Our people make the difference.
Mascot’s staff is experienced in the various disciplines that converge in the world of publishing. From industry strategists, to marketing gurus, to creative types, to grammar nerds, to bean counters, we have the right people in the right positions to help authors navigate the nuances of the publishing marketplace.
We Love Books
While Team Mascot is composed of individuals offering unique backgrounds and skill sets, there’s attributes that we all share: We’re passionate about books. It’s this appreciation for the written word that provides important context and perspective to our work and enables us to offer knowledgeable direction to our family of authors.
Get to know Team Mascot
CEO, Author, Publisher
Taking a good book idea and turning it into a successful publishing project is just what Naren did in 2003. Today, he leads a team of professionals who provide authors a platform and the know-how to do the same. As an author, Naren appreciates the challenges and opportunities facing writers. As a publisher, he’s well versed in the market factors that determine a project’s ultimate level of success.
Naren is knowledgeable in the areas of writing and editorial, book production, book marketing, book distribution, and he’s passionate about staying apprised on industry technology and trends. Over the years, he’s established relationships with distributors, wholesalers, and buyers at the largest online and brick-and-mortar outlets in the book business. As an educator, Naren enjoys speaking and blogging about the world of publishing.
Naren’s current writing project is How to Sell a Crapload of Books: 10 SECRETS of Building a Killer Author Platform.
Naren has a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Tech and earned his J.D. from the University of Denver. He practiced law for seven years before publishing his first book and establishing Mascot. He’s never looked back.
Director, Marketing and Children’s Content Acquisitions
Josh knows the children’s publishing market. Since joining the company in 2008, he’s been responsible for uncovering quality children’s book projects and helping authors devise and execute plans to promote and distribute their titles. He specializes in social media, publicity, and coming up with new and creative ways to market and sell books. Josh is an active member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Josh graduated with a B.S. in Communication from Radford University. He spends his free time going to live music and sporting events. Josh was initially drawn to Mascot because of our extensive library of licensed sports books. Josh is always working to add new teams and schools to our original “Mascot” roster. His goal in 2016 is to work with all the hometown teams to create books for the Wizards, Capitals, and Redskins.
Manager, Marketing, Author Services and Acquisitions
When it comes to books, Maria is both a student and a teacher. First, she educates herself about each author’s work and takes great pride in understanding each project’s opportunities and challenges. When she has a firm handle on an author’s content, she educates writers on the various publishing paths available (at Mascot and elsewhere) and what they can expect at key points in the publishing process.
As if that wasn’t enough, Maria renders project workflow when production is complete and it’s time to initiate a marketing push to help get our authors’ book in front of readers.
Maria’s at her best when chaos reigns supreme and hence is currently balancing two of her own writing projects—a collection of poetry that explores the cause and effect of lucid dreaming called When Here We Come, and her first novel, written using her own version of the cut-up technique popularized by beat writer William S. Burroughs, titled Burning with a Blue Flame.
Maria graduated with a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and though she’s not a football fan, she still visits campus a few times a year, always stopping in at Webster’s, one of her favorite independent bookstores, to browse titles or pick up a new vinyl.
Editor and Senior Project Manager
As an obsessive proofreader and meticulously organized individual, Kristin found her calling as a project manager at Mascot. Kristin helps authors see their book ideas come to life, all the way from the beginning stages of a script, through the editing process, design, and finally, the actual publishing of a book in physical and eBook form.
As a project manager, Kristin finds each day is different and full of new and exciting challenges. Working with authors on a variety of topics gives her the opportunity to learn something every day and become even more passionate about the field of publishing.
Kristin earned her B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Virginia. In her free time, you can find Kristin trying to catch up on all the stacks of books she’s bought online and watching excessive amounts of television.
Editor and Project Manager
Susan enjoys facilitating the creative collaboration among authors, editors, illustrators, designers, and print professionals. She likens her job to that of a master conductor, and when everyone’s hitting their notes, a publishing masterpiece is achieved.
Susan understands the many steps of the publishing project, but most looks forward to composing the email that goes something like, “Your books are on their way!”
Susan graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Even as an adult, her favorite genre to read and write is children’s literature.
Editor and Project Manager
Jenna’s passions lie in books and checking off the boxes of a well-organized to-do list. She’s found that she can spend plenty of time on both as a Project Manager at Mascot Books. Jenna enjoys working directly with authors from the beginning stages of script to making their dream book a reality. She loves the feeling of helping someone’s story be heard.
Experiencing the publication process in such detail has enriched Jenna’s love for books. Being on the creation side has allowed her to deepen her appreciation for how books’ meaningful themes and messages come alive.
Jenna graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education. In her spare time, she makes lists to organize all the fun things she has planned.
Daniel fell in love with books at an early age and never looked back. As a project manager, he is thrilled to be able to help authors take their ideas and transform them into completed books. He loves helping all the parts—editing, illustration, design, and production—come together into something magnificent!
Daniel graduated from Messiah College with a B.A. in English, with a Writing Concentration. He likes all kinds of stories, but his favorites to read—and write—are science fiction and fantasy. When he’s not working on his own fiction projects, he teaches swing dancing and hunts for cheesy, bad movies to add to his collection.
Danny is a creative jack-of-all-trades. Working with Mascot since 2004, he routinely awes authors (and Naren) with his many talents. His contributions include, award-winning illustrations, snappy print and web design, eye-catching covers, eBook conversion, web games, and app development.
Danny is proud of his alma mater, Auburn University, where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and Illustration. War Eagle!
And if you look carefully, you can see Danny in every book he illustrates as he always includes a caricature of himself. It’s a perk of the job.
As a graphic designer, Ricky strives to create each author’s visual ideas…and improve upon them. Whether it’s a children’s book, novel, cookbook, or even a poster or marketing collateral, Ricky takes great pride in not just doing his job, but doing so with a creative flair.
Ricky received his B.A. in Graphic Design from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He is especially interested in typography and hand lettering, using these skills to design logos and t-shirt designs in his free time.
Ricky is always looking for ways to improve his skills by researching graphic design theory and new trends in the field of print and web design. He also takes great pride in his extensive knowledge of keyboard shortcuts.
To say Jasmine is a creative type is an understatement. Jasmine’s days are filled with helping authors look marvelous. From impactful book covers, to solid interior designs, to promotional materials, Jasmine takes great pride in her work and strives to exceed expectations.
For several years, Jasmine has dabbled in fiction writing, hoping her work will evolve into in a book or video game, but she seems to get sidetracked by drawing concept art and writing extensive character profiles. Her current project, set in 2599, is called Study Abroad: Transgalaxy. What if aliens have long since infiltrated our world? How would one deal with the contradicting behaviors of humans in a university setting? Some deep questions to contemplate, right?
Jasmine earned a B.A. in New Media Design from Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina. As a lover of art and technology, Jasmine continues to expand her skillset from paper and pencil to three-dimensional modeling, whether it is in a classroom or from online tutorials.
Debbie has been with Mascot for five years, and during that time has set up the policies and procedures that have helped the company stay organized during a time of incredible growth. Authors love Debbie as she’s responsible for generating the author sales reports and royalty checks every month. In true bean counter fashion, Debbie gets really excited about spreadsheets (especially those containing nifty formulas)!
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