A Chat With Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock

HTLAGI10D-MediumDear Readers,

For today’s blog, Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock wanted to share a little about their new Runaway Brides series for Tule, but they also wanted to give readers a chance to be a part of their friendship and working relationship. So today, Cathy and Joanne are having a “Chat With…” and invite you to pull up a chair and make yourself at home.

J: Come in! Come in! We’ve almost got all our clutter tucked away so we’re suitable for company. When Cathy and I visit, we tend to spread out a bit and surround ourselves with snacks. Lucky for you, we left out some Jelly Bellys and Diet Cokes… can I get you anything?

C: Don’t mind the dog toys.  And dogs. And foster puppies. And stacks of paperwork. (Not sure why I decided to start an animal rescue while writing full time, but find these furbabies do fuel the muse!) So, welcome to my writing “den.”

J: We were just brainstorming story ideas and lost track of the time.  Once, when our kids were little, we got so caught up plotting out a series that our children ganged up on us and demanded we leave the McDonald’s Play Place.

C: I think that happened every time we went to the park. Or McDonald’s. (Remember the time one of our kids slid down the slide into a mud puddle and we were the ones crying because we had to leave the park?!) There’s something wonderfully synergistic about brainstorming with Joanne. Our minds travel plotting paths together in a way that makes this job so incredibly much easier.

J: But that was back in the pre-first s ale days when we had so many stories in our brains, they were coming out our ears.  We talked about story premises and the craft of writing eight hours a day, I think. It was my full time job.

C: Kind of like now, except we don’t live in the same town. So we learned ways to brainstorm over the phone and via e-mail. And I gotta say, still seems like we have stories coming out of our ears!

J: Yes, but there’s a new kind of peace about storytelling now that there’s a relative certainty that we have an audience. When we brainstorm now, it’s more focused on a character or two, whereas in the early days, we would discuss every single facet of a story.

C: Linking all the stories through weddings and the Southern setting has been a particular blast, focusing in on the character quirks that led to how even the wedding gown was chosen. I love it! It’s like living in an episode of Just Say Yes to the Dress where each bride is there with her family or friends trying desperately to find the right look for her happily ever after!   

J: It’s been such an incredible gift to work on a series together. We have invested a lot of time in one another’s stories over the years, critiquing each other’s books. I’ve read every word Cathy’s written since before her first sale, and vice versa! So we have a very strong sense of one another’s voices. It was fun to talk about the overlap—the kinds of books we both love to write—and come up with a series we wanted to do together.

C: It’s interesting to me that we never came upon the idea of co-authoring before. The Tule staff and supportive community of writers nudged us into this realization and we’re so very glad they did.


J: Tule has given Cathy and I a chance to visit again. And now that we live farther apart and don’t have small kids to drag to the Play Place, it’s great to have a reason to sit down and brainstorm together. Just having had this chance to work with a friend—to share more laughs and more Jelly Bellys—has given me new creative inspiration for the rest of the year. Working with friends helps you to love your work more, and that’s a really good thing.

C:   I’m reminded of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”  Thank you, Joanne, for believing in my work. And most of all, thank you for your friendship. Looking forward to many more projects and shared Diet Cokes over the years.


cathymannUSA Today bestselling and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann has written over fifty romance novels and her work has been released in more than 20 countries. Catherine has a Master’s Degree in Theater, having written her thesis about powerful Shakespearean women. Born and raised in the South, Catherine and her flyboy husband have four children and reside in Florida where she is the President and a founding member of the Sunshine State Animal Rescue.
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joannerockJoanne Rock writes romance of all shapes and sizes from sexy contemporary to medieval historical and an occasional Young Adult story. She’s penned over seventy books, appearing most often in the Harlequin Blaze series. Joanne taught English at the college level before becoming a full-time writer, and she returns to the classroom as often as possible to share her love of stories. A quiet and unassuming Virgo, Joanne married a fiery and boisterous Aries man in true opposites-attract fashion.
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Readers, look for Cathy and Joanne’s books, How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days and The Wedding Audition on Amazon and download them today!

