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It’s a train wreck, but I can’t stop watching it

Who would have thought that my item Monday on Ballantine exec editor Joe Blades would have spun so wildly out of control? For those keeping score at home, noted mystery and YA fiction writer Sandra Scoppettone blogged about the news late Sunday and after the post here, the comment pileup began. After an anonymous publishing insider worried that her blog posts might make her out to be a “nightmare author” Scoppettone went on the attack, accusing this particular anon — and others to follow — of being “gutless” in not signing their names. Then Miss Snark followed up with a more declarative statement, and the back-and-forth continued on that particular blog.

Unfortunately, it illustrates that even someone who’s been in the business as long as Scoppettone has (and whose influence on two different genres continues to be felt) can sometimes let things go all too haywire. And it further illustrates the power of blogging in the publishing world — because you never know who’ll be out there reading, passing judgment, and jumping to conclusions.

But for the anonymous commenter who claimed that while “not being a novice,” he or she had “no idea who Scoppettone was,” I suggest you brush up a bit on your history.

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