Friday, July 8, 2011

Interview with Catherine Mann

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Catherine Mann. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called COVER ME. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

COVER ME is the first in my new military romantic suspense series. “Elite Force” features air force special operations pararescuemen, trained in high-risk rescue, combat or humanitarian. More books are already in the works with HOT ZONE (December 2011) and UNDER FIRE (May 2012.)

COVER ME is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

COVER ME fits the story on a number of levels. The book is a military suspense novel, so the COVER ME refers to the hero and heroine watching out for each other. The book is also set in Alaska, so there’s a very literal sense of keeping warm. And of course it’s a romance, so COVER ME has a sexy connotation on those cold Alaska nights.

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

I would call it military romantic suspense, but it’s been interesting to see some of the reviews coming in label it s a thriller. All have agreed it’s steamy!

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always been an avid reader of both romantic suspense and romances. So it’s a natural fit for me to write in both genres for Sourcebooks, Harlequin and Berkley. As for the military angle, my husband served for over twenty years as an air force aviator.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I had already decided to write a PJ series and was brainstorming ideas when I came across an article in National Geographic about the Aleutian Islands. The article noted how Russian missionaries referred to it as “the land that God forgot.” That sent a real chill down my spine. I knew then, I’d found the place to set the first book in the “Elite Force” series!

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

When I begin a book, I have a basic outline in place, along with a number of key scenes in mind. I have character sketches for all the main players, including the villain. However, I do have to say the villain in this story really surprised me. I had a major revelation about his character about three weeks before I turned the book in and had to go back and re-work all his scenes. While I was surprised at the twist my story took, I am thrilled with how it all played out!

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

My husband served for over twenty years in the Air Force and is awesome about brainstorming story ideas and plot points. He proofreads my books for fact checking. I also live only a few miles away from Hurlburt Field, headquarters for Air Force Special Operations Command. And in a lucky twist of fate, my chiropractor also happens to be a retired pararescueman. He’s been great about sharing stories about his active duty adventures.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I always enjoy creating a new military squadron – especially coming up with their back stories and call signs (nick-names.) Once I have my crew/team, I’m ready to roll!

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I keep files on characters with lists of their histories (or as much as I know when the story starts.) I also choose photos of actors and actresses who resemble those characters. Research adds layers to those characters, like suiting them up for battle.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

I’m an avid romance reader and have been a long time fan of books by Suzanne Brockmann, Lori Foster, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Gardner, Linda Howard, Teresa Mederios, Christina Dodd… My list could go on and on.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

It’s tough to know what’s the most effective, but I do know what’s the most rewarding. I truly enjoy interacting with readers on Facebook (Catherine Mann author) and Twitter (CatherineMann1). I can also always be reached through my website:

What do we have to look forward next?

I have a wonderfully busy few months ahead on the shelves:
COVER ME, Sourcebooks, July 2011
BILLIONAIRE’S JET SET BABIES, Harlequin Desire, Oct. 2011
IRRESISTIBLY HIS, Harlequin Showcase, Nov. 2011
HOT ZONE, Sourcebooks, Dec. 2011
PROTECTOR, Berkley Sensation, March 2012
PROMOTED TO PAPA, Harlequin Desire, April 2012
UNDER FIRE, Sourcebooks, May 2012

Thanks, Catherine!

CM: Thank YOU for inviting me to hang out!

To celebrate her book release, Catherine Mann is offering a free book of COVER ME to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

USA Today bestseller Catherine Mann has over two million books in print in more than twenty counties. A RITA Award winner, she lives in the Florida panhandle with her flyboy husband, their four children and menagerie of pets.

Check out author’s website at
Buy at amazon:

Barnes & Noble:


Paula R said...

Good morning everyone!!! You don't have to count me in for the contest...already have my copy of this book.

Hi Cathy, just popping in to show some love. Loved the responses to the questions. "The land that God forgot" sent a shiver up my spine.

It's interesting to read about your process. Character sketches for all key players, outlines...that would totally overwhelm me. In time, I'm sure I'll figure it all out.

Thank you for writing, and paying tribute to our military heroes. I can't wait to read this one. I'm trying to hold out until Hot Zone gets here. I have a feeling I will want more NOW when I get into COVER ME. I love a good romantic suspense, and when you throw in military heroes that makes it even better.

Have a great day here, and eat enough chocolate for me!!!

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Catherine. I guess I wasn't the first one here to get this party started. Thanks for stopping by Paula. And thanks for joining us today Catherine, I'm getting your chocolate ready. What's your favorite kind? Like you, I keep a Word file for my main characters, but I find my pictures through sites like istock and fotolio. I also do chapter sketches, time lines, a cast of characters, and spreadsheets of my fictitious towns to keep everything straight. Hey I'm a Virgo, what can I say? What does your typical writing day look like? Thanks again for stopping by an enjoy your day with us.

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Paula! I'm glad to know you're on the look out for HOT ZONE too. :) Thanks bunches for stopping by today - and thank you for your service in the military!

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Kim! What's my favorite chocolate? Hmmmm.... I love a pepperment mocha latte.... I like any kind of chocolate mixed with a mint flavor, actually. :)

Thank you so much for having me here today!

Desere said...

