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LATEST NEWS

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HALLOWEEN TOUR 2023!
4 schools, 1 library, 2 bookstores, nothing but smiles :-)
 

CREATIVITY UNBOUND:
An Evening with Author, Illustrator, and Songwriter J.R. Potter at Buchanan Hall - Thursday, May 23rd 6pm
 

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5/23/24

Join me for a magical night of performances, readings, book signing, and Q & A.

This multimedia event will show a peek behind the creative curtain, exploring the magic and inspiration of writing and illustrating for young readers (and the young at heart!), as well as songwriting, how we communicate ideas and feelings through the power of song. Hosted by the Middleburg Library Advisory Board and Middleburg Books. Details and RSVP here on Facebook.

11/14/23

Well, that was certainly magical.

I packed what felt like a month of good book-related memories into one week at the end of October, watching Autumn do her thing as I traveled through PA, NJ, NY, and CT.

 

While there were numerous highlights (discovering one of the audience members was a classmate you hadn't seen in 30 years and they were attending the event with their young son!) I'd have to say this original song composed the night before speaking to the 6th-8th grades at Greenwich Country Day School may have taken the proverbial cake. A cake with gummy worms and peeled grapes for eyeballs, of course.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "Down the Old Church Road." Inspired by lighting pumpkins along Old Church Rd in Greenwich the night before my author visit and a little challenging bump from the Head of School who told me that these were no ordinary students, and that I needed to step up my game!

 

Fortunately, guitar was in tow and a story about a possessed pumpkin telling me all about a haunted school on Old Church Road began to take shape in my mind. So I set to work with the fall leaves blowing around my window and a harvest moon rising high in the October sky. A perfect Halloween memory in my hometown where I hadn't been back to celebrate the holiday in 30 years. Here are the lyrics:

Down the Old Church Road

There’s a school that’s haunted still

With creepy-crawlies in the ground

And ghosts tapping the windowsills

 

Down the Old Church Road

The goblins they come out

For every class with Mr. Bas

To stomp and shriek and shout

 

And you sitting in your safe little seats

Thinking that ghost stories

Are for the little kid down the street

Oh you will see them

In Greenwich to steal your soul

They don’t need a bed to hide under

They’re in the school down the Old Church Road

 

Down the Old Church Road

In moonlight and in mist

With worms for brains

And teeth all stained

They’re grabbing at your wrist

 

Down the Old Church Road

The homework eats the dog

The carpool line’s filled with land mines

And there are vampires in the fog

 

And you sitting in your safe little seats

Thinking that ghost stories

Are for the little kid down the street

Oh you can pray

But still they won’t let go

They know your name

And they want your brain

At the school down the old church road

 

Yes they know your name

And they want your brain

At the school down the Old Church Road
 

"DOWN THE OLD CHURCH ROAD" VIDEO:

TOUR BEGINS IN LESS THAN
2 WEEKS!

 

10/11/23

7 appearances/signings/events in one week? I guess I'll sleep in November :-)

I'm thrilled to celebrate my favorite spooky season with a Mid-Atlantic and New England tour. Every event will be meaningful but speaking at my small hometown library in Riverside, CT where my author-illustrator journey began 30 (!) years ago will surely be something I remember for the rest of my life.

 

While the school visits will be private, here three events over the next few months that you can register for. The VOICES RISING series with friend and author I'm in awe of, Kimberly Behre Kenna, combines passages from our award-winning middle grade and YA books and culminates in an original song created by the crowd on the themes of bravery and resilience explored in our books.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25th 4pm @ Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, CT. Call the Youth Services Desk at 203-637-8802 to reserve your spot. Spaces are limited!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29th 5pm @ Breakwater Books in Guilford, CT
For this VOICES RISING event, I'll be teaming up with the great Kimberly Behre Kenna to share passages of bravery and heroism in tweens and teens from our award-winning books. We will create a community song inspired by these ideas at the end of the presentation and I will email a demo of our community-created song to all participants to continue the songwriting journey. Space is limited. REGISTER HERE.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17th 5pm @ Wesleyan University RJ Julia.

VOICES RISING returns for another night of brave tween and teen heroes and heroines and community-generated songs of hope and resilience. Free pizza will be served! Space is limited. REGISTER HERE.

RAGTAG: City of Ash and Fire
Preorder and Book Trailer!

 

8/17/23

Excited to share that after 10+ years of work my cyberpunk fairy tale RAGTAG: City of Ash and Fire is now coming out!

