Wednesday, October 05, 2011

REV UP WEDNESDAY - A weekly booster shot for inspiration... Catching up with CATHERINE MANN


Hello world

Today's Rev Up Wednesday author hails from Florida - USA Today bestseller, Catherine Mann. Passionate about animal rescue and a RITA award winner, Catherine "writes action-packed military suspense for Berkley and Sourcebooks, and steamy romances for Harlequin Desire." (plucked from your bio, Catherine :)). Catherine is a breezy, down-to-earth gal who is proudly married to a military flyboy husband - a man who seems to be a lot like the heroes she writes about - and has four children. While making her dreams come true on the personal front, however, she has also had the perseverance to hang on tight to her dreams of becoming a published author. And, it all paid off in the end.

TREAT FOR READERS: Catherine posted a FREE prequel novella (composed of 5 chapters) which chronicles the high school romance of the hero and heroine in her Harlequin Desire novel, ACQUIRED: CEO’S SMALL TOWN BRIDE. Click here to read “Rafe & Sarah: The Beginning”! (Text Copyright © 2011 by Harlequin Books S.A. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.)

PLUS, A REALLY COOL TREAT FOR READERS OF THIS BLOG: Catherine is nice enough to donate a FREE copy of BILLIONAIRE'S JET SET BABIES and a copy of COVER ME to one winner. Please leave your email address along with your comment, and I'll contact the winner for their snail mail info. You have until Tuesday, October 11 to participate by commenting on this blog post :). ONLY RULE: WINNERS MUST HAVE A U.S. OR CANADA ADDRESS, PLEASE.

And here's all about Catherine's journey as a writer...


How long have you been writing?

My first book – WEDDING AT WHITE SANDS – landed on shelves in June 2002, a total dream come true!

When did you decide that you wanted to write for a living (that "aha" moment)?

I’d dreamed of writing a romance novel for years and my husband kept encouraging me to give it a try. Finally, one night when my husband was away on a TDY and the kids were all asleep, I ran out of things to read. So I decided to start writing a book of my own.

What did your family say when you told them you wanted to be a writer?

They all believed in the dream long before I did. They’re every bit as proud of me as I am of them!

What is your preferred genre both for reading and writing?

I write both steamy short contemporaries and longer romantic suspense. I read all over the spectrum – a mix of romance and pop fiction. I recently read and enjoyed the HUNGER GAMES trilogy.

Did you start by writing full time or did you have a day job?

I write full time, often seven days a week.

Did you take any writing courses or did you just sit and write a book?

My BA and MA are in Theater, and I have minors in both English and Education.

Did/do you have a crit group or mentor to guide you?

My critique partner, Joanne Rock, writes for Harlequin Blaze and Historicals. We have critiqued each other’s work for over a decade. FMI on Joanne’s wonderful work, visit her website at: http://joannerock.com

Do you use a/several pseudonym(s) and if so, why did you choose to have one/them?

I am Catherine Mann, no pseudonym.

How long did it take you to make your first sale? What was your first thought when you did?
I made my first sale almost exactly three years after I started writing.

Did you sell the first story or novel you wrote?
I sold my 5th novel.

How many drafts did you write of your first novel before you felt you got it right? What about now - do you still write several drafts of a story?

I write a book, polish it and move on. The book I sold was a polished first draft. The editor had some revisions, of course. I believe I still have that first edited manuscript around my house somewhere.

Did you get an agent first or did you submit directly to publishers?

I signed with an agent before ever submitting a book. I’m blessed with a wonderful agent – Barbara Collins Rosenberg.

If you signed with an agent, how did you go about the process of finding your agent/publisher?

Met her at an RWA conference.

Did you ever get rejected? If so, how did you handle it?

Hey, remember that answer above about selling my 5th book?! :-) How did I handle rejection? Once I finished a book, I promptly started on the next. So when the rejections came – and they did – when the editor asked if I happened to have anything else to submit, I had the next book ready.

