Advisory Board

Frances Baca is a design leader specializing in creative direction, design operations and strategy, and brand communication. She's spent the last eight years at the technology startup Callisto Media in Emeryville, first leading book design and production as VP Design, and currently serves as VP Brand and Design Strategy. Frances began her career in publishing in 1998, establishing a solo practice in San Francisco focused on publication design. She created books and magazines with Chronicle Books, Columbia University Press, McGraw Hill, Verso, Pearson, and Wiley, among others. In 1999, she began a long and fruitful partnership with UC Press on the James Beard Award-winning food and culture journal Gastronomica, where she served as Design Director for 13 years. Frances holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, and Bachelor's Degrees in Design and Art History from the University of California, Davis.

Frances Baca

Frances Baca Design

Mariah Bear has been working in publishing since the 1980s, when she took a summer job at Ten Speed Press, and somehow stayed for 14 years. In the intervening years she’s worked at Financial Times, Lonely Planet, Insight Editions, and Weldon Owen, where she is currently Associate Publisher. She is also a freelance writer and editor, a very slow marathoner, and a demon on the dancefloor.

Mariah Bear

Associate Publisher
Weldon Owen Publishing

Nancy Davis is an executive editor and content strategist focused on creating the very best print and digital learning products for learners at all stages. In her more than 30 years in publishing she has held just about every conceivable editorial job title. Nancy began her career in publishing as an editorial assistant at Oxford University Press, where she worked on trade reference books. A move to California led to jobs in technology publishing, and she spent most of her career with Peachpit Press, where she was the longtime editor in chief. For Nancy, being an editor means helping to create something that can take a reader somewhere and possibly change their life, just a little.

Nancy Davis

Executive Editor/Portfolio Manager

Maureen Forys (she/her) has more than 25 years of experience working in book publishing and graphic design, specializing in long document publishing, book design, and production automation. As the director of Happenstance Type-O-Rama, she is a respected and often called upon expert in her field. Agent 001 is a leader in the development and use of macros, transformation scenarios, scripting, and XML to automate book production. In addition to countless hours of professional training and research, Agent 001 holds a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Redlands. Over the past number of years she has been training in art of bookmaking at the San Francisco Center for the Book

Maureen Forys

Agent 001
Happenstance Type-O-Rama

Valerie Haynes Perry is the author of novels, a novella, short stories, vignettes, and books about the craft of writing including, Write the Book You Want—Be Your Own Coach. She coaches serious writers, leads Motivational Writing™ Circles throughout the month, and always has a work in progress. Valerie is an avid reader and lover of various aspects of language. Though she is a native New Yorker, Valerie has long considered Northern California her home. You may contact her at

Valerie Haynes Perry

Writing Coach and Author

Upon graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in Economics, I took many interesting paths that finally led me to the world of books. Since 1996, when hired by Edwards Brothers and relocated from frigid Michigan to balmy California, I have enjoyed the camaraderie of BookBuilders West (now PPN) and the many friendships of those involved in carrying on the tradition of the printed word.

Mike Johnson

Sales Representative

Closing in on 30 years of hard labor in the salt mines. Still trying to figure out what makes for a healthy, thriving workplace. Peachpit Press, Pearson, Prison Radio, and as-of early 2020, Heyday. Explorations in business operations, sales, marketing, foreign rights, business management, irreverence and fun. I’m never bored.

Keasley Jones

Finance and Operations Manager
Heyday Books

Andrei Pasternak has spent nearly 20 years working in the Bay Area publishing industry. He is currently an Executive Art Director for Callisto Media in Emeryville, CA. There, he leads an in-house team of creatives designing non-fiction, trade books on a diverse range of fascinating subjects. Outside of work, you might find him playing bass guitar, photographing, or out adventuring with his family.

Andrei Pasternak

Executive Art Director
Callisto Media

Ted Waitt has been Associate Publisher at Rocky Nook since 2015, having spent the previous decade in editorial roles at Peachpit Press/Pearson. He enjoys all aspects of the craft and business of publishing, but he is especially passionate about the creative process and the simple-but-not-easy pursuit of making great books.

Ted Waitt

Associate Publisher
Rocky Nook