 

The novel hits shelves 9-7-23 from Black Rose Writing and you can preorder your copy now. The novel is being hailed as a "tour de force of world-building" (Jude Atwood, award-winning author of Maybe There Are Witches) as well as an "adrenaline-fueled, page-turning adventure" (Marcie Roman, award-winning author of Journey to the Parallels). I'm so excited to share this cautionary tale about sisterhood, survival, and hope. Here's the HD trailer to whet your appetite!

Bookworm For Kids
Review July 2023

 

7/23/23

Very grateful to Tonja Decker and her wonderful kidlit blog Bookwormforkids.com for the glowing review of Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse. Tonja spotlights fresh and upcoming books from early reader picture books up through YA. Check out the blog for great recs for the young reader in your household. Here's what Tonja has to say about Thomas Creeper's second adventure. Or read the review straight from the source here.

Delightfully dark twists with clever humor in a tale, which invites to dig deeper with every page.

 

Thomas lives in Gloomsbury, Massachusetts, which is as cursed as its name suggests. But then, he does spend his life at his parents' funeral home helping out, homeschooling, or just living...unlike the corpses around him. Or the ghosts. As a detective for the dead, Thomas has more than his fill of those and would, sometimes, like nothing more than to be normal. Or go out on a date. Instead, he finds himself drawn into a deadly mystery as purple inked corpses wash up on shore, and only he has a chance of finding the cause.

 

This was an exciting dive into a world packed with imaginative details and, yet, sticking close enough to real life to make it wonderfully haunting. The author masterfully creates a town, where all sorts of horrors and gloom wait in the shadows, but even as death and danger hang in the air, humor pokes in its head with perfect snorts and snark. Imaginative details punctuate at the right times to draw in, while the characters and their quirks add needed depth. It's well-crafted and a treat for goth fans, who enjoy a heavy dose of humor to keep things lively and unexpected.

 

The mystery tangles right in between all of this and promises more than a few unexpected turns. Thomas makes a detective to root for as he sinks into his role, while dealing with several usual problems this age group tends to face. It's a read to get lost in and one, where it's hard to guess what will happen next.

Guitar International Magazine
Interview July 2023

 

Guitar International Magazine - J.R. Potter Exclusive Interview

7/10/23

 

Honored and delighted to talk about vintage guitars, songwriting, recording, and Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse's release with the great people at Guitar International Magazine. Music truly gives wings to the soul. I think some guy named Plato said that? Read the full interview here:

https://guitarinternational.com/2023/07/10/songwriter-illustrator-author-j-r-potter-talks-about-his-music-and-his-creeper-books/

 

Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse OUT NOW on all platforms!
 

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6/15/23

 

They say no one can hear you scream in space. Well, can you hear me scream from my writer's desk here in Virginia?

After 4+ years of work, the spine-tingling sequel is here. Thank you fans, friends, family, beta readers, and my publisher Black Rose Writing for helping this wild sophomore release find a home in the world. In the first few days of release the book shot to three Top Tens on Kindle! To find the right ordering platform for you, click on this link below:

geni.us/ThomasCreeper

 

A copy of Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse pulled fresh from the vine!

Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse preorder is live . . .
and I'm headed to France in 2024!

 

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 The mask centerpiece in Honie Beam's magnificent cover for Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse

4/18/23

 

We're 3 months away from the release of Thomas Creeper and the Purple Corpse (less than 3 months actually!) Can't wait for you all to see what new terrors and delights spring up around the haunted, barnacle-crusted town that is Gloomsbury. Thank you all for your amazing support as these books start to find their way out in the world (we're in Singapore and Saudi Arabian libraries now. Sweet!)

 

There were some dark, very Gloomsbury-esque days about a year or so ago when it looked like the series wouldn't continue. New publisher, new platform, and we are back on track. If you are reading this little post, then you are certainly one of the steadfast, sweet souls who have given the support and the space for me to live out my elementary school dreams (I wrote and illustrated my first books then, homages to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which BLEW MY MIND AND STILL DOES).

 

In more current news, I'M GOING TO FRANCE! SACRE BLEU! ZUT ALORS! I was selected as a writer-in-residence at Chateau Orquevaux for two weeks in March 2024. Better get that passport updated. Can't wait to be inspired by other creatives from across the world and have 2 uninterrupted weeks to write . . .  Thomas Creeper and the Funicular Fiasco. I'll leave you with that title for now. You better believe I'm gonna put the FUN in Funicular, with a healthy dose of J.R. Potter steampunk and horror.

ABC News & Good Morning America Interview!
 

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2/14/21

 

Over the moon to be interviewed by ABC News/Good Morning America for my artistic projects during the pandemic. I'm grateful for good continued health, a supportive family, and the ability to learn new trades and skills to keep "feeding the Muse" as my dad likes to say. 

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