Domenech thing or other lifted words I’ve seen lately.

    I’m going to lie awake and fret about accidentally copying another author. (copyright on that particular moment)

  17. Sunny Lyn
      · April 26th, 2006 at 3:27 pm · Link

    …and the above is why I stopped teaching in public schools. As teachers, we were (at least at my schools) told to have them memorize the works of others, concentrate on grammar (hey, there are only 8 parts of speech), and NOT to have them write. Never mind that composition for 2 yrs stares at them if they enter college after graduation.


  18. mel
      · April 26th, 2006 at 8:53 pm · Link

    I haven’t read any of the original argument, but I think there’d definitely a difference between being “inspired” by a piece of work and by this definition of “internalizing” it.

    Thanks Shan, for using Dante’s Relic–I’ll expand upon that. Honestly, if I had seen Shan had written a book and Bitsy had been lying on a piece of slab looking up at the face above her, no biggie. so what? That’s not all that… “original”.

    But if it was the first she’d met the guy, she was anthropologist (as opposed to my character being an archaeologist) in a foreign country (hot, tropical-like) and she’d just survived a natural disaster (mine was earthquake..) I think things would get a bit ugly.

    There’s a point where a line has to be drawn. IMO, Sounds like the “case” that started this whole discussion must have crossed it in order to cause this much noise.

  19. Cece
      · April 26th, 2006 at 10:03 pm · Link

    Tell us how you really feel Shan! :roll:

  20. nataliedamschroder
      · April 27th, 2006 at 11:10 am · Link

    Mark’s point is kind of valid, but not applicable, as fiction and nonfiction are very different things.

    And I don’t know how I managed it, but my kids’ school district is NOTHING like you are all describing. My kids started writing fiction on a daily basis in kindergarten. Independent thinking is at the core of the curriculum. My fifth-grader was the only one in her science class who believed one thing was true, and by the end of the class, she’d convinced half of the kids AND the teacher that she was right. Instead of being dismissed as wrong.

    I count us very lucky.

    Oh, back to the topic–I can believe that an author can internalize something that impacted them. When I read Nora Roberts and then do my own writing, I find myself writing with her voice, and since her turns of phrase are so specific, I’d get into a lot of trouble if I didn’t fix it. But I can see it happening with one or two specific items. It sounds like there were way more than a few similarities in this situation.

  21. jaq
      · April 29th, 2006 at 9:13 am · Link

    I’ve been relatively ignorant of this situation, also. Or maybe it’s more like I don’t (want to) care. The whole Frey thing wore me out previously. The whole thing does stink to high heaven, though. But, it seems to be happening more and more. :whip:

    Love the Mario Puzo line. :rofl:

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