More Than You Really Need to Know about Me, Cheryl:
I’m originally from the Midwest, having grown up in Peculiar, Mo. (yes, that’s the town’s real name), and received my B.A. in English from the wonderful Carleton College in Minnesota in 2000. My grandfather was a children’s literature professor who supplied me with many wonderful children’s and YA books through the years, so I gravitated naturally toward a career in books in general and children’s publishing in particular. After attending the Denver Publishing Institute, I moved to New York City and was lucky enough to land my dream job as Arthur Levine’s editorial assistant in the Arthur A. Levine imprint of Scholastic. I’m now the executive editor in the AALB imprint, and it’s still my dream job, working with a terrific, diverse, and very talented group of authors and illustrators on an equally terrific and diverse array of projects. I also served as the continuity editor on the last two Harry Potter books. For more information about the books I’ve edited, see the Books page; to know more about the random things I think about and love, please visit my blog or follow me on Twitter.
My frequent Internet username “Chavelaque” derives from my nickname in high-school Spanish class, pronounced shah-vay-luh, combined with the Spanish word for what, “que,” which is pronounced kay. It’s thus a goofy bilingual pun on “Cheryl K,” and it also appears in Lisa Yee’s So Totally Emily Ebers as the name of a fancy restaurant. “Brooklyn Arden,” the name of my blog, comes from the name of my current beloved home borough and the forest in “As You Like It,” my favorite Shakespeare play. It originally described an art installation in my old apartment, which you can see here.
My favorite non-AALB books include Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop by Chris Raschka; The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small; A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley; Possession by A. S. Byatt; Jim the Boy by Tony Earley; Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke; and the complete works of Hilary McKay, Jane Austen, Jennifer Crusie, Dorothy Sayers, and Patrick O’Brian. As much as I read for my job, I still passionately love reading for pleasure, too, and will happily burble on about my current book should you ask.
Some interviews with Cheryl:
Kite Tales, the Rocky Mountain SCBWI newsletter, August 2005
“Extendable Ears” interview on Pottercast #47 (MP3, 1:31:50), about the Harry Potter books (up to Book 7) and editing in general, July 2006
Her website was started in the fall of 2005 when she noticed a writer frantically typing everything she said as she gave her speech “The Rules of Engagement” in Colorado. Cheryl offered to send her the speech over e-mail, and then decided to put the text up herself on some then-unused webspace. She has added other talks, submission guidelines, and more information every so often since then. The site design is by the brilliant John Noe, with engineering by boy wonder Alex Robbin.
The website is an entirely volunteer effort on Cheryl's part — Scholastic does not sponsor the cost of hosting it, and all updates and additions are made in her free time. Moreover, all opinions expressed on the website are solely Cheryl's own and should not be taken to reflect those of Scholastic or Arthur A. Levine Books. For more information, or if you’d like to use or reprint some information here, please contact Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.