Who We Are
Publisher, founder, and editor Colleen Dunn Bates started her career by studying journalism at USC. She’s worked as a writer and editor in radio, newspapers, magazines, and books. It’s the book business that stuck. She started Prospect Park Books in 2006 with the publication of the first edition of Hometown Pasadena. A sixth-generation Southern Californian (yes, that means she surfs), Colleen takes great offense when New Yorkers mock Angelenos as airheads who don’t read. The mother of two adult daughters and the wife of television editor/producer Darryl Bates, the longtime Pasadena resident is a board member of PubWest and Immaculate Heart High School and the LA restaurant critic for Westways magazine. Here she is in Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and on LinkedIn, here’s an amusing profile of her in Booklist, here’s a Q&A with her on novelist Caroline Leavitt’s blog, and here’s a Black Hill Press podcast interview in which she rambles on about publishing. For PPB’s tenth anniversary, she wrote this popular piece about lessons learned in publishing for LitHub.
5 Questions for Colleen
Recent favorite books: Ask the Dust by L.A. legend John Fante, because I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read it before, and Wrecked, the third IQ novel by Joe Ide, the hottest thing to hit LA crime writing in a long time
What you’re watching now: Endeavour, The Good Place, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Dogs
What you’re listening to now: Phoebe Bridgers, Emerson Star (both are hometown kids hitting it big), and several podcasts, including the Satellite Sisters and Freakonomics Radio
Current favorite local restaurants: Fishwives and Maestro, both in Pasadena
What’s on your nightstand: Transcription by Kate Atkinson, Life After Manzanar by Naomi Hirahara and Heather Lindquist, and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnerman, which I dip into regularly
Marketing manager Caitlin Ek is a La Verne resident, a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, a diehard Dodgers fan, and a lover of YA fiction. She’s had a passion for the book business since she was a teenager; she worked at Mrs. Nelson’s Books all through college, and besides working at PPB, she’s a library associate at the San Dimas Public Library. When she’s not scheduling author events, sending out publicity updates, or wrangling ARCs, she’s recovering from her recent (belated) European honeymoon with music-engineer husband Mark Montgomery.
5 Questions for Caitlin
Coolest thing about La Verne: Small-town feel but with local craft breweries and some good eating not too far away
Book that changed your life: Too many to name but a few: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (finally another young woman who read as much as I did!), Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (the start of my love affair with both fantasy and young people’s literature), and Their Eyes Were Watching God (the punch and ache this book brings is deep)
What you’re watching now: Brooklyn 99 and Last Man on Earth—some levity and laughs are always needed, and these shows deliver
What you’re listening to: Adele on repeat; also NAO and Lianne Le Havas
What book do you want to read next? Everything on my TBR list to start….
Editorial manager Dorie Bailey is a Pasadena native, a voracious reader, a twin, and an alumna of Scripps College, who lovingly completed her senior thesis on boy bands, Magic Mike, and the socialized female gaze. Dorie achieved fame at her elementary school for reading the entirety of the last Harry Potter book in only six hours. Like a true millennial, Dorie also enjoys freelance developmental editing as a #sidehustle, and some might say it’s ambitious, but she tries to see at least three movies a week in theaters, while fitting in a German class at PCC.
5 Questions for Dorie
Why publishing? I majored in Media Studies (read: film, TV, and Internet studies) in college, but was always drawn to the more reading/writing/editorial side of the discipline. So, as an avid and speedy reader myself, I figured publishing was the best place for the intersection of my interests, my talents, and the fruits of my educational labor.
Your favorite trashy TV: When it’s not Bachelorette season, I don’t do a lot of reality TV watching, but I can’t recommend HBO’s The Leftovers highly enough! It’s a masterpiece! Also, Maniac on Netflix, and The Good Place on NBC.
5 desert-island books: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, anything by Markus Zusak, The Translation of Dr. Apelles by David Treuer, and Frankenstein—shoutout to Mary Shelley for inventing science fiction!
What you’re listening to now: Anything and everything The Killers have ever done or been associated with. Also, 50’s crooner tunes and a highly curated Dad Rock playlist of 600+ songs.
What would your last meal be? A soft pretzel from the mall and a bowl of pork ramen from Ramen Tatsunoya.
