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Anna Gomez & Kristoffer Polaha

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Anna

Well, I seriously considered how I would write this, given that I’m a little bit of a different case altogether. My career has me traveling all over the place – in fact, pre-COVID, I was probably on a plane and in hotels more than half of every year. I had two suitcases packed at any given time. And that’s where I wrote. Meaning, hotel rooms, airport lounges, cafes or airplanes.

 

I wrote my first six books in my favorite hotels – in NY and Paris and at various locations of Soho House. The words flowed freely, fueled by the people who hustled and bustled around me. Stories came alive in my head as I watched and experienced and lived the cultures, the places, the people. In fact, you will see, that in all my books, the settings are exactly in the places I love the most.

Writing a book during COVID was a new experience on its own. Never mind the fact that for the first time in seven years, I was home for more than one week at a time. In planning to start our lives as empty nesters, we had moved to a new home which was half the size of our old home.  COVID derailed those plans when all three grown children came back to live with us.

 

As a mother, I was overjoyed. But with managing a full time career from home and meeting a deadline for our new book release, writing from home became a big challenge.  It took me months to get the words out, my inspiration was hampered. There were no dinners out, parties with friends, meetings, shopping times, alone times walking up and down Rue St. Honore or 5th Avenue. Everything that spurred my thoughts and stories were gone. I was stuck in the middle of four walls.

Thank Goodness, I had a co-author, who traveled and filmed at the time when I was stuck at home. I lived through his experiences, through the words he wrote. I learned to adapt and modify my writing process. I learned to share my words and ideas – something I had never done before! And the outcome of this amazingly easy collaboration, is a story and the start of a series that I am truly proud of.

I also found the perfect writing place. On this very chair that swivels out to a view of Lake Michigan. This place reminds me everyday about the blessings the universe has bestowed on me. And I am here to tell the world that with hard work, you can accomplish anything and everything.

 Kristoffer

All my life I’ve made sure to have a very comfortable place to create. On my desk sits my father’s brass lamp, my books stacked and close by, a small soap stone hippo I picked up in South Africa on my honeymoon, photos of my loved ones. Whether it’s the backstory for a character I’m working on, research for a role, or writing in my journal, I’ve always tried to have an atmosphere that was cozy and stimulating to my creativity.

 

While writing Moments Like This I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to write in the English countryside in Winston Churchill’s ancestral hunting lodge. Nestled between Black Park and Langley Forrest, on the ancient hunting grounds of King Henry the 8th sits a hotel called The Langley.  It was there, in room number 15, that I co-wrote a book. Looking out over a field of cattle and a lake stocked with Pike and the Queen’s swans, I was able to sit and write for hours.

On location for work, I was shooting Jurassic World: Dominion, I had 14 days in quarantine isolation to simply write. I had a wooden desk, plenty of sunlight, a great view of the fields and the Oaks and Redwoods that made up the skyline with occasional Red Tail Kites darting through. The days were long and the nights were starry.

 

I felt the rich history permeate the atmosphere, some would say haunt (the building served as a hospital during World War 2 and stories of ghosts abound), and my imagination was stoked and primed.

Anna and I wrote 46 chapters in 15 days. It was a perfect place to write. 

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Anna Gomez was born and raised in the city of Makati, Philippines before she met and married her best friend who whisked her away to Chicago over twenty years ago. Anna is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life (The Light in the Wound, Christine Brae 2013) and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Since then, Anna has released five more books under her pen name, Christine Brae.

In December 2019, her agent convinced her to write one more book. Different model, different subject matter. Clean, contemporary, happy endings. Reluctantly, she decided to give it a try. This time, under her real name, Anna Gomez. When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Anna can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

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Kristoffer Polaha is best-known for his long starring role in the critically acclaimed series Life Unexpected (The CW). Other TV series credits include Get Shorty with Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd, the limited series Condor opposite William Hurt and Max Irons, The CW’s Ringer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Valentine, as well as North Shore (FOX).

In addition to his work as an actor, producer, and director, Polaha is branching into the book world by co-authoring a new series. He is also involved with several charitable organizations, including being an ambassador for World Vision, a board member for HerArtsInAction, and The Polaha Family Circus Foundation.

Polaha was born in Reno, Nevada, and he is married to actress Julianne Morris. They have three sons.