Pitch Wars Interview with K.K. Hendin and her mentor, Tamara Mataya
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with K.K. Hendin and her mentor, Tamara Mataya

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have #TeamBedazzledDiscoStick . . .  K.K. Hendin – Mentee Twitter | Website   Tamara Mataya – Mentor Twitter | Website   KK: Why did you choose Tamara for your mentor? Tamara, in her requests, mentioned she was looking for a few things: romance, comedy, a dosage of TWSS jokes, and diversity-all things that both described my MS, and things that were important for a mentor of my book to appreciate and be able to help me with. The resulting emails that led to me picking up an idea I had nearly forgotten about and also the words ‘Gilderoy Lockhart but 87% more chest hair’ kind of sealed the deal because if that wasn’t a sign that we’re kind of brain twins in ridiculousness and inappropriateness I’m not quite sure what does. Tamara: Why did you choose KK? I absolutely loved the characters. I read this book and could see it as a movie or series that people could fall in love with and be invested in. It’s FUN. Well-repped diversity, laughs, crime, and characters you want to be—or be with? I had to have it. And when I realized KK co-founded MSWL, which is an enormously helpful tool for the writing community, I knew she’s an incredibly generous person who cares about others. KK: Summarize your book in three words. Oh God Why (Undercover YouTuber Badasses, Kira Threatens Everyone, Aunties Are Everywhere, Don’t Do Drugs, Secret YouTube Drama) …I Can’t Follow Directions Tamara: Summarize KK’s book in three words. Voicey, High-Concept shenanigans KK: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a writer living in a library disguised as an apartment with my obnoxious beta fish. Probably half of my writing gets done while I wait for the subway to arrive, or for it to finish ‘being delayed because of train traffic ahead of us.’ I’ve never been good at staying in predetermined boxes, and writing is no different. I’m a full speed ahead, a ‘hey wouldn’t that be hilarious?? Who cares if you have no idea what you’re doing’ kind of writer, which leads me to doing things like taking a bunch of genres, shoving them into a metaphorical blender and writing LIES UNDERCOVER. Some of the most ridiculous parts of LU are actually kind of autobiographical-let’s just say, the aunties are toned down versions of...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Kelli Newby and her mentor, Tamara Mataya
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with Kelli Newby and her mentor, Tamara Mataya

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .  Kelli Newby – Mentee Twitter | Website Tamara Mataya – Mentor Twitter | Website Kelli: Why did you choose Tamara? I had positive associations with Tamara because she runs #Pitchmas.  Then her bio said this: “I write romantic friction (wink wink), literary fiction, romantic comedy, dark contemporary, and sexy urban fantasy….My muse needs a bitch slap because she doesn’t understand branding.”  I knew immediately our muses were probably related, and Tamara would understand me. Tamara: Why did you choose Kelli? I loaded all my requests onto my kindle because I read in the bathtub. I devoured Kelli’s manuscript. It was sexy, well-written, and made me laugh out loud more than once. The world she’s created in these pages is unique and exciting for Women’s Fiction and will stand out in a big way. I can already see the merchandise! It was so well done that I reached the end and kept trying to flip further to see the acknowledgments the way I do with published books. I was in love and felt very proprietary over her haha. Kelli: Summarize your book in three words. Lawyers versus LARPers Tamara: Summarize Kelli’s book in three words. Fresh, Infinitely marketable. Kelli: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a PitchWars 2014 alum who’s recently switched from writing LitFic to writing romance.  Actually, the antagonist in my PW2016 book is the heroine of my PW 2014 book. In my non-writing life, I’m a part-time English professor (with focus on fantasy fiction) and a playwright. Tamara: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Music is my first love. I sing, compose, play the guitar and a little piano. I’ve wanted to release a novel with a companion soundtrack since 2008. The book is written, but I haven’t had the time to record because of my writing schedule (I write AND ghostwrite and have written 4 novels in the last year). Maybe in 2017!   Check out Tamara Mataya’s Summer Love Series . . . Missed Connections (Summer Love Book 1) Missed Connection: I saw you standing there, and I was struck by your eyes. Gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as your smile. Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Jen DeLuca and Helen Hoang and their mentor, Brighton Walsh
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with Jen DeLuca and Helen Hoang and their mentor, Brighton Walsh

