Filipino-American author and Global Chief Financial Officer of New York/Toronto-based, No Fixed Address, Anna Gomez has captured the hearts of readers around the world with her unique take on love. Her books have not only been flying off the shelves of bookstores and filling up online carts, but she is also poised to win over TV audiences as she prepares to transform her book, “Moments Like This,” which she co-authored with actor Kristoffer Polaha, into a Hallmark Movie.
Filipinos have an enduring penchant for love stories, whether they be real or fictional. This is why loveteams from Rogelio dela Rosa-Carmen Rosales to Gabby Concepcion-Sharon Cuneta and, most recently, Daniel Padilla-Kathryn Bernardo have reigned supreme in Philippine Showbiz. We relish that “kilig” feeling we get from watching love stories unfold in the pages of Pinoy komiks, on TV and movie screens, and within the world of romance novels.
This universal adoration for romance finds resonance across the globe. Romantic comedies, or rom-coms, have undoubtedly secured their place as one of the most successful film genres worldwide. We, as audiences, perpetually root for our cherished couples on TV shows to end up together—characters like Derek and Meredith, Ross and Rachel, and even Desi and Lucy.
For those unacquainted with its charm, Hallmark is not solely known for crafting our favorite greeting cards; it’s also a network that artfully showcases themes of love, romance, and those cherished happy endings—the very elements that resonate deeply with Filipinos.
Yet, Gomez’s journey into the world of romance literature is an unexpected tale. Her professional life bore no resemblance to the realm of writing, let alone romance writing. She was born and raised in the Philippines, attended Assumption in her early years and completed her Economics degree, with a minor in Humanities, at the De La Salle University before moving to Chicago.
She ascended through the ranks from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to become the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Leo Burnett Chicago, where she skillfully managed financial strategies across multiple agencies and spearheaded the integration of various Publicis Groupe acquisitions in North America. Gomez’s leadership made her an industry thought leader, gracing conferences, talks, and functions as a speaker. She was even recognized in the 2020 HERoes Top 100 Women Executives Role Models.
Today, Gomez serves as the Global Chief Financial Officer at No Fixed Address, where she has not only streamlined financial processes but also oversees global accounting, HR, and operations. Her LinkedIn profile might defy expectations for a multi-awarded, bestselling romance novelist.
In between crunching numbers and balancing spreadsheets, Gomez ventured into the world of writing. In 2013, she took the bold step of publishing her debut book, “The Light in the Wound,” under the pen name Christine Brae. This book, inspired by her relationship with her mother, was initially an exercise in self-expression. However, to her astonishment, it resonated with a growing audience of loyal followers who became addicted to her unique storytelling and the undeniable “kilig” it evoked.
Gomez said: “I had expected to find a few readers, mainly friends. But to my surprise, people identified with my story, and it marked the beginning of a new, unforeseen career for me.”
Since her debut, Gomez has authored six books under her pen name and three under her real name. She collaborated with actor Kristoffer Polaha, a Hallmark mainstay leading man, on a series of novels called “From Kona with Love.” Her latest masterpiece, “My Goodbye Girl,” narrates the love story of half-Filipina Tessa and British scientist Simon, even offering readers a glimpse of the picturesque Boracay.
“I aspire for my characters to mirror people like me—multifaceted and multicultural. Smart independent women smitten, fallible, crazy in love,” Gomez added. “They are half-Filipino, with deep connections not only to the Philippines but to the values we hold most dear—family.”
Notably, her book “Moments Like This” secured first place at the 7th Annual Pencraft Book Awards in the Fiction-Women category, while “My Goodbye Girl” triumphed as the Fall 2023 winner in the Romance-Multicultural Fiction category at The Book Fest, a testament to her ability to craft compelling narratives that resonate with readers.
Gomez acknowledges the historical bias against romance novels, with some viewing them as shallow or, in extreme cases, as mere smut. However, she remains resolute in her mission to challenge these misconceptions through her work.
Gomez’s novels are not just love stories for the sake of happy endings. They are narratives imbued with depth, featuring resolute characters who confront challenges with intelligence and wisdom. They take readers on an emotional journey filled with peaks, valleys, and unexpected twists. Ultimately, they touch the heart, warm the soul, and, yes, make you “kilig.”
Anna Gomez’s books are available at Fullybooked, National Bookstore, and on Amazon and Kindle.