Monday, August 3, 2015

Pitch Wars 2015 Mentor Bio

Who I am and why you should want this Canadian for your mentor.

My name is Tamara Mataya, though you probably know me as Feaky Snucker, as seen on The Internet.

My Nan always said that self-praise is no recommendation, but this is a contest and knowledge is power. I’m a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author repped by Nicole Resciniti. I’m a naughty librarian and musician. I write romantic friction (wink wink), literary fiction, romantic comedy, dark contemporary, and sexy urban fantasy. I’m a bisexual woman with Synaesthesia, Misophonia, and an autoimmune thyroid disease, and I’m all about diversity.

In addition to being a voracious reader, and a librarian (even at my day job I’m surrounded by books), I’m a freelance editor. I’ve edited for USA Today and NYT bestsellers. I’m very editorial, and in addition to developmental edits, I’ll be weeding through your MS line-by-line, probably bitching at you for using dialogue tags.

I’m the co-creator of PITCHMAS, a pitch contest run with my critique partner Jessa Russo. Running that contest has been invaluable for learning what agents are looking for—and how to craft pitches that work.

One time, I got to YES on query shark—after an embarrassing amount of revisions.

I didn’t even have a critique partner back then, and my sensitive writer skin was pretty much translucent, but I didn’t give up—and I won’t let you give up either. Other people’s queries are one of my favourite things to help with—so if you choose me, you’re getting that as well!

What I want from you:

I’m an NA/A mentor, so please keep that in mind.

(For genres, I’m more open than not, so look below at what I DON’T want, as that’s quicker.)

-Since I’m also a musician, I have a soft spot in my heart for manuscripts with musicians—when done authentically—in ANY genre.

-I’m SO open to anything LGBTQIA+

-Diversity that isn’t the plot. If you have a _____ MC, please don’t let that be the plot. That should be a part of the story, not the whole thing. We are not our disorders, we are not our sexuality, we are not our “other.” Those are one aspect in our lives. I’m bisexual with synaesthesia. But I have a life to live WHILE I’m bisexual with synaesthesia. A solid example of what I’m looking for, is FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John.

-I’m all about the humour, and will probably point out a few That’s What She Saids in your MS if you leave them in there. Give me an opening and I’ll burst through it like the Kool Aid man. Even in erotica or erotic romance, if you give me something sexy that makes me laugh (think WALLBANGER by Alice Clayton, or FRENCHED by Melanie Harlow) I’ll lobster knife fight for you.

-I’m a sucker for an HEA. You can take me to dark places, but I prefer to be brought out of them with hope.

-I love Urban Fantasy, but it’s got to bring something unique. My favourite Urban Fantasy authors are Charles de Lint, Karen Marie Moning, and Christopher Moore. Will Shetterly and Emma Bull wrote one of my favourite books (WAR FOR THE OAKS) so that's another fave. Basically, the original Bordertown books blow my hair back. 

-If it’s erotica or BDSM, make it smart. Make it grab me by the ovaries and not let go! Think Tiffany Reisz or Cat Montmorency, who weave in diversity while turning you on.

-If it’s dark or taboo, make sure there’s a reason for it. I don’t want gratuitous anything. Perfect example of taboo done right is PRIEST by Sierra Simone.

Beyond that, what I’m looking for can pretty much be summed up in seven words: I’ll know it when I see it.

What’s more important is what I need from my mentee.

I can’t help you if you think your words are perfect. I need someone who WANTS to improve.

I want someone who understands that while I will shake my, uh, pompoms for you until they ache, cheerleading isn’t the main thing you’re going to get from me. I will choose the MS I believe I can make better because I want to take you to the next level. I’m an opinionated A$$hole, but my criticism will always be constructive. I’ll be YOUR opinionated a$$hole!

It's not going to be easy. It's WORK. Writing is WORK, and anyone who tells you differently is lying to your face! BUT...

Now, pay attention because this is important.

What I do NOT want for submissions:

It's not that these are all necessarily terrible things, but they're NOT right for ME.

-Novels in verse
-NA with broken characters with tragic pasts whose traumas are magically healed through magic sex.
-Hard Sci-fi
-Historical Fiction, unless it involves ancient Egypt and brings something fresh. 
-Straight up Literary Fiction. I love literary STYLES of writing, but straight up lit fic? I tend to find them depressing and drier than a popcorn fart and am just NOT a good fit.

