Jen: Please help us welcome Catherine Mann as her blog tour makes a stop at Romancing the Book. Catherine, will you share a short bio with us?
Catherine: USA Today best-selling author Catherine Mann writes for Sourcebooks, Harlequin and Berkley. With over 2 million books in print, she has won both RWA’s prestigious RITA Award and a Bookseller’s Best Award. Catherine lives in Florida with her flyboy husband and their menagerie of pets. She can be found online daily at:
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Catherine: FREE FALL is book 4 in my “Elite Force” series about Air Force pararescuemen. As for the where the idea came from, honestly, the characters completely wrote this book! I’m usually a plotter, but this story caught me by surprise and forced me to be a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants as the characters called the shots. I’ve always had a firm vision for where a story’s beginning, middle and end – the characters – the setting. And about a month into writing this one, I called my editor to ask if she minded if I scrapped everything, changed the locale to another continent, and started over. I would still deliver the book on time. She said, “Go for it.” And I did. Hope readers enjoy the results of where my muse hauled me!
On This Mission, There Are No Accidents…
Pararescueman Jose “Cuervo” James is the guy they call for the most dangerous assignments. He lives for his job.
On a high-risk rescue deep in the African jungle, Jose encounters sexy, smart Interpol agent Stella Carson. They’d once had an affair that burned hot and fast, but family is everything to Stella, and Jose just can’t go there.
Fate has thrown them into the deadly hot zone together, and sparks will fly…but only if they can live to tell about it.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Catherine: LOL! Before FREE FALL, I would have said I’m a total plotter. But as I noted above, FREE FALL unfolded for me as I wrote. Usually, though, I plot out details ahead of time, using Joseph Cambell and Christopher Vogler’s “Hero’s Journey” steps. I highly recommend Christopher Vogler’s WRITER’S JOURNEY to writers of all genres.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Catherine: I always carry a note pad in my purse and one by my bed. I’m also notorious for writing ideas on a sticky note pad or back of an old envelope. I keep a basket by my computer to toss the ideas into and reference. It may even be a new word I love the sound of and want to use. When I finish a book, I make sure to go through the basket to see if I included everything.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Catherine: Working from home. Working from home. Working from home. Truly, it depends on the day! It’s an awesome gift to have the flexibility of writing at home or when I travel, but it’s also difficult to explain to others that I’m not always free to drop everything in the middle of the day. However, it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to adjust my schedule to be there for my family when they need me most – such as recently when my daughter had her first child. Her husband was deployed to the Middle East and I was able to stay with her for three weeks, helping her through the birth and settling in afterward. I wouldn’t have missed that for the world! Yet, I do know that in most any other job, being away for 3 weeks would have been next to impossible. So, bottom line, I love my job for many reasons!
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Catherine: Ah, what a fun question! Jose would be played by Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Stella would be played by Emma Stone.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Catherine: Free time? You mean a person’s allowed to have free time? Why did no one tell me about this before now? (Just kidding!) I spend most of my free time volunteering at my local Humane Society and traveling to see my kids who have grown up so very fast!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Catherine: In April, book 3 in my “Alpha Brotherhood series lands on shelves – PLAYING FOR KEEPS, Harlequin Desire.