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Author Q&A ft @sarahpinsker + $20 GC & eBook #Giveaway | BEHIND THE MASK | @GoddessFish & @MeerkatPress Present Superhero #Anthology

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for Behind the Mask by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavi...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for Behind the Mask by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others, a Superhero Anthology available now from Meerkat Press.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.


Behind the Mask

by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others



Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.



Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.


EXCERPT from “The Smoke Means It’s Working” by Sarah Pinsker

All Dora wanted on the drive was to watch the action out the window, but Ms. Frazier seemed intent on getting to know her. "What sparked your interest in RescueBot operation, Dora?"

"I, uh, I like the idea of rescuing people. Whoa! Was that the Patron who just flew by? I didn't know she was that fast! Uh, I'm not powered myself, and I haven't found a special skill or calling, so this felt like the best way." That was pretty close to the truth, without implying this was a stepping stone. Unless you were lucky enough to be an orphan adopted by a superhero and trained up to it, you needed experience to be a sidekick. But how do you get experience when no hero would hire you without experience? It wasn't a lie to say the Rescuebot program felt like the best way to learn how to rescue people, even if the ultimate goal was a different gig.

If she craned her neck, she could see police helicopters circling something in the distance. A line of squad cars shot past their van. More heroes joined the Patron in the sky, though Dora still couldn't see what or who they were fighting.

"Do you think they're heading where we are?"

Ms. Frazier shook her head. "The 'copters are too far north. And this one still hasn't hit Dispatch. You'll see."

They exited the highway. As Ms. Frazier had predicted, the intersection of Winged Victory and 18th
was total chaos, with no sign of anybody official. Nobody to spare for this emergency, Dora guessed, given whatever was happening to the north.

This emergency: something had flattened the opera house and all the cars in the lot opposite. Two pillars still stood upright near what used to be the entrance. The rest was fallen beams and upturned seats, and a dusty velvet sea that must have once been the stage curtains. Still, something about this rubble looked different from most rubble she'd seen around the city. Dora tried to put her finger on it.

"City Building Code 17.3," she said, remembering it from a class the previous semester. "What's with all the glass shards and splintered beams? This looks really dangerous!"

Ms. Frazier put her hands on her hips and surveyed the scene. "17.3 only applies to new construction. Any building built since it took effect fifteen years ago is required to use safety materials. Shatterproof glass, underground wires, beams that turn to powder instead of splinters. Older commercial buildings had to do a certain amount of retrofitting—mostly replacing old glass—but historic buildings are exempt. And of course, when they do inevitably get stomped or smashed or blown up, they have to rebuild using the new materials."

"But I could swear the Opera House has been hit before. Six or seven years ago?"

"The Craw targeted it. She wanted to do a Phantom of the Opera revenge deal, but the Patron stopped the bomb with thirty seconds to spare. They had to redo the stage and the first ten rows after the fight, but the structure itself wasn't damaged."

Dora remembered now. She had still been in high school then. Nobody would fault her for drawing a blank on stuff that happened while she was in high school, and in college that all fell into the gap between History of Silo City and Contemporary Issues in Superheroism.
Ms. Frazier interrupted her thoughts. "So, before the police and EMTs get here and start thinking they're in charge, do you want to get working? What's the first step?"

"Assess the safety risks. That's what I've been doing."

"Do it faster. Remember, you're not going in, the RescueBot is. As long as it’s turned on, its armor will protect it. You're not liable for anything, as long as you're acting within your training. The main things you should be asking in your safety assessment are 'Is the threat going to return?' and 'Is there a safe place from which to operate the RB?'"

"That's what I'm doing. Um, it looks like the 'copters aren't circling back this way, so maybe whoever did this has moved on. And yes, I think we can operate the RB from across the street, without worrying about those beams hitting us."

"Good. I agree. What's next?"

"Assign the RB parameters." Dora pulled out her control tablet and zoomed the city map down to this particular intersection. She set boundaries at the corners of what used to be the Opera House, a ceiling of ten feet above the ground, since that was the largest pile's height, and a floor of twenty feet below ground, since there seemed to be a basement. "Then I power up the RB. Then I hit 'activate.'"

"One step missing."

Dora squinted at the tablet, hoping it would give her a clue. "I power up the RB. Then I choose between ‘survivors’ and ‘bodies.’ Then I hit 'activate.'"

"Good. And which are you choosing here?"



"Because the scene is fresh."


"And?" Dora repeated.

