Welcome back lovers of Spec! Today we’re sitting down with Sally Apokedak to find out what goes on in her mind. Let’s begin, shall we?
What was your favorite movie as a child?
At 5, Mary Poppins; at 10, Oliver!
You have a free weekend. What do you do with it?
I ask God why he left me behind when the world ended and hell froze over.
What book has made the most impact on you?
That’s tough to say. CS Lewis has probably had more impact on me than any other writer. But one book? Probably Knowing God, by JI Packer.
Are you a gamer? What games do you enjoy and why?
True story: I was driving through a mall parking lot one day and in my head I could hear the sound of Pac Man eating dots. I felt like I was eating dots as I drove through the parking lot. So I swore off electronic games for a while. Fell off the wagon a few years later with Mario Brothers, but I’ve been clean for a long time now. I got my 25-year pin.
I do love board games. Star Trek Catan is probably my favorite at present. I also like Presidents and Dutch Blitz. I like games where strategy counts more than luck or speed.
Would you rather live in Middle-Earth, Tatooine, or aboard the Starship Enterprise?
Give me the Shire any day of the week. Green velvet country, good tobacco, and elevenses . . . how can it get better than that? (No, I don’t use tobacco, but I’m pretty sure that in the Shire, tobacco does not cause cancer and can be heartily enjoyed.)
How did you get into your profession?
I took Les to breakfast and told him I’d work for him for free if he’d teach me about agenting.
What kind of training did you undergo to get to the level you are at?
20 years of reviewing books, writing books, critiquing books, going to conferences, reading books by agents and editors, and having a wonderful mentor who prays for me
What inspires you to do what you do?
A desire to make money doing something I love
What is your goal in your current line of work?
To make money doing something I love
Is there a step in your creative process or work life that you dread/loathe/wish you could throw over the side of a cliff with a mill stone tied around its neck?
In my work life, I dislike dealing with arrogant and/or greedy and/or needy people.
Most of the people I work with are delightful, but this business does have a few who are arrogant, a few who are selfish and greedy, and a few who are constantly in need of propping up.
I’d much rather work with people who are cheerful and grateful, and who enjoy their work and aren’t jealous of others.
What is one piece of creative or business advice someone has given you that actually helped?
Get one project done and go on to the next project. Don’t wait for the first one to sell. Just keep working, keep doing what you love, trusting that God will grant you success at the proper time.
What are you doing/teaching at the Realm Makers conference?
I’m giving conferees my opinion on what they can do to break into the children’s general market. My opinion, will, of course conflict with the opinions of several others.
I know it’s frustrating. Industry Pro A says one thing and Industry Pro B says the opposite thing. The writer’s job is to send his work to the Industry Pro who is best suited to receive the work. And then pray like crazy!
Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She’s been studying, reviewing, and marketing children’s books, as well as giving writing instruction for almost 20 years. She represents several award-winning and/or best-selling authors, including Hannah C. Hall, Joyce Magnin, and Tom Pawlik. She is most interested in middle grade and young adult novels for the general market.
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