What, in your opinion, do agents/publishers look for in a new author in the current market? Is it all to do with talent or with trends?
I think editors are primarily looking for the same thing now that they were ten years ago – an author with a strong voice, who behaves professionally and is as low maintenance as possible!

Are your books available in print or in digital format?

My more recent books are still available in print. Almost my entire backlist has been reissued in ebook form.

What advice do you think aspiring authors should heed today?

Write the best book you can write, then write another, and another. Trends are all well and good and certainly an author should be market savvy. But keep in mind if you chase a trend, by the time you’ve written that book, a new trend could have arrived. So write to your strengths and let your voice shine though.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a military romantic suspense single title and am also working on a novella. I usually have a couple of projects I’m working on at the same time.


Do you read when you are plotting or writing a story?

Honestly, I read whenever a great book flies through my radar. Although usually, when I finish writing a book, I like to take a long weekend and stay up late reading book after book. I recently read all three of the HUNGER GAMES books in one long weekend. Had a blast!

What book inspired you to write romance (or whatever genre you write in)?

I started reading romance with books by Laurie McBain and Kathleen Woodiwiss. When I stumbled upon Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Linda Howard, I quickly devoured their entire backlists.

What hero/heroine/character was the most fun or challenging to write for you?

The most challenging is ALWAYS the one I’m writing today. :-)

How do you juggle work, writing, chores and family/personal life? Do you have a secret to time management that you want to share with readers?

I set page count goals for each week. If I meet my goals by Friday, I get the weekend off. If I don’t, then I catch up on the weekend. That also provides a great motivation for my family to respect writing time since if I can play on the weekend, that works better for them too!

What's your website URL?

http://catherinemann.com

Are you on Facebook?

I’m on Facebook at Catherine Mann (author)
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623542806#!/pages/Catherine-Mann-Author/155339917846784

How do you connect with readers?

I can be found on Facebook and Twitter just about everyday.
My Twitter account is CatherineMann1.

About Catherine:

USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes military suspense for Sourcebooks and Berkley, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin Desire. A RITA Award winner, she has over two million books in print in more than 20 countries. Catherine resides in Florida with her husband, their four children and growing number of Humane Society pets.

Upcoming releases with link to excerpts:

BILLIONAIRE’S JET SET BABIES, “Billionaires and Babies”
Harlequin Desire, October 2011
Excerpt: http://www.catherinemann.com/billionaires-jet-set-babies/

Playing house...

While cleaning a jet for entrepreneur Seth Jansen, Alexa Randall finds the strangest items: his one-year-old twins! Seth needs a temporary nanny; Alexa needs time for a one-on-one business pitch. So she says yes to an intimate stay on a lush Florida island—and yes to the man who’s passion makes her question the choices she’s made.

Living in luxury brings back memories of the world she left behind. The babies remind her of the family she once wanted. And the nights with Seth are…incomparable. This billionaire could be the man of her dreams—if he’s not out of her league.

***

HOT ZONE, “Elite Force” book 2
Sourcebooks, December 2011
Excerpt: http://www.catherinemann.com/hot-zone/

Days full of danger…

For Pararescueman Master Sergeant Hugh Franco, it’s all about saving other people’s lives. Then he moves on. But when he pulls beautiful Amelia Bailey and her adopted nephew from the rubble of a catastrophic earthquake, he finds himself entangled in their lives in ways he could never have imagined…

And desire-filled nights…

Amelia’s trip to the Bahamas to help with an international adoption has been no vacation, but the hardest part is yet to come. As Amelia and Hugh are pulled unawares into a deadly smuggling scheme, simmering beneath their growing need to protect each other is a compelling attraction they’re both determined to deny…

“Elite Force” series:
Book 1: COVER ME, July 2011
Book 2: HOT ZONE, December 2011
Book 3: UNDER FIRE, May 2012

Hope you enjoyed this week's offering.

Until next time, live well and love deeply!

~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love.

"Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.