Def: o'kay ter'ri'fic: 1.common expression of muted astonishment due to being surrounded by amazing stupidity, without quite knowing what else to say. 2.expression that usually precedes the changing of a subject brought up by an individual who is perfectly clueless to anything or anyone outside their own narcissistic corner of the universe. Origin: Unknown

Location: Bergen County, New Jersey, United States

Steven Hill is the author of the independently published A VOICE ABOVE THE DIN, available at www.lulu.com/holbrookhill, or Amazon or B&N.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Times 2

Well, well, well, it seems our little Harvard author is stealing headlines again. Associated Press reports that Kaavya Viswanathan is charged with plagiarizing a 2nd novel, Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella.

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I said in my previous post that fault for this debacle should go more to the publisher than to the author - though she shouldn't be without culpability.

You just can't give a 17 year old kid $500,000 dollars and a deadline and expect to get miracles. She probably felt the pressure to produce big time. I blame the publisher more than anybody. What were they insane? Who was the bungling idiot who greenlighted that project and signed that check?

I read somewhere else that other young authors feel that this will cast them in a bad light. They complain that publishers will view them all with suspicion. That's a valid point, but how many teenage authors are out there? Really. What happened to using life's experiences as fodder for good fiction? What are all these teenage authors writing about anyway- how to suck a pacifier? Granted, occassionally you'll have a standout like Christopher Paolini, who wrote Eragon and Eldest. But you could argue that his storyline is nothing new, taken right from the same swatch as Lord of the Rings etc. But at least Paolini made his way through the trenches, self-publishing and selling thousands of copies of his book on his own before he got discovered. Whatever happened to the mantra 'Write what you know"? My suggestion to all these burgeoning teenage authors is to live a little first, then tell us your story.

In the meantime, maybe, just maybe, the publishing giants will sit up and take notice of their erroneous ways and balance their bottom-line fever with a little bit of integrity!

Okay Terrific,



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