Cathy and Joanne also have a lovely giveaway for Janeblog readers!  For a chance to win this fabulous prize, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win!  Contest ends Sunday night with winner announced on Monday, April 13th.  Good luck!!



  1. Hi Joanne, nice to see you here. I have read and really enjoyed your books. I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing and the great giveaway!

  2. how do you write a story without using people you know/live with…. as the characters. Seems like it would be so easy to do and tick some people off at the same time. privacy and all that.

    1. Oh, that’s an interesting line. I like to put character traits from people I know into a blender so that a totally unique person emerges!! One friend’s sarcastic sense of humors merges with someone else’s profession, and it’s sprinkled with a character quirk from a third party…. voila! It’s not a copy of anyone, but it results in a personalities that feel really authentic. So glad you stopped by the blog!

  3. Love y’all writing! The books are fabulous! You live the life I dream…writing and rescuing animals!

    1. Thank you, Suzie Q! I feel very lucky and honored to get to do have both my dreams come true – writing and starting a rescue. They both bring me a lot of joy. 🙂

  4. Kinda reminds me of the ‘quote’ and I don’t know who said it…
    “Make me angry with you and I’ll write you into a book and kill you.”

  5. What a wonderful friendship. It’s like having a sister you don’t have to share a last name with.

    1. It’s exactly like that. I count my blessings for a lot of people in my life, but it seems like Cathy’s name is always heading up the list. She is proof that people are put into our paths for a reason!!

  6. so love your chat and must go check out these interesting books – thanks for the beautiful giveaway prize – keeping fingers crossed my name gets picked – after all my name is Jo Anne 🙂 LOL

  7. both are new to me authors; I love romance the best and was just handed more titles to try.
    I get giddy when I see author goodies/giveaways, lol. Love the looks of the giveaway. thanks.

    1. Robyn, I went a little crazy at TJ Maxx buying pink things to match these covers for some upcoming giveaways. I have three sons, and there is a definite lack of pink in my life, so when there is an opportunity for pink, I go for it!

  8. “Bought” the free book and I´ll look into the other one too. Great blog by the way. Loved reading it.

  9. I started reading both of you in Harlequin books & now you are both on my must buy list.Can’t wait to read The Wedding Auditions.

  10. I just finished How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days and I loved it. I can’t wait to read more of these great stories… You gals are the bomb!!!

  11. Nice “seeing” you again Joanne and nice “meeting”you Catherine. Btw love Emerson and used a quote similar for senior yearbooks back in the 80’s. Lol

  12. It’s so nice to be introduced to two new writers (new to me that is). I’ve ordered both books and am looking forward to starting a new series. But there are so many new books, I don’t know where to start.

  13. What a fun post! I had fun reading this Chat With post and I think it’s amazing you can both write for a living. I just finished How to Lose a Groom in 10 days and starting the Wedding audition next! btw I loved the puppy in How to Lose a Groom, I am assuming that was Catherine her influence? It seems like a great opportunity you finally got to write a series together!

  14. Hi Joanne and Cathy! I can’t wait to dig into your new series; it’s going to be fabulous. I know this because both of you write wonderful stories and I think it’s great that you’ve teamed on this project.

    Big hugs and congrats!

  15. Found it was same but different part. The glory of friendship is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when one discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him. I loved it almost 30
    Years ago and still love it. He was from mass too and Thoreau who did on walden pond too I liked

  16. hey great post enjoyed reading ,,two things i love reading and contests,,hoo hoo! lol,,thans for the chance

  17. This sounds wonderful! I love reading Novella’s. It’s always fun getting 2 authors perspective. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  18. This is so fun! Right now I’m sitting with my golden puppy. I love your books Joanne, and Cathy I’m looking forward to reading yours! Thank you for a chance to win the great prizes.

  19. I downloaded both books and I’m hoping I get a chance to read them this weekend. Since I always enjoy both your books I’m sure I will.

  20. I think it is wonderful that two equally talented authors can work together and find lasting friendship also. I wish you continued success and enduring friendship!