"And because there's at least one person shouting for help in the rubble. Hear 'em? Get moving already."



1. Who is your favorite character from your story and why?
"The Smoke Means It's Working"  is the second story featuring Dora and her journey toward sidekickhood. The first is "Last Thursday at Superhero Supply Depot," which appeared in Daily Science Fiction. I like her practical aspirations. She's earnest. I've got a list of other jobs I want to put her through on her way to her true career.

2. Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?
I grew up in a series of houses full of books. The same family, the same books, but they had to fit into a variety of spaces, some of which were obviously too small and therefore had to bend space and time to accommodate them. My father's collection includes the complete Ursula Le Guin, the complete Gene Wolfe, and every single Year's Best anthology you can imagine, among others. I don't remember a time when I wasn't reading SF, and specifically short stories. I don't remember a time before I wrote, either. There wasn't a decision to write. I thought it was what you were supposed to do.

3. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Nothing unique, I don't think. I've ridden horses my entire life, and scrounged for nearly every ride, which made for some good variety: I've exercised polo ponies, led trail rides, run a girl scout riding program... I'm one of those annoying people who will put down a book if I don't think the horse stuff is accurate.

3. What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
Not really strange, but I was looking for a medical way to kill somebody off, and I must have totally confused the ad algorithms, because for months afterward I got ads for everything from diabetic testing strips to orthopedic shoes to heart monitors and rash creams.

4. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My website is, or Twitter handle, @sarahpinsker – either works.

5. What can we expect from you in the future? What are you working on now?
I'm a few drafts into a near future rock and roll novel that I love and can't wait to get out in the world. I've got a story  coming in the September issue of Asimov's, "Wind Will Rove," which I absolutely love. Fiddlers in Space.

6. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Every writer travels such a different path that it's hard to give any advice that applies universally. I usually tell people to treat their career like a bingo card instead of a ladder. Nothing happens in the same order for everyone. Christie Yant has a great example that she's usually willing to share.
My other advice for writers is simply to finish things. It's simplistic, but you can't sell what you don't finish. You can't edit what you don't draft. So the first step is just getting it all on the page.

As for readers, I'll just say: if you love an author's book or story, the best thing you can do for them is buy it. The other best thing you can do, if you read it at the library or can't afford it right now, is to spread the word. Tell your friends, tweet it, review it. Tell the author, too, if you want. You'll make their day.



Sarah Pinsker
is the author of the 2015 Nebula Award winning novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind" was the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Galician. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and dog. She can be found online at and

All other authors in the anthology:

Kelly Link is the author of four short story collections: Get in Trouble, a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners, and Stranger Things Happen. She lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Seanan McGuire lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, in a large, creaky house with a questionable past.  She shares her home with two enormous blue cats, a querulous calico, the world’s most hostile iguana, and an assortment of other oddities, including more horror movies than any one person has any business owning.  It is her life goal to write for the X-Men, and she gets a little closer every day.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasy series, both from DAW Books, and the Newsflesh and Parasitology trilogies, both from Orbit (published under the name “Mira Grant”).  She writes a distressing amount of short fiction, and has released three collections set in her superhero universe, starring Velma “Velveteen” Martinez and her allies. Seanan usually needs a nap.  Keep up with her at, or on Twitter at @seananmcguire.

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World.  She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories.  She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.  An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.  Visit her at

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Her second novel, Hearts of Tabat, appears in early 2017 from Wordfire Press. She is the current President of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the World Fantasy Award winning Osama (2011) and of the critically-acclaimed The Violent Century (2013). His latest novel is Central Station (2016). He is the author of many other novels, novellas and short stories

Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and several small agents of chaos disguised as a dog, cat, and child. She works as a cover designer and video game writer. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres, and other venues, and her YA survival thriller I Am Still Alive is forthcoming from Viking. You can find her online at

Chris Large writes regularly for Aurealis Magazine and has had fiction published in Australian speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. He's a single parent who enjoys writing stories for middle-graders and young adults, and about family life in all its forms. He lives in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of Australia, where everyone rides Kangaroos and says 'G'day mate!' to utter strangers.

Stuart Suffel's body of work includes stories published by Jurassic London, Evil Girlfriend Media, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kraxon Magazine, and Aurora Wolf among others.  He exists in Ireland, lives in the Twilight Zone, and will work for Chocolate Sambuca Ice cream. Twitter: @suffelstuart

Michael Milne is a writer and teacher originally from Canada, who lived in Korea and China, and is now in Switzerland. Not being from anywhere anymore really helps when writing science fiction. His work has been published in The Sockdolager, Imminent Quarterly, and anthologies on Meerkat Press and Gray Whisper.

