Photo by Alyona Vogelmann
Jamie Potter, who goes by the stuffy pen name J.R. Potter, has somehow stumbled into living his childhood dream . . .
A chance encounter with the gothic mysteries of the late-great John Bellairs as a child would open a door that would never be closed again. Alongside the enchanting illustrations of Bellairs's collaborator, Edward Gorey, an early masterclass was given on bringing terror, humor, and heart to life on the page. And here we are . . . thirty years later.
Potter is the award-winning author and illustrator of the Thomas Creeper mystery series about a reluctant thirteen-year-old mortician's apprentice turned detective for the dead. The novel is now carried in libraries across the world from San Jose to Singapore and part of three teaching curricula in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse, the sequel to Potter's debut, was shortlisted for the 2023 Stoker Award for Young Adult Fiction. His graphic novel work has been published by Image Comics, and his short fiction has been collected in various speculative fiction anthologies. His third novel for teens Ragtag: City of Ash and Fire, a cyberpunk fairy tale, hits shelves in early September 2023. When not writing about ghosts with vendettas or teenage heroines navigating American wastelands with jet packs, Potter writes and illustrates fiction for educational publishers Pioneer Valley Books and Heinemann Publishing, helping boost literacy, empathy, and wonder in schools across the world.
And when he's not doing any of these fun things, he's writing and playing music, another early love. His recent solo record Love Manifesto can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music along with two records with his partner Amy in their Americana band The Crooked Angels.