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

Tuesday, 18 October 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

PW Interviews

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 . . . 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

K.K. Hendin – Mentee

Twitter | Website


Tamara Mataya – Mentor



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 people I know. I promise. LIES UNDERCOVER is a mashup of the things I love and the things I know-romantic comedy, buddy cops, best friends, YouTube, Queens, and overbearing family members who love loudly, and inappropriate workplace behavior. I started writing it because I thought it would be funny. I kept writing it because the characters made me happy. And because if I quit, the aunties would have never left me alone. The fictional aunties.

Tamara: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

If I went back to school for anything, it would be to become an undertaker. It’s infinitely practical as jobs go—regardless of how terrible the economy gets—and I’m not squeamish, so I could do it.


Check out K.K. Hendin’s latest release here . . .

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road?

Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away—then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together they just might discover a Home for Chanukah.

All Tamar expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed.



Check out Tamara Mataya’s Summer Love Series . . .

Missed Connections (Summer Love Book 1) by [Mataya, Tamara]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 bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.

Best. Hookup. Ever.

Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs-except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round.



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