John Amory – “The Bear Fetish”

on Oct 02, 2014 by John Amory

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of escaping New Jersey’s winter tundra for the sunny streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was attending an academic conference (I won’t bore you with the details of the paper I was presenting, unless you really wanna know) and was thrilled to be in the Southwest for the first time. I immediately fell in love with Albuquerque. As someone who regularly visits both New York City and Philadelphia, Albuquerque still felt like a city but with a small-town mentality. I’ve never met more helpful people, or nicer strangers. Almost every single person I passed on the street during my walk from my hotel to the conference center waved or smiled. Coming to this city with an East Coast mentality, I was floored; New Yorkers and Philadelphians are not trusting people. When they walk through the streets, they keep their heads down and their earbuds blasting. This was different in a really good way.

Anyway, on my last day in New Mexico, I decided to take the train from ABQ to Santa Fe and do a little sightseeing. On the ride out, I was struck by the landscape. The desert is an unbelievable sight during the day. It seemed infinite. I spent the day wandering through Santa Fe. I loved that town so much, and I discovered so many new things. (Did you know you can eat antelope?! I didn’t, so I had to try it, and it was delicious!) But it wasn’t until the train ride back to ABQ that I was struck with inspiration for a story. As our train cut through the desert, the sun was setting. The way it colored the rocks and sand every shade of red, orange, yellow, and violet you could imagine just took my breath away. I knew I had to put that into a story. So I started thinking about what I could write, and I remembered that Dreamspinner had an open call out for stories featuring bears. The smallest seed of an idea was forming: I could write about bears in New Mexico. My hotel was right down the street from a gay bar, and I had walked that strip on my first day in town… I could incorporate that somehow. As I thought about it further, our train passed through a Native American reservation. That’s when it hit me: my bear would be a Native. From there, the idea poured out of me. I dug through my partner’s messenger bag and tore a sheet out of his day planner so I could start scribbling plot points before they vanished from my mind. As I spoke out loud and told my partner what I was doing, he told me that I should try to incorporate Native American fetishes, little icons or totems of animals carved from stone, into the story.

And that was the lightbulb moment. Fetish… a double meaning! Men who are attracted to bears have a bear fetish, and a physical bear fetish, a stone carved into a bear, could make an appearance somewhere. I wrote all this down furiously and then settled back to enjoy the rest of the ride. I left Albuquerque the next day and returned home to blustery, freezing New Jersey. As a way to mentally return to the relaxing warmth of New Mexico (and because the deadline for the bear anthology call was looming), I began writing my bear fetish story. As I researched local Native tribes and fetishes, I came across some information about what the bear means: it imparts strength and courage to those who carry it, and it acts as a protector. With that information, the final piece of my story’s puzzle fell into place: the main character would have some type of weakness to overcome, and the Native character would give him a bear fetish as a comfort object to help him on his way to being strong.

And that’s how “The Bear Fetish” was born. I know that was a really long story, but I’m always fascinated to hear how ideas come to people, so hopefully you all got something out of it… something other than bored, that is. 🙂 And if you haven’t yet read “The Bear Fetish,” click through below to pick up your copy, available as part of Dreamspinner’s A Taste of Honey anthology! If you liked this story, you can visit my page on the Dreamspinner site to find other anthologies I’m a part of and other individual stories I’ve written. I also have a young adult novelette published by Prizm Books/Torquere Press called A Christmas Caroler, and I have two stories forthcoming: the first is a vampire novelette from Torquere coming later in October called Spearmint Warning; and the other is a Christmas short from Dreamspinner, part of their December Advent Calendar, titled Best Laid Plans. Thank you for getting this far with me, and thank you Michael for hosting!

