The Horror Community Has Lost Someone Truly Special (RIP Tim Potter)
I write about people dying every day. I'm a horror writer. It's my job. With that said, when someone I know dies in real life, I have no idea how to handle it. I am constantly surrounded by other writers and readers as our horror community continues to grow. This means sometimes friends will pass on. Nobody lives forever. This is something we all know and understand, yet there's no way for it not to hurt like a sonofabitch whenever it happens.
When someone dies that I was friends with online, I'm always unsure of how to react. My social media feeds blow up with the typical "thoughts and prayers" type of lines, but I don't know what those posts are supposed to do. Typically, I find it best just to be silent, because this moment is not about me. By making a post, I feel like I am stealing the attention of those who have died. It makes me feel selfish. I don't know what to say and even if I did, what right do I have to say anything?
This has been my train of thought up until last week, when a very kind man named Tim Potter unexpectedly passed away. I don't think many people knew who Tim was, and this saddens me, because if you are a horror writer, I'm willing to bet he knew your name. It doesn't matter if your book only sold five copies and has one review on Amazon. Odds are, that one review was written by Tim.
Having contributed reviews to Hellnotes and other websites, Tim seemed to devote the majority of his days to reading and supporting literature. When we would talk, he would always have a handful of new titles to recommend. I don't know how he plowed through so many titles and found the ability to write such thoughtful, fair reviews, but he did, and he did it very well. He never failed to offer words of encouragement when they were needed the most. Tim was smart and incredibly funny, and he will be missed so much.
I reached out to a couple small press authors who were rather close to Tim, and this is what they had to say about him:
"I first came in touch with Tim after he reviewed one of my early books. I hadn't been published very long and he reached out to me to talk about my books and horror in general. We clicked. He had a good sense when it came to good reading material and movies, and he admired the same oddball entertainment I did. I enjoyed our conversations. He made me laugh, and I knew whenever he spoke about what he loved, it came from a place ripe with passion and respect. I hate we never got to meet in person, or hang out and chat about horror face-to-face. Not only did the horror community lose a great person, the world did as well. Until we meet again, my friend."
-- Kristopher Rufty, author of PillowFace
"Tim was a generous, first-rate human being. Though we never met in person, he always treated me with warmth and kindness. He also wrote with eloquence and insight, and he was a passionate champion of the horror genre. The world needs more people like Tim. He will be sorely missed."
-- Jonathan Janz, author of Wolf Land
"There are plenty of fans who support the genre by writing reviews and telling friends what books they like. But there are very few of them who could unironically be called 'champions of the genre' in the way that Tim could be. Tim wanted to spread his fandom far and wide, and I hope he knew how many people he was helping out with that attitude. Intelligent, enthusiastic, and sweet in every interaction I had with him, he will be truly missed. The community has lost one of its best this week."
-- Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House
Have you noticed a pattern yet? Tim Potter was not just a fan. He was one of us. He was family. I recommend you take some time and read over his various reviews and get to know just how much books meant to him. I hope he realized he meant the very same to us, as well.
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