Anna Brones is a busy woman.
Her third book has just been published. She has launched a new magazine. And she has at least two other projects percolating.
Her new book, "Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide to the Two-Wheeled Life," was published by Ten Speed Press this spring. "To be a cyclist, really all you have to do is ride a bike. This book covers a bit of bicycle history, how to buy a bike, maintenance basics and additional advice on topics such as picnicking and traveling by bicycle," Brones said.
"Comestible" is her seasonal quarterly magazine, now available at Sunnycrest Nursery and online. Brones described it as "part food narrative, part food guide, part cookbook. This is about your food beyond what's on your plate." There are illustrations but no photographs or ads. "The world doesn’t need more food porn," she said.
A fourth-generation Key Peninsula native, Brones returned to the KP last fall after years abroad. She attended Vaughn Elementary, Key Peninsula Middle School and Peninsula High School. After graduation, in her words, "I fled. If you grow up in a rural community, you want to experience something new."
Brones spent a year in Sweden during high school and attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, majoring in French and international relations. After graduation, she worked for a year in Guadeloupe teaching English, and returned to Portland to write for an outdoor adventure magazine. She left that job to start a company focusing on social media and digital strategies, and blogged and freelanced. She later went to Paris to work on a film project and stayed for three years.
Brones published her first book, "The Culinary Cyclist," in 2013 through an independent publisher in Portland.
When she and a friend, illustrator Johanna Kihdvalla, cold-pitched their idea for a new book, they did not expect a response. "No one ever gets a bite from cold calls," Brones said. But an editor at Ten Speed Press was taken with the concept and "FIKA, The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break," was published in 2015. She self-published yet another book on the specialty coffee culture of Paris.
Brones and her husband, Luc Revel, a French-Australian, moved back to the Key Peninsula from Paris in November 2015. "We craved something different than the big city. And I missed a lot of things about the Northwest. I like my parents. I loved the aspect of family history and connection, which is really rare for my generation. Having this attachment to place—I feel lucky to have that."
Brones' great-grandfather came to the Key Peninsula from Havre, Montana, when her grandfather, one of five, was a child. Though her grandfather moved to California to raise his own family, her father, Norm Brones, spent summers on the KP. With grandparents, an aunt and uncle with a chicken farm near Longbranch, and an uncle who owned the hardware store, Norm developed deep ties. When he met his wife, Britta, a Swede, she was not inclined to live in southern California, and in his own words, "Los Angeles is a good place to be from." They moved to the KP to live, work and raise a family.
About her own return to the KP, Brones said, "It’s both new and familiar at the same time. I see this place I grew up in through the eyes of a returning adult."
Brones acknowledges that her path, largely one of creative self-employment, has not been a conventional one. "It is a different path from those I went to high school with and from my parents’ generation. But, I am surrounded by people who have followed an unconventional path."
For more information, go to www.annabrones.com.
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