A Taste of Honey

In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

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About John Amory

John Amory is from New Jersey, yet he is somehow not involved in the mob. He is part Italian, though. John has BA and MA degrees in English, and he teaches composition at a local college. Other jobs have included personal assistant, telemarketer, and dancing mouse (don’t ask), but he’s now happy to add “writer” to that list. He loves reality TV, drag queens, and Trader Joe’s cookie butter.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of escaping New Jersey’s winter tundra for the sunny streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was attending an academic conference (I won’t bore you with the details of the paper I was presenting, unless you really wanna know) and was thrilled to be in the Southwest for the first time. I immediately fell in love with Albuquerque. As someone who regularly visits both New York City and Philadelphia, Albuquerque still felt like a city but with a small-town mentality. I’ve never met more helpful people, or nicer strangers. Almost every single person I passed on the street during my walk from my hotel to the conference center waved or smiled. Coming to this city with an East Coast mentality, I was floored; New Yorkers and Philadelphians are not trusting people. When they walk through the streets, they keep their heads down and their earbuds blasting. This was different in a really good way.

Anyway, on my last day in New Mexico, I decided to take the train from ABQ to Santa Fe and do a little sightseeing. On the ride out, I was struck by the landscape. The desert is an unbelievable sight during the day. It seemed infinite. I spent the day wandering through Santa Fe. I loved that town so much, and I discovered so many new things. (Did you know you can eat antelope?! I didn’t, so I had to try it, and it was delicious!) But it wasn’t until the train ride back to ABQ that I was struck with inspiration for a story. As our train cut through the desert, the sun was setting. The way it colored the rocks and sand every shade of red, orange, yellow, and violet you could imagine just took my breath away. I knew I had to put that into a story. So I started thinking about what I could write, and I remembered that Dreamspinner had an open call out for stories featuring bears. The smallest seed of an idea was forming: I could write about bears in New Mexico. My hotel was right down the street from a gay bar, and I had walked that strip on my first day in town… I could incorporate that somehow. As I thought about it further, our train passed through a Native American reservation. That’s when it hit me: my bear would be a Native. From there, the idea poured out of me. I dug through my partner’s messenger bag and tore a sheet out of his day planner so I could start scribbling plot points before they vanished from my mind. As I spoke out loud and told my partner what I was doing, he told me that I should try to incorporate Native American fetishes, little icons or totems of animals carved from stone, into the story.

And that was the lightbulb moment. Fetish… a double meaning! Men who are attracted to bears have a bear fetish, and a physical bear fetish, a stone carved into a bear, could make an appearance somewhere. I wrote all this down furiously and then settled back to enjoy the rest of the ride. I left Albuquerque the next day and returned home to blustery, freezing New Jersey. As a way to mentally return to the relaxing warmth of New Mexico (and because the deadline for the bear anthology call was looming), I began writing my bear fetish story. As I researched local Native tribes and fetishes, I came across some information about what the bear means: it imparts strength and courage to those who carry it, and it acts as a protector. With that information, the final piece of my story’s puzzle fell into place: the main character would have some type of weakness to overcome, and the Native character would give him a bear fetish as a comfort object to help him on his way to being strong.

And that’s how “The Bear Fetish” was born. I know that was a really long story, but I’m always fascinated to hear how ideas come to people, so hopefully you all got something out of it… something other than bored, that is. 🙂 And if you haven’t yet read “The Bear Fetish,” click through below to pick up your copy, available as part of Dreamspinner’s A Taste of Honey anthology! If you liked this story, you can visit my page on the Dreamspinner site to find other anthologies I’m a part of and other individual stories I’ve written. I also have a young adult novelette published by Prizm Books/Torquere Press called A Christmas Caroler, and I have two stories forthcoming: the first is a vampire novelette from Torquere coming later in October called Spearmint Warning; and the other is a Christmas short from Dreamspinner, part of their December Advent Calendar, titled Best Laid Plans. Thank you for getting this far with me, and thank you Michael for hosting!


A Taste of Honey

In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.


Find A Taste of Honey:


About John Amory

John Amory is from New Jersey, yet he is somehow not involved in the mob. He is part Italian, though. John has BA and MA degrees in English, and he teaches composition at a local college. Other jobs have included personal assistant, telemarketer, and dancing mouse (don’t ask), but he’s now happy to add “writer” to that list. He loves reality TV, drag queens, and Trader Joe’s cookie butter.


Find John Amory:


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