  21. Thank you for sharing with us today Ladies! I’ve been a huge fan of you both for years. I’ve already downloaded the first two books and can hardly wait to read them! Have a wonderful rest of the week Ladies!

  22. I think it is awesome when authors come together and put their influence into a book. Great friends = great books. I can’t wait to read it.

  23. When I first got married, I was almost a runaway bride, I guess wedding jitters. So lucky, I went through the wedding and had 36 wonderful years before my husband died due to cancer. I advise everyone to see a doctor and have yearly checkups. It may save your life.
    I would love to win and read the book.

    1. There is so much focus on a bride at her wedding, so much fanfare leading up to it, and so many hopes and dreams all folded into that day. It’s enough to make any bride panic! I had hives for weeks before my wedding and kept insisting it wasn’t stress. Yet I’ve never had them since. I’m so sorry you lost the one who made you smile, Rebecca, but so glad you went through with that wedding :-).

  24. Got my reviews done on The Wedding Audition, so enjoyed it. The prize looks great, fingers crossed.

  25. I am already a big fan of Jane Porter and Catherine Mann, so a collaboration with Joanne Rock will be a great addition. I downloaded the freebie, so thanks for that. I will be reading soon and looking forward the rest of the series.

  26. What a wonderful friendship. I’m so blast you were both nudged into writing a book together. I enjoy both of you talented writers. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    Carol L

  27. I really enjoyed How to Loose a Groom in 10 Days and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

  28. Hi! I’ve read both books and loved them both and have been passing them around to my friends who read. I’m going to download both stories now, can’t wait to read them both! love all your books!

  29. Looking forward to reading these new stories. I enjoy the “pink” theme. I also have 3 boys so most things are blues, browns, etc. Also, like the “pink” in support of breast cancer. Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Thanks for being here today! I love your books. I’m looking forward to reading your new book. It sounds wonderful!

  31. You make it sound so easy and like so much fun to brain storm. (I know its not easy!) Not sure how you can drink diet coke though, yuck.

  32. Hi Joanne! I’m looking forward to reading yours and Cathy’s books. I’ve already got them on my e-reader. 😉

  33. Thanks for the giveaway and the good reads.
    Glad you let us in and love getting to know you as a person

  34. Hi Joanne & Cathy!! I loved your post. You two are clearly funny & creative. I look forward to reading these books. Thank you for sharing so much about yourselves.

  35. I can imagine your kids ganging up on you and that’s so hilarious! Glad that you teo enjoy co-authoring!

  36. Thank you for such a fun post to read through. I look forward to catching up with all of your books.

  37. Love your work. Just got How To Lose A Groom In 10 Days. Will enjoy it soon but just wanted to say both of you are great authors.

  38. I have never read anything you have the bride series interests me. I usually read Sheryl Woods but this caught my eye and looks very interesting and you two seem very nice too. I can’t wait to start my first book!

  39. Hi Catherine and Joanne. I loved hearing about your creative process. I’m excited to read your books!

  40. I have not read any of your books as you two are new to me authors, but these books sound like really interesting reads. I may need to check them out.
    I love thst you are creating a series with different authors. I have noticed other authors/publishing houses doing this, and I usually love the results.
    Catherine Mann, I especially love that you founded a rescue place. There never seem to be enough good ones.
    Haopy book release to you Catherine and Joanne!
    Thanks or the chance to win your giveaway.

    1. Jen, she is a tireless advocate. I’m continually amazed how hard she works every single day to do all the good she does and still write wonderful books, too!!

  41. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I do love Jane’s books and totally respect her opinion, so you have just moved up to the top of my must read list!

  42. What lovely covers! I’d enjoy reading these.. The giveaway is wonderful, thanks for a chance to read your books…
    Dkstevens neAToutlookDotCOm

  43. *** Winner!!*** Congratulations to RITA JO, winner of the thread prize!! Rita, all you need to do is email me at jrock008@gmail.com with a mailing address and I’ll put this fun prize pack in the mail for you ASAP!!

    Thank you ALL for visiting with Cathy and I during our release week!

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