-Fairytale retellings unless they bring something different ie gender flips as well as something fresh. I LOVED Jessa Russo’s DIVIDE, if you want an example of one I loved.
-If it’s an erotic romance and your MC is a virgin, it’s probably not for me.
-Stalkers for love interests unless there’s a twist.
-Rape/sexual assault as a plot point as this is a trigger for me.
-Incest/pseudo incest.

If you've made it this far, and I still seem like a good fit, woohoo! I will be your biggest champion, toughest critic, and biggest supporter.

It will be intense, but I promise, I will do my damnedest to make your work shine and take it to the next level.

And that about sums it up for what I want to see in my slush pile.

Find me on Twitter!

And to all the other mentors?

1. Kes Trester (co-mentoring with Jennifer Hawkins)
2. Mindy McGinnis (co-mentoring with Kate Karyus Quinn)
3. N.K. Traver
4. Kristin B. Wright
5. Laura Heffernan
6. Mary Ann Marlowe
7. Joy McCullough-Carranza
8. Lisa Lewis-Tyre
9. Jenni L. Walsh (co-mentoring with Trisha Leaver)
10. Sarah Glenn Marsh
11. Julie C. Dao
12. Kellye Garrett
13. K.T. Hanna
14. Jessie Devine
15. Rosalyn Eves
16. Jami Nord
17. Samantha Joyce
18. Helene Dunbar
19. Jenna Lehne
20. Linsey Miller
21. Jessica Vitalis
22. Stacey Graham
23. Dan Koboldt
24. Brighton Walsh
25. Kate Brauning
26. Lisa Maxwell
27. Wendy Spinale
28. Sarah Cannon
29. L.L. McKinney
30. Juliana Brandt
31. Scarlett Cole
32. Hayley Stone
33. Jennifer Blackwood
34. Kendra Young
35. S.P. McConnell
36. Nikki Roberti
37. Emmie Mears
38. Lori Goldstein (co-mentoring with Chelsea Bobulski)
39. Jennifer Hawkins (co-mentoring with Kes Trester)
40. Elizabeth Briggs
41. Ron Walters (co-mentoring with Meredith McCardle)
42. Fiona McLaren (co-mentoring with Dionne McCulloch)
43. S.M. Johnston (co-mentoring with Stacey Nash)
44. Max Wirestone
45. Jaye Robin Brown
46. Molly Lee
47. Rachel Lynn Solomon
48. J.C. Nelson
49. Holly Faur
50. Sonia Hartl
51. Natasha Raulerson
52. Marty Mayberry
53. J.C. Davis
54. Rebecca Wells
55. Michelle Hauck
56. Tabitha Martin
57. Rebecca Petruck
58. Sarah Henning
59. Alex White
60. Jeanmarie Anaya
61. Laura Salter
62. Wade Albert White
63. Brooks Benjamin
64. Margarita Montimore
65. Megan Grimit
66. Charlie Holmberg
67. Diana Gallager
68. Stefanie Wass
69. Tamara Mataya
70. Rebecca Sky
71. Kara Seal
72. Lee Gjertsen Malone
73. Katie Bucklein
74. Kevin A Springer
75. Brianna Shrum
76. Kate Karyus Quinn (co-mentoring with Mindy McGinnis)
77. Kim Graff
78. Emily Martin
79. Trisha Leaver (co-mentoring with Jenni Walsh)
80. Kim Long
81. Catherine Scully
82. Stacey Trombley
83. Stephanie Scott (co-mentoring with Valerie Cole)
84. Valerie Cole (co-mentoring with Stephanie Scott)
85. Lizzy Charles
86. Dannie Morin (co-mentoring with Alexandra Alessandri)
87. Kate Foster
88. Elly Blake
89. Julie Sondra Decker
90. Lady Lioness
91. Susan Gray Foster (co-mentoring with Monica Bustamante Wagner_
92. Kelly Calabrese
93. Sarah Nicolas
94. Kelly Siskind
95. Roselle Kaes
96. Monica Bustamante Wagner (co-mentoring with Susan Gray Foster)
97. Renee Ahdieh (co-mentoring with Traci Chee)
98. Traci Chee (co-mentoring with Renee Ahdieh)
99. Janet B. Taylor
100. Jessie Humphries (co-mentoring with Mara Rae)
101. Lynnette Labelle
102. Erica M. Chapman
103. Summer Spence
104. Marieke Nijkamp
105. Meredith McCardle (co-mentoring with Ron Walters)
106. Thomas Torre
107. Phil Stamper
108. J.A. Souders

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