Friday, July 20, 2007

On Harry Eve

Exactly 24 hours from the minute I'm writing this sentence, people will rush toward boxes, grab bound stacks of paper from them, and read as though nothing else on earth mattered. And while Muggles (and Roger) may scoff at the term, it truly is a magic moment: a reunion with old friends; the beginning of a great adventure; an experience shared with millions of other people around the world, when our world so rarely unites in love of anything, much less a book. I remember my pure joy when I first laid hands on Goblet of Fire at a midnight release party in Leawood, Kansas -- the longed-for story, mine at last -- and I wish you all that joy, and all the reading pleasure that follows.

The colophon at the back of the American edition of Deathly Hallows mentions a number of people involved in its production, but many others deserve recognition and remembrance for their roles in bringing this book to readers:

  • Emma Matthewson, the Bloomsbury editor
  • Isabel Ford, the Bloomsbury desk editor -- my "continuity editor" counterpart in the UK, who (with Emma) did truly heroic work
  • Rachel Griffiths and Emily Clement, editor and editorial assistant at AALB
  • Susan Casel, Veronica Ambrose, and Cheryl Weisman, our copyeditors/proofreaders
  • Francine Colaneri and Kirk Howle in supply and manufacturing
  • Ed Swart, who managed the shipping
  • Mark Seidenfeld and Dev Chatillon, our HP legal team, and Teresa Connelly, who supported us through many late nights
  • Rachel Coun and Suzanne Murphy, the marketing managers, and Katy Coyle, who oversees the Harry material on
  • Kris Moran, Kyle Good, and Sara Sinek, who coordinated all the publicity
  • Francesco Sedita and his Creative Services staff
  • Alan Smagler, Mary Marotta, and Margaret Coffee, our heads of sales
  • and Ellie Berger and Lisa Holton, who oversee everyone

Finally, if you are home at 11:35 p.m. EST tonight (Friday) -- awaiting delivery of your copy on Saturday, surely -- you can tune in to "Nightline" on ABC for an interview-cum-profile of me and my work on the HP books. A camerawoman actually came to Queens with me this past evening for the Harry and the Potters concert (which was fantastic), so besides shots of my unnaturally neat office and unprecedentedly made-up face, you can see me and several of my friends rocking out to "Save Ginny Weasley" and "Stick It to Dolores." Good times! (There will be one more item in this Parade of Incredible Famousness, coming next week, and then midnight strikes, the mice run home, and I revert to being a happily behind-the-scenes mild-mannered children's book editor. But in the meantime, it's fun.)

The happiest of Harry days to you all!


  1. So exciting . . . all so exciting . . . so exciting!!!!

    (I'll be in line, so I'll have to tape your Nightline gig.)

  2. Happy Harry Day to you, Cheryl!

    Many congrats to you on this exciting occasion. I'm getting Tivo fired up for your interview.
    Ever, ever so cool.

    Mary Hershey

  3. Do you know what is unpleasant?

    Having to WORK from 8:30 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon on HARRY DAY! And even more unpleasant is your horrid roommate saying she won't cover your shift because she wants to read, too.

    Bother, bother, bother.

    Five and a half hours of selling underwear, and all the while, the book, MY book is just one flight of stairs down...

  4. We're awaiting our own Harry books in Germany--six hours ahead of the States! (no gloating, not at all...)

  5. Nightline?!!! Wowowowowow!!!

  6. I'm volunteering my time at a bookstore just so I can be a part of the magic. And that truly is the right word for it.

    Honestly, I am so proud to be a children's book writer today!

    - Jay

  7. I woke up three times in anticipation of this book. I am so excited!

    You'll always be a rockstar in my book Cheryl.

  8. My daughter works in a small public library...their copy of the Book is even now resting in the basement. She has adamantly refused to break her promise not to read the story until the official release, when she'll pick up her own copy at a local independent bookstore. There is still honor in the world!

  9. I was just down at Harry Potter Place (which is AWESOME) and realized I left some important people out:

    * Helen Boltson, Joanne Mojica, and Dave Ascher in Planning and Finance
    * Corinne Van Atta in Sales
    * Becky Amsel and Tracy van Straaten in Publicity

    Also, J. K. Rowling thanks Arthur and Emma and Kris in a lovely "acknowledgements" on her website today: (click on the eraser, then the door handle).

  10. So where will YOU be tonight?

    I'll be at the Border's in St. Joe if it doesn't get too crazy.

