MTV Interviews Cheryl Klein

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Sep 23, 2008

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books, is the subject of a new interview with MTV regarding her work as continuity editor of the US editions of the Harry Potter series. In this piece, Cheryl discusses her job, which involves keeping “track of everything that happens in the series, to make sure things are consistent and the details are right.” However sometimes a detail slips through the checks, and those slight errors fans refer to as Flints. The article notes these are named as such after “Marcus Flint, who is the Slytherin Quidditch captain in books one and two, appears again in book three,” said Cheryl Klein, a senior editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, the Scholastic imprint that publishes the “Harry Potter” series in the U.S. “But he was said to be a sixth-year student in book one, which meant he should have graduated by book three. So that gave rise to this entire category of what we call ‘Flints,’ when fans find continuity errors after the fact.”

Harry Potter fans are notoriously observant about even the slightest of details in the books, and had a habit of letting their displeasure over some of them be known. Cheryl describes this as “It’s like having 6 million copy editors checking your work. We really handle everything on a case-by-case basis, and we ask, for every letter, ‘Have we dealt with this before? Is this a valid concern?’ And some we fix ourselves, and others we talk to our British colleagues and J.K. Rowling.”

Some cases involve simple British vs American English translations, while some involve usage versus actual mistakes. Example: “This one woman I met, her daughter had a cleft palate,” Klein said. “And in book two, Gilderoy Lockhart referred to doing something with a ‘hag with a harelip.’ J.K. Rowling was using that phrase to indicate Gilderoy’s insensitivity, because he doesn’t really think about anybody besides himself, but when she realized that it’s a phrase that some people think is less than acceptable for people with cleft palates, she changed it to a ‘hag with a hairy chin.’ “

Some details might be frustrating, such as the timeline and the question of the playstation that belonged to Dudley “It didn’t come out until later, if you date the series chronologically. If you say Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday celebration is in 1992 … ,” Klein stopped herself and laughed. “This is really dorky stuff.” Dorky they may be, fans thrill over these things, however some can be simple silliness as in the case of the word known well to PotterCast and Leaky readers, the dreaded ‘Horcri.’

“John Noe, from the Leaky Cauldron, for instance, likes to tease her that the plural of Horcrux was stated once as Horcrii ” “and I’m like, ‘No, no, we didn’t!’ ” she said, imitating panic in her voice. “But then I checked with J.K. Rowling, and she assured me, ‘No, no, they’re Horcruxes.’ “





16 Responses to MTV Interviews Cheryl Klein

Avatar Image says:

Great article. I look forward to seeing the interview in the Leaky Galleries. It seems that the post is cut off. I really want to know what Cheryl said about John.

Avatar Image says:

This is so neat! [I do wish I could read, all of the last sentance, which begins with:”John Noe, from the Leaky Cauldron, for instance…..”] This is very neat news. I never would have guessed that there would be a “continuity” person for the series, here, in the US! It is great to know that there is, indeed, a “translator” for Americans! Lord knows we need it! {PC and all, you know! “Mustn’t offend anyone…”] Be it a real or imagined offence. No offence meant, on my part, BTW. Just in case…:D

Avatar Image says:

Suppose the Flint thing could be explained away with the idea that it is Marcus Flint here, not exactly brains of britian. He could have easily been kept back ;)

Avatar Image says:

“John Noe, from the Leaky Cauldron, for instance, likes to tease her that the plural of Horcrux was stated once as Horcrii — “and I’m like, ‘No, no, we didn’t!’ ” she said, imitating panic in her voice. “But then I checked with J.K. Rowling, and she assured me, ‘No, no, they’re Horcruxes.’ “

And Hottt Cheryl’s statement about our extremem criticism of continuity in the books is no exaggeration. If only we had such a person working with the movies….

Avatar Image says:

Very entertaining article!

Confederate Lady, this is not the first interview with continuity editor Cheryl Klein. Leaky has posted on a few a few in the past.

And for those who can’t see the whole last sentence, just scroll to the right and the rest of the sentence will appear.

Avatar Image says:

From the article about the interview:

John Noe, from the Leaky Cauldron, for instance, likes to tease her that the plural of Horcrux was stated once as Horcrii — “and I’m like, ‘No, no, we didn’t!’ ” she said, imitating panic in her voice. “But then I checked with J.K. Rowling, and she assured me, ‘No, no, they’re Horcruxes.’ “

Avatar Image says:

This comment box is lagging my Internet.

Avatar Image says:

Guys, sorry about the last part of the sentence being messed up. I simply could not get into the publishing system to fix it, and it took forever to load. Now that I could, should be ok. Sue

Avatar Image says:

oh, HEY SUE!

Avatar Image says:

Great article! Hmm, “Flints”, who knew? (although I could name about 80)

Avatar Image says:

o hai Sue.

Avatar Image says:

ahhh, the Horcrii Horcruxes debate, it is intresting to hear about faults in the books from someone ohter than jo, or a fan! intresting artical! i loved it

Avatar Image says:

Has it gone from being the new Smurf to being the new Watergate? Oh dear! How will we ever manage the crisis that is Horcrigate? /end teasing

Avatar Image says:

I seem to recall that J.K.R. was asked about Marcus Flint at a question-and-answer session, and she said what some of you suggested—something to the effect that he’d been held back a year—although I suspect she thought that up on the spur of the moment :-)

Avatar Image says:

Okay, in these comments I don’t like to mention my personal situation (my name is an alias as most people have on here) BUT third paragraph in this caught my eye. I happen to have a cleft lip and palate but it has been fixed but I only learned the term harelip recently. I don’t find it offensive, but the word itself is a good teaching tool for kids because it isn’t used often. I know they refer to cleft lip as a hare lip in The Kite Runner (which I am reading now) and it did not offend me at all even though it is mentioned frequently.

JK’s works have always been learning tools for children, so they may learn things that aren’t common in the current literature. If a child learns what a cleft lip is from a funny word used in COS, then let it be so. I know I will gladly explain it when I read it to my kids.

Avatar Imagekyrstalkris says: Oh, like the one in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Hermione wipes the Death Eaters memory's in the cafe and says that she never wiped anyone's memory before, but she wiped her parents memory earlier, before going on this "quest". lOl. Yes, we do actually do notice and obsess over it Cheryl! =]

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