Faces of SAL: Kelli Martin
September 14, 2022
We’re so excited to welcome the wonderful Kelli Martin to the SAL Board!
A books editor with over two decades of experience in publishing—from Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Amazon Publishing, and beyond—Kelli’s expertise and eye for a meaningful story shine through in her interview with SAL below.
Read on to find out what she heard Elizabeth Gilbert say that she’ll never forget, a book that really impacted her as a child, and more!
When you’re not doing SAL Board things, you can be found…
Reading, browsing in bookstores, hanging out with friends over brunch or dinner, enjoying long walks in my Seattle neighborhood, soaking up the sun, spending time with my family.
Favorite book as a kid?
It’s almost impossible to choose! I remember loving so much The President’s Daughter and White House Autumn, books #1 and #2 in a series by Ellen Emerson White. I loved that the novels envisioned a woman president, and that the novels subverted stereotypical household roles of that time (book #1 was first published in 1984) by the man/husband/dad character being the primary parent and putting aside his career, it was the woman/wife/mother who had the high-powered job and was out of town a lot.
I loved that the novel was a coming of age story for both Meghan, the daughter, and Katherine, her mother—Meghan came into her teenage-hood, and Katherine grew in her role as president and mother. Most of all, I loved how author didn’t shy away from real issues or big, tumultuous feelings. Meghan, as a teenage protagonist, was so honest and real and vulnerable about what she was going through: her experiences with her first boyfriend, with her mother’s intense devotion to her career, and with discerning who her real friends were… Meghan has this quiet strength about her, even while dealing with her self-esteem and insecurities. She KNEW herself, which seemed wondrous and comforting to me as a young person.
Before I came to SAL, I . . .
Was, am and always will be a book editor. I love collaborating with writers and helping make books. I consider it my calling and a love of my life.
Favorite SAL event?
There are so many! One unforgettable, favorite event was Elizabeth Gilbert talking so transparently about her life experiences and what she wanted for her future. I will never forget when she responded to a patron’s question with, “I want to be love in the room.” I aspire to that.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
A perfect Sunday usually sees me at church followed by brunch, then outside for a walk, catching up on TV shows or going to a movie, then talking and laughing and being silly with family and close friends on the phone or on a video chat. Dinner with my family at a favorite restaurant then reading for pleasure would close out the night. Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week!
Thank you for sharing a little about yourself, Kelli; we’re so glad you’re on the Board!