Kevin Royal Johnson
Kevin Royal Johnson founded Royal Books in 1996. He is originally from Arkansas, got an Engineering degree at Vanderbilt University, and after 15 years working for the government in DC, decided to move to Baltimore and do something more interesting. Royal Books originally operated on the fourth floor of a giant building that produced chemical sealant for underground pipes, and in 2002 made a permanent move to its present, more proper location on 25th Street. Kevin has authored two books on the first edition sources for American film noir, The Dark Page (1940-1949) and The Dark Page II (1950-1965), both published by Oak Knoll Press. He recently curated an exhibit of rare cinema-related photographs at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre, titled Behind the Fourth Wall: Actors and Directors on the Set 1926-2001. Kevin likes pimiento cheese sandwiches toasted on one side, a pint of beer at 6PM or as soon thereafter as possible, and spending as much time as possible with his gal Nancy. He enjoys writing songs, organizing information for purposes that remain mysterious, reading comics and comic strips published prior to 1979, and studying film history. He and Nancy reside happily in the Mount Vernon area of downtown Baltimore. Kevin and his bibliomaniac friend Boyd White can be found at the Owl Bar at the Belvedere Hotel on most Tuesday evenings. Look for the most oblivious geeks in the room.
Contact us at email@example.com
Erin Barry-Dutro grew up in Connecticut and has been at Royal Books since 2010. She manages daily operations of the staff and store, catalogs new material, is the book fair and social media czar, and generally makes sure the store doesn't sink. Erin’s interests at the store include magical realism, retrofuturism, and a material affinity for (nearly) all things paper. She specializes in modern firsts, archives, film scripts, and film ephemera. She came to the rare book trade after working in book conservation, and has a BFA in Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. Erin enjoys socially conscious art, the anthropological study of electronica festivals, and anything holographic or neon colored.
John McDonald’s origins are shrouded in mystery, but he was first sighted in upstate New Jersey in the 1970s, and with regularity in Baltimore since 2001, where, since 2008, he has been employed at Royal Books. In addition to cataloging, his confirmed duties include handling library and consignor accounts, buying, and attending book fairs. He has strong opinions on a number of topics, including sports (he’s for them), politics (he’s against them), and religion (actually, he doesn’t really have an opinion on religion). He says he’s a film buff, but what he really means is that he streams a lot of television shows online. He likes genre fiction, but likes fiction that mixes genres more. He finds realism overrated. He finds originality overrated. Also, attribution. He ain’t got time to bleed. He has been known to enjoy good beer, good whisky, and good food. He’s also been known to enjoy cheap beer, cheap whiskey, and cheap food every bit as much. He’s gone digital.
Amber Fricke is a Maryland gal borne and bred, and has worked Royal Books since August, 2005, originally as a shipping clerk, but soon finding great enjoyment from minor repairs to books. She then attended bookbinding workshops at Cat Tail Run Bindery to further her knowledge. She has also attended a workshop at Texas A&M, and has shadowed other bookbinders to further sharpen her skills. Currently her primary role is making clamshell boxes, book repair, and general conservation. Amber likes baseball and football, and can frequently be heard yelling back at AM radio sports talk shows in the bindery. She is a great mom, and due to her lengthy affiliation with Royal Books, enjoys her status here as éminence grise.
Kate Setzler hails from the wilds of Central Maryland, and has been the store’s production designer since 2014. She handles everything image related, including photography, design, website management, amusing photoshop collages, and most especially the creation of the quarterly color catalog. She likes natural history, medical illustration, and psychological crime fiction.
Jonathan Erkkila is originally from central New Jersey, and has lived in Baltimore since January 2016. Our newest employee, he handles packaging, shipping, cataloging, and carrying on the Royal Books tradition of listening to strange music in his office. A great lover of Russian and Soviet culture, he received his BA in music and Russian language from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Originally a trumpet player, Jonathan now plays a multitude of instruments and performs both solo under the name Slow Groan and with his band, Writhe. He is also a performer of Tuvan throat singing, which he studied with Choduraa Tumat at Tuvan State University in the Russian Federation, likely making him the only rare book shipper who can sing more than one note at the same time.
Rachel Moschel is our newest employee: the Royal Books bookkeeper, without whom the store would sink like a frigate-size version of the Titanic. She is a recent transplant to Maryland, having moved here from her home town of Chicago, IL. She has a degree in business from Curry College in Milton, MA. When not keeping track of all those tricky numbers she enjoys hanging out with her four giant dogs (three Leonbergers and a Black Lab), and taking her boat out for some grilling and beers on the Chesapeake Bay (though frankly, she will always prefer Lake Michigan).