Anna Gomez is a woman of many talents. Born and raised in the bustling city of Makati in the Philippines, she attended an all-girls Catholic school before finishing her high school years in Vancouver, B.C. She then went on to pursue her college education at De La Salle University in Manila, where she earned a degree in Economics and a minor in Humanities.
But Gomez’s education and career trajectory don’t end there. With her background as a certified public accountant, she went on to work for seventeen years at Leo Burnett, rising to become Chief Financial Officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, a global advertising agency. Today, she serves as Partner and CFO of No Fixed Address, a network of advertising agencies in Toronto, New York, and Chicago.
Gomez is not just a successful businesswoman but also a champion for gender diversity and social justice. She was selected for the 2020 HERoes Women Role Model Executives list, has sat on several boards, and currently serves as treasurer for Breathe for Justice and The Jensen Project, organizations that work to address socio-economic issues such as violence against women and human trafficking.
But what truly sets Gomez apart is her passion for writing. Under her own name as well as the pen name Christine Brae, she has written books that promote diversity and challenge the norm. In an interview, she shared that when she started writing her first book, she changed her name to sound more “American” and wrote stories that were more palatable to her audience, trying to fit into the mold of what was expected. It wasn’t until she built a strong fan base that she realized people from all walks of life could relate to her stories. Love and emotions are universal.
Gomez decided to write what she knew and began with multicultural novels inspired by personal experiences and interactions with people from different backgrounds.
“Most people say that reading is a form of escape. And while the definition of ‘escape’ to me means different places and cultures, maybe it simply means escape from our daily lives. But wouldn’t it be great if it were both?” she insightfully shared.
Despite not fitting the typical mold of what readers may be looking for, she remains fearless in her writing and continues to share her perspective with the world. “Writing about your life makes you vulnerable. It’s like handing your heart out to the world on a platter. But the people who have read my stories, those who have reached out to me to talk about the lessons they have learned or identified with, gives me the courage I need to stay authentic. When you write for the right reasons, the journey is what matters. And it’s been an adventure like no other!”
When asked what lesson she wants to impart, she says, “Sharing our stories opens a whole new world to those who may never get to experience it. Our differences bring color to life that make us richer in every sense of the word. The blending of cultures and the understanding that we gain from looking at humanity from every vantage point brings us closer together and creates an empathy that makes us kinder and more tolerant. Love is love—its universality is the same thread that binds us no matter where we’re from. All our colors, when mixed together, become brighter, bolder and louder.”
Gomez’s writing is a true reflection of her passion for exploring the nuances of different cultures. Her upcoming novels are sure to captivate readers with their vivid sceneries, relatable characters, and powerful messages. The themes of love, empathy, and understanding are woven throughout her work and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.
With co-author Kristoffer Polaha, Gomez has created a unique world in the From Kona with Love series that is not only entertaining but educational, tying in socio-economic differences, historical references, events, and nuances that both Filipino Americans and Hawaiians experience.
Following the recent success of her second book in the From Kona with Love series, Where the Sun Rises, Gomez’s next novel to look out for is My Goodbye Girl, coming in June 2023 from Rosewind Books. She is currently writing One Day Like the Rain and Match Made in Paris.