At the age of nine, Ginna wrote a book called How to be Obnoxious in 25 Easy Lessons, at the suggestion of her irritated big brother. Now lost to neglect, it is remembered as a comic book with stick figure cartoons, stapled in the middle.
Thus began Ginna's love affair with the creation and collecting of books. Her childrens' books stash, the only things saved from her childhood, shows a deep reverence for reading. Her name and a caution are scrawled in pencil on many: Property of Ginna Bell Bragg.
The path to book design began with the discovery of a local summer program called the Guild of the Books Arts Carmel, which inspired her and a colleague to open The Book Studio, a fine arts bookbinding boutique in Carmel, California. Further studies in the arts included the UCLA Interior Design Program; Monterey Peninsula College, Art & Design; and privately with several artists in California, including Alison Stillwell Cameron (Chinese Calligraphy); Tulku Jamyang Rinpoche (Tibetan Thangka Painting); and Louisa Jenkins (collage).
Ginna's work as a professional chef led to her first cookbook: In the late 1990s, Ginna was executive chef with the Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California, and for them she wrote A Simple Celebration, the Nutritional Program for the Chopra Center for Well Being, published by Random House/Harmony Books.
Her nine published titles now include five cookbooks: The Soup Kit, her fifth and latest, was published in 2019. Other cookbooks include: Bonnebrook and The Gingerbread Farm , glimpses of Ginna's early years in the kitchen; and First You Grow the Pumpkin, which shares favorite tricks for growing, preserving and creating things in the kitchen. All designs and photographs by the author.
Ginna's life and career center around art, books and food. She has owned businesses (the Book Studio, Ginna's Café, Ginna & Co.), managed kitchens and cafés in other folks' businesses (Rainbow Ranch, Calistoga; the Chopra Center for Well Being, La Jolla; The Thunderbird Bookshop & Café, Carmel; Cornucopia Café & Market, Carmel) and created events for non-profits (the Carmel Music Society; the Carmel Bach Festival; the American Tall Ship Institute) as well as for many private clients (including Steven Seagal at his home in Southern California, where Tibetan monks roamed the halls and created fire pujas in the backyard while Ginna prepped dinner for six, or eight or 20, depending upon the star's whim).
Ginna and her husband David (www.spiritsound.com) originally founded Lucky Valley Press to publish their own titles and since then they have helped 48 other independent authors successfully publish and distribute their books, more than 80 titles in all.