J. Scott Coatsworth on Magical Realism

The inimitable J. Scott Coatsworth has a new book out, and he’s here to talk about his inspiration.

Magical Realism

I’ve always had a fascination for magical realism, especially when it involves queer characters, but I haven’t found that much of it out there.

One stand-out exception is Nancy Springer’s Larque on the Wing, in which a suburban housewife unleashes her inner gay man.

Magical Realism is different from Urban or contemporary fantasy. In magical realism, the world is heightened by magic, but usually in a subtle, often beautiful way. But the world itself isn’t full-on magical.

Since I couldn’t find much with queer characters, I decided to write some of my own, and “The Bear at the Bar” is one of my first. It tells the tale of a gym bunny—a very athletic, very handsome gay man—who spends the day in the shoes of a bear – a man who is—shall we say—less traditionally attractive.

This story holds a place near and dear to my heart because it’s also the first fiction story I ever sold.

In 2014, I decided to try writing once again after a twenty-year hiatus. I stalked the Dreamspinner Press anthology web page, and wrote a story for every antho call on the site. This one was one of the first ones I submitted for, and when B.G. Thomas and Anne Regan chose it for the “bears” book “A Taste of Honey,” I was over the moon.

What followed was a rash of publications—more than twenty to date, that established me as a real author, and it all started from this little seed.

In a way, it brought a little magic into my own life—my own personal magical realism tale.

I hope you enjoy it!

Dex is a gay Adonis.

When he walks into Seattle’s Ransom bar, heads turn. He can have just about anyone he wants, and he does, every night.

Until he meets a bear at the bar and everything changes.

“The Bear at the Bar” is a short story originally published in 2014 in the “A Taste of Honey” anthology.

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