Interview & Contest: Catherine Mann

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAJen:  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:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


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.

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40 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Catherine Mann

  1. Leona Olson says:

    I went into your website and also goodreads. I will have to check on your books. I sgned up for your newsletter.

  2. I always get ideas for stories at random moments too: when I’m driving, waiting in the grocery line, sitting in a lecture at school (when my eyes begin to glaze over…). I always keep a pen with me so I can jot them down—at least on my hand—but I’ve been known to scribble on novels I’m reading, textbooks, homework, furniture, and once even on the side of my sneaker! I was desperate! But inspiration really does strike at the randomest times. Thanks for a fun interview!

    ♥ Karielle @ Books à la Mode

  3. Viki S. says:

    This is new for me. I enjoyed the interview and have always wondered how an author does it working from home. There are so many distractions. Authors just amaze me :).
    Thank you.

    • Thank you very much for the comment, Viki! It’s always exciting to hear a new reader found me through an interview like this. 🙂 Hope you enjoy my stories!!

  4. Chelsea B. says:

    Hi, Catherine! *Waves* Congratulations on your new and upcoming release!

  5. Catherine your basket of sticky notes is a great idea! I wonder though, do you ever get confused looking over what you scribbled down? 🙂

  6. Evelyn says:

    Do you ever feel like giving up in a story or characters? How do you choose whose story gets told?

    • Wow, that’s great question, Evelyn. There are days when I feel like a story isn’t working right – in that case, I step away from the story for a few hours or a day, talk through my concerns with a writing buddy, like my critique partner Joanne Rock. Usually that helps me get back on track. As for whose story gets told…. the characters tell me. 🙂 Truly, I can feel it in a book when someone new has cropped into a book and just has a story lurking there waiting to be told!

  7. corey says:

    It’s interesting that the author didn’t know where the story was going…esp. with it being the fourth book. I would really like to read them in order – winning the first three would be a bonus.

    • Corey – the story change surprised the dickens out of me too! I learn something new with every book I write. I hope I continue to keep learning and never get complacent!! I think it’s important that a write never get too *comfortable* with the process … always be hungry and open to where the muse might haul you! (Hope that made sense!)

  8. Brenda Hopkins says:

    I enjoy all of your books and am always excited to see the next new release.

    How do you decide how many main characters to put in a series?

    And I do love the Emma Stone idea!

  9. Brenda Crider says:

    LOVE all your books! Can’t wait for the newest one!!!! What a FANTASTIC interview!!!!

  10. Dakota Lech says:

    Hi Cathy!
    My very dear friend Vicky recently sent your Elite Forces books home with me on my last visit to Florida. She has been telling me and telling me..”You have to read these books!” She was right…I am loving them. I’ve read the first three within a week. I’m half way through Jose and can’t wait to see what happens next. Thanks for writing these awesome books.

  11. Marcy Shuler says:

    Hi Cathy!

    Do you have a preference as to what you like to write better: Single Titles or Category? I read both but I was curious because of the difference in word count between them.

  12. Brenda Walls says:

    I absolutely love all your books as you know since I always tell you on Facebook am looking forward to reading the last 3 books in the series I really enjoyed Cover Me.

  13. Filia Oktarina says:

    I never read yous books before, i don’t know must say what. You’re new author for me.
    Free Fall look interesting, i will add on my list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Josette Schaber says:

    I’m not good at comments sometimes… not sure what to say when I haven’t read the book. Not all of us are good at coming up with a question.

    I am interested in this series, because some of my book club are into these types of storylines. They love service men 😉

  15. Annah says:

    I love Emma Stone. She’s great in everything she’s in so I bet she would be perfect for the role. That was a great question.


    Catherine, I actually haven’t read any of this series yet, but have added it to my wish list, Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre.,

  17. elizabeth gray says:

    Catherine is a new author to me, but I have a few of her books. Heard great things about this series, and I can’t wait to start reading.

  18. Maureen says:

    It must be a wonderful feeling, when a story takes off to the point where all things in the story change.

  19. JoAnne says:

    I just reviewed Free Fall for this site and loved it – it was a definite 5. I had commented that I didn’t realize it was part of a series and that I have to go back and read books 1 – 3 and then any others that come after Free Fall. Lo and behold look what the prizes are!
    Great interview – thanks for sharing.

  20. Louise Pledge says:

    I love how you say that the characters wrote the book for you! 🙂 I’m eager to read it.

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