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have #TeamBrightOnes . . .  Jen DeLuca – Mentee Twitter | Website   Helen Hoang – Mentee Twitter | Website Brighton Walsh – Mentor Twitter | Website   Mentee Jen De Luca . . . Jen: Why did you choose Brighton? So many reasons. When I was checking out potential mentors during the blog hop, her wishlist checked a lot of my boxes (TWSS): stories that take place in the 80s/90s, stories that take place in another country, her fondness for nice guys and tattoos. Secondly, ummm, have you ever interacted with her on Twitter? She’s amazing. When I tweeted out teasers about my story during the pre-submission period, she kept throwing gifs of Flynn Rider at me left and right, so I was pretty sure she at least wanted to take a look. (I take hints well.) But above all, I was really drawn to her experience as a mentor, and I loved the idea of getting “homework” if I was chosen as a mentee. I’ve been writing for a while, but never really learned much about the “craft” of it until recently. One thing on her bio hit me: she said she knows romance, and she knows how to make them good. This book has been through a few revisions, not quite making it, so I really wanted to know if someone could help me put it over the top. Brighton: Why did you choose PEACE, LOVE, AND ROCK & ROLL? I chose Jen because I fell in love with her characters. Nikolai and Miranda haunted me from the first chapter I read. I could not get them out of my head, no matter how many other fantastic manuscripts I read, and no matter that I knew I’d have to war for it. It’s the kind of book I honestly didn’t think I’d pick, but I couldn’t put it down. I wanted funny and light and happy, but instead I got beautiful, soul-wrenching angst and yearning. It was the only manuscript I cried while reading—and I cried multiple times. Jen: Summarize your book in three words. Swoony. Sexy. Slavic. Brighton: Summarize Jen’s book in three words. Lifetime of yearning Jen: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a Floridian by way of Virginia, and a paralegal by way of the theatre. I live with...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Amelia Diane Coombs and her mentor, Emily Martin
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with Amelia Diane Coombs and her mentor, Emily Martin

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . .  Amelia Diane Coombs – Mentee Twitter | Website Emily Martin – Mentor Twitter | Website Amelia: Why did you choose Emily? There were several mentor bios and wishlists I clicked with instantaneously—Emily was one of the firsts. She stayed at the top of my list even as I researched other mentors, created an elaborate points-based spreadsheet, and whittled down my choices. I appreciated that she was a former mentee, and this would be her third year mentoring. Her comic-bookish website drew me in, and her wishlist spoke to me—flawed female character with messy histories, and swoony, gritty YA? Check! After some shameless Twitter-stalking, I knew we’d get along on a personal level, which was vital. Basically, I’m thrilled to be working with Emily. Emily: Why did you choose Amelia’s manuscript? I actually remembered Amelia’s novel aesthetics when her submission landed in my inbox, so I was super excited to dive in. After reading her first chapter, I was completely smitten. The premise and voice hooked me right away, and there are so many references throughout to things I love (Old Hollywood, obscure movies, music…). Amelia’s writing also manages to seamlessly infuse dark humor into a story full of emotional heft–basically, it gave me allll the feels, and I can’t wait for more readers to fall in love with her characters! Amelia: Summarize your book in three words.  Gritty, cross-country misadventures. Emily: Summarize Amelia’s book in three words. Searching. Karma. Self-discovery. Amelia: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?  I love my hometown in Northern California so much I returned after college and grad school. Recently, I’ve developed a penchant for traveling, and love exploring unusual places. Other than playing with character’s emotions, I adore all things geeky—comic books, video games, Magic the Gathering. Music gives me life, I melt over tattoos, Old Hollywood, and swoony romances. All these facets of my life have found their way into my manuscript, LOOK NO FURTHER. My MS explores some central Young Adult themes—issues of trust and love, the importance of identity, and whether your past dictates your future—in an unusual way. My main character is on her version of a “effed-up Hero’s Journey” to Graceland, where she hopes to find her bio-mom, while running from an outlaw motorcycle club. When she teams up with a...

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