Listen: Jason Potter tells Ben McEachen about his first novel 'Josiah'
Jason Potter had a childhood he doesn’t want other kids to go through.
“Even though I grew up in a Christian family, I went through some pretty challenging times as a kid, especially at school,” Jason told Hope Afternoons.
“I was a victim of fairly severe bullying, particularly in a couple of schools in Victoria.
“For me, that messed with my head, as bullying tends to do.
“I grew up without a strong sense of who I was or an understanding of what it means to be loved or cared for.”
While Jason did feel loved and supported by his immediate family as he grew up, the pain and confusion of bullying clouded his outlook on life at that time.
Years later, Jason is now a school chaplain and youth worker in Canberra. He is also a first-time author, recently releasing the young adult novel Josiah – about a boy finding his own voice in rural Australia during the 1970s.
Jason’s experiences as a tormented child informed Josiah and is also linked with the faithful Old Testament boy king Josiah, Potter’s book was written to “create a sense of hope” in young readers who need help or support.
Jason discovered a sense of hope when he became more involved with a church community as a 14 year old.
Jason said he found God through this church as they extended Christian care and comfort to him, a troubled young man rocked by the intense mental health issues he faced due to bullying.
“There were some people at that church who were my age and a little older. They took me under their wing,” Jason said.
“For me, most of my teenage friendships weren’t really friendships. But in this church group, I found people interested in me, not just interested in what I could do for them.”
He began to ask what was different about this church group than the others he had met. What did they have? Why didn’t they demand anything?
“It got me asking good questions about their motivation and where it came from,” Jason said.
Listen to the full interview with new author Jason Potter in the player above.