The Cassie Claire Primer
I figured this would be a good resource to point people towards when Cassie invariably comes up in another wank, and someone wonders who she is, and why she's always mentioned. I used to read her Draco series back in the day on ff.net, so I’m pretty sure I have the timeline down.
Cassie’s Draco series was extremely popular on ff.net, until it was deleted because parts of it were plagiarized. There were two types of plagiarism going on- first, the use of direct or bastardized quotes from various TV shows and media, Buffy, Newsradio, ect. Some of her fans made a game out of trying to figure out all of the quotes, but others had no idea where she got her sharp turn of phrase- especially since, before the plagiarism scandal, she gave no credit at all to her sources.
(Edited in on 12/9/04: During a current wank, a helpful anonymouse gives us some examples of her manipulating quotes.)
The second kind of plagiarism was a bit more serious- a long passage from a Pamela Dean novel found itself in the middle of the second story, with just the names changed. Cassie then claimed she had written the passage in her journal years earlier, and when she came back and reread it, she thought it was her own original work. (...wtf?) So she changed the names and put it in her story. It remains there today- apparently in the meantime, Pamela Dean gave Cassie permission to use it. I’ve heard Cassie fangirls claim that it’s not really plagiarism, since she has permission, but she most definitely did NOT have it when it was originally posted.
Other people have posted other accusations of plagiarism or idea-stealing too.
So. Meanwhile. Cassie gets kicked off ff.net, and other popular authors and friends of hers pull their own work off too, as a show of solidarity. Because ff.net is so unfair! And also jealous h8ters. Soon after this, FictionAlley opens, hosting Cassie’s fic. From what I understand (and please zorrorojo, forgive me for this analogy) the relationship between Cassie and FictionAlley is about the same as the relationship between Fandom_wank and JournalFen. Both FA and JF were in the works before Cassie or FW found themselves booted and in need of a new host. But the opening of the sites were pushed up and irrevocably linked with their respective, er, wankers.
In the meantime, Cassie turns up on Livejournal. She writes the extremely popular LOTR Very Secret Diaries (which you are totally NOT allowed to continue, even though it looks like she’s abandoned them). She insulted a fic over on GT, and got stalked and harassed by the psycho husband of the author. She continued to write, and write, and write, her Draco series (also, some Harry/Draco pr0n.) Basically, she became the BNFiest BNF.
Though all was not always well within her group of friends. bnfshavemorefun has an entry describing the fallout between herself and Cassie, which made fandom_wank several times in 2003.
Also in 2003, Cassie attended Nimbus. And yes, there was wank on that too.
She’s become so big, and synonymous with HP wank, that she gets mentioned all the time, even when the wank doesn’t involve her. (See the Cassie Claire Is Everywhere law.) Her journal gets posted to FW even on (IMO) dubious wank. She also gets name dropped all the time when the latest troll journal wants to kick up a fuss, or people want to speak out against what they perceive to be a negative aspect of fandom. Fanfic_hate? All over her.
The wankiest part of the wankapalooza that is the Cassie Claire experience is definitely her fangirls. Bless them. They’re like clockwork; they show up whenever Cassie’s mentioned. My favorite was the one who claimed that Cassie was super nice, because she actually acknowledged my existence that one time OMG! Sadly, that link’s lost to the ages.
Latest news: Cassie may have coerced her fangirls into buying her an ipod. Or her friends got together and bought her one. Whatever. Does it even matter at this point? It’s Cassie Claire. Ergo, it’s wank.
Edited 12/9/04 to clarify and expand, based on comments received (and also to add the comment noted in parentheses above):
stellabymoor emailed me a copy of DS9 (the chapter that contained the portions of the Pamela Dean novel) saved from ff.net in January, 2001. Apparently, Cassie had this note at the end of the chapter:
"Credit for the inspiration for this conception of the wizarding afterlife goes to a book called The Secret Country, alas, I no longer recall who wrote it."
The Secret Country was Pamela Dean's book. Credit only went to “inspiration of the concept” of the wizarding afterlife, nothing about inspiration for any passages, and no mentions of Pamela Dean by name. Actually, "The Hidden Land" was the Dean book the passage actually came out of, but I heard someone say before that The Hidden Land was once called The Secret Country, and then it got split up into two books. Or something.
I believe the copy Stella sent me was correct because I did some independent research, and this matches what Xing gave as a defense when s/he booted Cassie from ff.net years ago.
I should also say that, while I’ve heard the “Cassie copied it into her journal and forgot it wasn’t hers” story many times, I can’t find a record of her saying it, so that part might be just oft-repeated hearsay, not the truth.
And since I’m finally updating this, let me include the latest wank Cassie’s currently involved in: After Cassie and her friends have their laptops robbed, fandom donates thousands of dollars in a matter of hours to replace them. Orchestrated by Heidi, of course. Wonderful display of fandom’s generous nature, or horrid abuse of BNFiness? Everyone’s got an opinon.
Edited 7/26/05: If you’ve been clamoring for a tl;dr breakdown of Cassie’s bannination from ff.net, then you’ll just love this subthread in the comments. Heidi takes offence at purplepopple’s comment, and (after suggesting the mods delete it, as it apparently contains “defamation”) replies with lots and lots of cites and links. White_Serpent replies with even more cites and links. I don’t even know why everyone’s arguing, as no one is denying that Cassie did what she’s accused of doing, and Heidi even confirmed that the author’s note included in DS9 was the one provided by Stella and posted above.
Edited 6/21/06: The Msscribe Story, posted by charlottelennox, is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in Cassie Claire. The first chapter details early Harry Potter fandom and more information on the stalking incident, and goes from there into the story of a woman desperate to be in Cassie's Inner Circle, and the chaos (and sockpuppets) she created pursuing that goal.
Any corrections or additions? Comment away.