  11. Hey, I'm all for magic moments, but the thing about reading is that you get to have them on your own time--and you get to choose your magic.

    But you've worked hard, girl, so go out and celebrate.

  12. Hooray! And kudos for all your hard work!

  13. I'm hoping to be at a bookstore party at the appointed hour, but will try to remember to tape Nightline.

    Congrats to you and everyone else who worked on the book on a job well-done!

  14. This is the first time I've actually worked at my library branch on Harry Potter day, and I can't wait. I'm prepared to help the circ people check out books until every gets theirs when we open the doors at 10 am tomorrow.

    Then I go back to being a children's librarian the rest of the day. (okay, I"ll have my own copy of book 7 on the Children's Info desk, just in case I have a few spare moments between helping kids find books.

    You're on Nightline? Neat !


  15. Oh, I meant to also say, the HP books arrived in our library system's technical center earlier this week. When the Materials Manager (and head of tech services) came to speak at our branch's librarian's meeting, she confessed that she pats them whenever she passes their pile, but they won't be fully processed until Friday. Then delivered to the branches either Friday night after we are closed, or Early Saturday morning.

    We ordered over 300, which means that almost everyone in the county who put a hold on the book will be able to read it Saturday.

    I can't wait. -w

  16. OMG. Roger Sutton reads your blog!

  17. All good things must come to an end. I hope that doesn't include Harry!

    You must be so thrilled to have been a part of something so thrilling. Kudos, Cheryl!

  18. All so cool -- many congratulations! My daughter asked if there was going to be chocolate cake at "Harry Potter's birthday party". :)

  19. This has been soooooooooo fun.
    Congratulations to you and your team.


  20. What a wonderful wild ride you've been on. Congratulations to you and the entire Harry Potter team!

  21. My copy arrives by owl at about 11 a.m. tomorrow, then I'm observing radio silence till it is read. But I definitely will check out Nightline tonight! w00t!

  22. Thanks for sharing this fun journey with us! Congratulations on the release (finally!!)!

  23. Oh, Cheryl, you looked so pretty!!

  24. You looked wonderful, Cheryl! So poised and well-spoken. You go, girl.

    And please tell Mr. Levine he looked great too. That's the first time I've ever seen him. He's quite handsome.

  25. Thank you to you and everyone at AAL for bringing us Harry!

    (Unlike Africakid, my local German bookstore doesn't sell books at midnight, so I'm off RIGHT NOW to pick up my 9 am copy.)

  26. I just finished the book. Man.I love Jo.

  27. An Ode to Harry
    by Elizabeth O. Dulemba

    ‘Twas release night of Harry
    and all through the town
    not a reader could sleep
    or put the book down.

    We went to the party
    and claimed our great tome.
    We mingled with muggles
    then took our book home.

    We argued and fought
    o’er who would read first,
    and find out who died
    as the other one cursed,

    “Don’t tell me! Don’t tell me!
    And hide the reviews.
    I’ll read for myself
    the terrible news

    Of who doesn’t leave
    the Hallows alive.
    I can’t wait to know
    who doesn’t survive.”

    But once I’ve found out
    the journey will end.
    I’ll miss my dear Harry.
    He’s been a good friend.

    Since Sorcerer’s Stone,
    I’ve found the books groovy.
    There’s no more to wait for,
    except for . . . the movie!

  28. Loved your interview. (You're so much prettier than some of the pics you publish on this blog.) I'm glad that the latest HP is such a success!

  29. I was tuned into Nightline and was pleasantly surprised to see the interview. You did a great job! Arthur, too!

    It's a hoot how so many kids have become HP copyeditors.

  30. Actually, to answer that one young proofreader's question from Nightline, there are actual lilac *trees* out there. They're called Syringa reticulata, or Japanese Tree Lilac, which grow to about 20-30' and have white panicles of flowers. They don't smell as good as regular lilac bushes though. I planted about seven lilac trees when I was horticulturing.

  31. Congratulations!

    I wanted to go to the Harry and the Potters gig so bad but we were on vacation in Cape May.


  32. Cheryl, I saw a YouTube of your Nightline appearance. Gee, you didn't look like the person I remember from RPHS (or any high school student) - so glamorous, beautiful, and grown up. And, of course, so well spoken (did I need a hyphen there? - glad I'm not an editor). Congratulations on your success!! Suzanne Wischropp