Our Production Team

Straight from your heart to the printed page, Dust Devil Books takes your book idea, and puts it between two covers.

We walk you through the book-building process – turn-key — taking your story from conceptuals to finished product. When our job is done, we hand you a sharp, professional work, ready for any office coffee table, Barnes & Noble bookshelf or e-book distributor.

After that, we can show you how to market your book, through traditional marketing and promotions or online and social media.

We’re proud of the blue-ribbon professionals in our stable of national-class talent. Meet our team:

Meet Our Associate Editor, Melanie Jaquess

A hearty welcome to Melanie Jaquess, a Midwestern girl now living in Southern California. She grew up fishing, camping, playing Little League ball and competing in martial arts in northeastern Ohio.

Associate Editor Melanie Jaquess posing with baseball legend, Tommy Lasorda, at an Albuquerque Isotopes game

Associate Editor, Melanie Jaquess, posing with baseball legend, Tommy Lasorda, at an Albuquerque Isotopes game

She spent her young adult years as a budding musician and a bit of rambler going from Florida to Arizona to Colorado to Massachusetts to D.C. to Oregon to New Mexico and California. She settled in Los Angeles for some years because college was very affordable in California and the music scene was vibrant. She graduated from L.A. Valley College with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2000 and, in 2003, earned her Bachelor’s Degree in music industry studies/jazz bass performance at California State University, Northridge.

Admittedly, Melanie has always been a bit of a techno geek and began working on her web skills in the 1990’s by learning HTML and Java coding languages. She further honed her skills while working for Alfred Music Publishing in L.A. as a multimedia and digital video production specialist.

She currently manages several websites and provides video editing services in addition to still playing bass in several projects. She was also recently certified as a massage therapist and works part time in that field as well. Melanie is still a Midwestern girl at heart, though, and prefers long walks around Lake Miramar and practicing archery in her backyard to going to the beaches near her home in San Diego.

A huge fan of Clayton Kershaw and Major League Baseball in general, she is excited to be a part of sportsandoutdoors.guru. And it shows.

Already, Melanie has sharpened the look, “feel” and function of this website, and kick-started our first venture into social media. We’re delighted to have her on the team. – Editor Mark S. McDonald


Photographer Russell Graves


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Photographer/naturalist Russell Graves

Over the past 13 years, Russell Graves has established himself as one of the most versatile and skilled photographers in the Southwest.

As chief content provider for <russellgraves.com>, he supplies content regularly for the agriculture, outdoors and hunting and fishing industry that includes assignment and digital stock photography, writing, raw and edited videography services, market analysis, and product spokesperson roles.

Recently, Graves has broadened his scope to delve into documentary filmmaking with his first film, “Bois d’Arc Goodbye,” picked up for national distribution. Until the summer of 2009, Graves was employed as a professional teacher for 16 years for the Childress Independent School District (ISD) where he served as an award-winning agriculture science instructor and was directly responsible for students winning more 30 state and eight national championships. His students earned $200,000-plus in scholarships.

A graduate of East Texas State University, now Texas A&M-Commerce, Russell was a three-time Texas Agricultural Science Teacher of the Year, before moving into the photo field full-time. Russell’s website has emerged as a leading portal for stock photography, with a growing presence in multimedia products in the areas of agriculture, hunting, fishing and the outdoor lifestyle.

Author of six books and a busy magazine writer, Russell writes a syndicated newspaper columnist and makes frequent seminar and speaker appearances.

Visit Russell at www.russellgraves.com or  www.picturepasture.com

{A word from Russell Graves}

Since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with nature, wildlife, agriculture and the outdoors. As a teenager on my family’s cattle ranch, I recall being chastised for searching for white-tailed deer when I was supposed to be looking for lost cattle in the hardwood bottomlands that filter the muddy waters of Bois d’Arc Creek.

I went to school in the tiny Northeast Texas town of Dodd City where I was surrounded by a rural culture that is still strong today. As a boy growing up on the rolling hills of the northern Texas blackland prairie region, my family introduced me to fishing, hunting, camping, trapping and other outdoor pursuits.

Even after graduating college in the mid-1990’s, I passed up chances to live a more suburban and domesticated lifestyle and made my home in the southeastern Texas Panhandle where cattle, deer and coyotes outnumber people.

I still live in Childress although now I share my home with my wife Kristy and our two young children. My family and I live a lifestyle that keeps rural traditions close. For 16 years, I taught agricultural science at a small high school where I won numerous awards for my teaching including being named Texas Agri-science Teacher of the Year in 2001, 2003, and 2006 — a feat never before achieved.

For me, it was an honor to help young people find a sense of purpose and see them achieve their goals and, along the way, help them earn thousands in scholarship dollars because of their affiliation with my agricultural science program.

In contrast to the rural ways in which I am so fond, I’ve embraced modern technology and incorporate multiple technologies for image capture and delivery which is at the vanguard of speed and efficiency for my chosen specialization. Because of my background as a small town guy, I feel I bring a fresh perspective to my photography, writing and speeches which makes my work unique. Sometimes I think I may have been born at least fifty years too late because I missed out on rural Texas when the most of the activity in a given area was centered on small towns.

I hear old timers talk of little towns in the area and how the tiny burghs bustled on Saturdays as people came to town to socialize and shop. Often I muse about a time I can never experience.

Then again, I use my digital camera and am reminded that being a small town Texan in today’s technological age, perhaps right now, I’m living the good ol’ days. – Russell Graves, 2013


Robert Aaron Bergman – Art graphics design specialist



Fourteen years into a broad scope of graphics design, Bergman has worked with business clients large and small to establish himself as one of the most versatile and innovative talents in the field.

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Layout/design specialist — Aaron Bergman

Once the art director of a large real estate publishing firm in Houston, Bergman moved to the Austin area and developed his own design firm.

Today, as sole proprietor of Bergman Graphics, he has created everything from display ads for real estate magazines to media kits, brochures and direct mail promotions.

With years of experience in cover-to-cover magazine production, along with book design, he regularly works with maps, photos and text to maximize the visual impact of the text.

While Bergman Graphics relishes individual projects, his regular clients have included the likes of NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M., Smith Engineering based in Albuquerque, Texas Farm & Ranch magazine, Lands of Texas magazine, Primitive Archer magazine.

A graduate of Stephen F. Austin University, Bergman later earned a diploma in graphic design from the Art Institute of Houston.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Karen, and the couple has two children.

Visit Aaron at  www.bergmangraphics.com

 

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