Operations manager Katelyn Keating intended on having a life among words when she was a communications major at Skidmore, but she ended up working in animal health instead. Now, after earning an MFA in creative writing from Antioch, she’s back in the land of literature. Animals still, however, remain a big part of her life, from the menagerie she and her husband, Chad, have in their Pasadena home to her writing work, starting with her MFA thesis: “A Horizon of Dogs: Canids as Companions and Narrators in Contemporary Fiction” (an Antioch Library Research Award finalist). Katelyn’s writing, which often addresses human/animal interaction, has appeared in Tahoma Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Flyway, and the anthology In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between. She’s served as editor-in-chief of Lunch Ticket and was a 2017 Los Angeles Review of Books/USC Publishing Workshop Fellow before joining the faculty in 2018. When not working with Prospect Park Books, BookSwell Club, and The Biosynergy Institute, she’s at work on a novel and an essay collection.
5 Questions for Katelyn
Favorite spot now that you’re back in Pasadena: Sage Vegan Bistro for cocktails and cauliflower.
What you most miss about working with animals: Barn chores! Cleaning stalls is meditation, exercise, and quiet contemplation all at once, surrounded by horses.
One book you really love: Just one? Since we’re talking about animals, I love The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, mostly for the exquisitely rendered character of Almondine. She is at once herself and also Ophelia, whose role and fate she must inhabit in this Hamlet allusion. Did I mention she is a dog?
What you’re watching or listening to right now: The two most compelling series I’m currently infatuated with are The Terror and The Handmaid’s Tale (I’m in season 2).
On top of your nightstand reading pile: Since having to do away with piles of actual books in my bedroom because of strange allergies, I’ve converted to digital. I can’t quit my newfound true-crime (reading) spree, thanks to the likes of The Red Parts, The Fact of a Body, Son of a Gun, Columbine, and The Other Side. So in my LA public library digital holds lists, I’m waiting for Under the Banner of Heaven and The Feather Thief, alongside memoirs like Heart Berries and fiction like The Incendiaries. It’s anyone’s guess which will deliver to my tablet first, and very exciting when they send them all at once.
Amy Inouye is LA’s book designer extraordinaire, with untold titles to her credit. She’s the Design Angel for Prospect Park, providing everything from cover design (Little Flower Baking, Hometown Pasadena, The Auntie Em’s Cookbook, Naomi Hirahara’s Mas Arai mysteries), to interior design and page layout, to creating advertising and marketing materials. Amy is locally famous for having saved the iconic 22-foot-tall Chicken Boy, aka the Statue of Liberty of LA; he’s now perched atop Future Studio, the Highland Park gallery and studio space owned by Amy and her artist partner Stuart Rapeport.
5 Questions for Amy
Favorite spot in Highland Park: Audubon Center at Debs Park. Technically, however, it’s in Montecito Heights. In Highland Park proper, the LA Police Museum
One book you cherish: Infinite Jest
Your perfect LA Sunday: Sundays start with a tap class, then it’s open for exploring LA, catching up on busywork, and/or napping
What you’re listening to now: the Hamilton soundtrack
Why a printed book? (1) it smells so nice; (2) it’s visually and tactile-y comfortable and comforting
The keeper of the books at Prospect Park Books—the financial books, that is—is Tina Wallin. The Altadena resident has recently mastered PPB’s new royalty software and is making sure that the accounts balance and everyone is paid promptly.
A valued member of the team is foreign-rights agent Linda Kaplan of Kaplan/DeFiore Rights. Linda mastered the art of selling rights first at Hyperion and then at Crown Publishing Group, where she was VP, director of rights for a dozen years, before going out on her own in 2015 to represent several independent presses and agencies. She’s as comfortable on the floor at the London and Frankfurt book fairs as she is in her hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.
Lots o’ Other Folks
We are supported by an extraordinary team of freelance talent, starting, of course, with our authors. You’ll learn all about them by exploring our Books pages. We’d also like to give a shout out to:
Editors Margery Schwartz, Jenn Garbee, Pat Jalbert-Levine, Leilah Bernstein, Sharon Cohen, Maya Packard, Nancy Ransohoff, and Jean T. Barrett
And finally, the amazing army of sales reps, marketing mavens, inventory managers, and book lovers at Consortium Book Sales & Distribution