Adam R. Shannon is a career firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fiction writer, hiker, and cook. His work has been shortlisted for an Aeon award and appeared in Morpheus Tales and the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here: Tales of Cryptographic Wonders. He and his wife live in Virginia, where they care for an affable German Shepherd, occasional foster dogs, a free-range toad, and a colony of snails who live in an old apothecary jar. His website and blog are at

Jennifer Pullen received her doctorate from Ohio University and her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She originally hails from Washington State. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are upcoming in journals including: Going Down Swinging (AU), Cleaver, Off the Coast, Phantom Drift Limited, and Clockhouse

Stephanie Lai is a Chinese-Australian writer and occasional translator. She has published long meandering thinkpieces in Peril Magazine, the Toast, the Lifted Brow and Overland. Of recent, her short fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Cranky Ladies of History, and the In Your Face Anthology. Despite loathing time travel, her defence of Dr Who companion Perpugilliam Brown can be found in Companion Piece (2015). She is an amateur infrastructure nerd and a professional climate change adaptation educator (she's helping you survive our oncoming climate change dystopia). You can find her on twitter @yiduiqie, at, or talking about pop culture and drop bears at 

Aimee Ogden is a former biologist, science teacher, and software tester. Now she writes stories about sad astronauts and angry princesses. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction,, Persistent Visions, and The Sockdolager.

Nathan Crowder is a Seattle-based fan of little known musicians, unpopular candy, and just happens to write fantasy, horror, and superheroes. His other works include the fantasy novel Ink Calls to Ink, short fiction in anthologies such as Selfies from the End of the World, and Cthulhurotica, and his numerous Cobalt City superhero stories and novels. He is still processing the death of David Bowie.

Keith Frady writes weird short stories in a cluttered apartment in Atlanta. His work has appeared in Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology, Literally Stories, The Yellow Chair Review, and The Breakroom Stories.

Ziggy Schutz is a young queer writer living on the west coast of Canada. She's been a fan of superheroes almost as long as she's been writing, so she's very excited this is the form her first published work took. When not writing, she can often be found stage managing local musicals and mouthing the words to all the songs. Ziggy can be found at @ziggytschutz, where she's probably ranting about representation in fiction.

Matt Mikalatos is the author of four novels, the most recent of which is Capeville: Death of the Black Vulture, a YA superhero novel. You can connect with him online at or

Patrick Flanagan - For security reasons, Patrick Flanagan writes from one of several undisclosed locations; either—
1) A Top Secret-classified government laboratory which studies genetic aberrations and unexplained phenomena;
2) A sophisticated compound hidden in plain sight behind an electromagnetic cloaking shield;
3) A decaying Victorian mansion, long plagued by reports of terrifying paranormal activity; or
4) The subterranean ruins of a once-proud empire which ruled the Earth before recorded history, and whose inbred descendants linger on in clans of cannibalistic rabble
—all of which are conveniently accessible from exits 106 or 108 of the Garden State Parkway. Our intelligence reports that his paranoid ravings have been previously documented by Grand Mal Press, Evil Jester Press, and Sam's Dot Publishing. In our assessment he should be taken seriously, but not literally. (Note: Do NOT make any sudden movements within a 50' radius.)

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels THE MERCY OF THE TIDE (2017, Meerkat) and SMOKE CITY (2018, Meerkat). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at





The authors will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


May 15: Sharing Links and Wisdom
May 15: Straight From the Library
May 16: The Reading Addict
May 17: Unabridged Andra
May 18: Queen of All She Reads
May 19: Independent Authors
May 22: Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog
May 23: The Avid Reader
May 24: Lorana Hoopes
May 25: EskieMama and Dragon Lady Reads
May 26: Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama
May 29: Book Lover Promo
May 29: Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers and Readers
May 30: Mixed Book Bag
May 31: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
June 1: Spunk and Hunks
June 2: Books, Dreams,Life
June 2: Christine Young
June 5: Readeropolis
June 6: Fabulous and Brunette
June 7: Kit 'N Kabookle
June 8: Deal Sharing Aunt
June 9: Mama Reads Blog - review only
June 9:
Long and Short Reviews


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Great post - thanks for sharing :)

  3. What book are you looking to read in 2017. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com


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