Hi Catharine ,

I had the chance to speak to you about the book over on SOS Alhoa and the more I hear about it the more I am determined to get my greedy hands on a copy !

Thanks for the chance to win !


EllenToo said...

Catherine I have to admit up until now I have only read your Harlequin books ~ which I absolutely love ~ but it looks like I will be looking for your other books soon. Having been a world geography teacher I am very familiar with the Aleutian Islands being called "the land that God forgot" and it is interesting that that resonated with you so much that you set the book there.

Paula R said...

You're welcome, Cathy! Chocolate and military heroes are quite a draw for me. I mean, you are!!! Love you.

Kim, thank you for the welcome.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Catherine Mann said...

Thank you, Desere!!! I appreciate your stopping by here and the SOS blog!! XXOO!

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Ellen! I didn't know you're a world geography teacher - how cool to find someone else who'd heard that bit about the Aleutian Islands. Thank you for reading my Harlequin novels - and for being willing to try out my other works as well. :)

Anita Hayes said...

Hey Catherine,
Just had to stop by and leave some love for you. You already know how I feel about your books. This was very interesting reading. Thanks for inviting us on facebook. Oh and as I was already a winner of one of your books this year, keep me out of this one and let someone else win. Hugs to all for a great day.
Anita Hayes

EllenToo said...

Catherine ~ I taught World Geography the last 5 years before retiring and that is another whole story starting when the state required ninth graders to take a world geography class and there were no certified teachers in the school where I taught!!!!

Catherine Mann said...

:::waving::: Hi Anita! Thank you s much for stopping by to say hello!! :)

catslady said...

Just wanted to say I've been hearing such great things about this book and I look forward to reading it!!

Melissa Jarvis said...

I'm a big fan of research, and you are very lucky to have access to the resources you do! I like my books to be in the middle of the action. I agree with Paul on the description of the Islands--how can you NOT write about that? I will definitely check this series out.

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Catherine. I'm looking forward to your new Elite Force series.

Catherine Mann said...

Thank you, Melissa! So happy to know the blog enticed you to try out the book!! Always great to know what attracts new readers. Thanks and happy reading. :)

Catherine Mann said...

XXOO! Thank you, Jane!!! Hope you enjoy the Elite Force heroes.... :)

Estella said...

Congrats on the new release!
I been hearing good things about this book. Can't wait to read it.

Linda Andrews said...

The series sounds great Catherine. How many books do you write a year and do you have time for hobbies?

Caris said...

Congratulations on such a solid career, but really, how do you write so many books in one year!?! Do you ever get just plain worn out especially with such a big family? How do you do it all!


Catherine Mann said...

Estalla, so very happy to know you're hearing positive buzz about COVER ME! Thanks!

Catherine Mann said...

Hey there, Catslady! I just realized I missed your post earlier. We must have cossed cyber waves as I was posting. Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello!

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Linda! In answer to your questions, I write 4-6 books a year for Sourcebooks, Harlequin and Berkley. As for my spare time, I spend that with my family (we have four kids) and we foster puppies and special needs dogs for the Humane Society. My idea of a relaxing day is to float in the pool with a diet coke while the kids and dogs swim around me! LOL!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Catherine.Great interview. I love your books. Cover Me sounds good.

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Caris - That's a great question. Yes, I absolutely do get worn out sometimes. This summer has been particularly intense for me with graduations and kids moving and family visiting. All wonderful things, great blessings in my life, but not much time leftover. It's funny that you ask now as I tried to nap this afternoon and had the phone ring three times! Over the years tho, I've learned ways to recharge... I adore walks on teh beach, reading a good book by the pool, watching movies on Netflix with the family, playing with my dogs, neighborhood picnic. My life isn't particularly exotic - I just enjoy being a part of my family and community, with the grill going, the sound of laughter riding the wind and some beach music in the background!

Na said...

Hi Catharine,

I find military men in romance very appealing, especially in romantic suspense which is fast-paced and is set up for these men to showcase their heroic abilities. Beyond that, when I think of military men, it is not just bravery, loyalty and strength that they have utlized and honed on their missions but darker things as well. Homesickness, killing, warfare and other dangerous things are things some of these men have spent days, years even getting "used" to without a loved one by their side. They come back changed, perhaps damaged and it is going to take a very special woman to help them get through this. This is what I love best about military men. COVER ME looks great and I can't wait to read it.

Catherine Mann said...

Hi Crystal! Thanks! I had fun with the interview!!

Catherine Mann said...

Na, I'm so glad you enjoy reading about heroes in uniform, the real man, layers and all! Thanks!

Catherine Mann said...

Thank you so much for having me here today!! I've had a blast visiting with everyone. Once Kim sends me the name and e-mail of the contest winner, I'll take care of sending out the prize! XXOO! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Maureen said...

Congratulations Catherine on your new series. Are they all going to be set in unusual locations?
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Catherine Mann said...

Great queston about locations, Maureen! COVER ME b1 is in Alaska. HOT ZONE bk 2 is in the Bahamas (after an earthquake), and UNDER FIRE bk 3 is near NASA & then the FL everglades. The key for these stories is placing the hero and heroine in unique, high risk rescue scenarios. Thanks for asking!