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Pitch Wars Interview with Kelli Newby 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 . . . 


Kelli Newby – Mentee

Twitter | Website

Tamara Mataya – Mentor


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) 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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