Bar Harbor writer Jane Potter’s book “Sharkbait” is a science-based thriller set in Hawaii, Oregon, and Bar Harbor. IMAGES COURTESY OF JANE POTTER

Science-based fiction

BAR HARBOR — Local author Jane Potter finds inspiration living and writing on Mount Desert Island, though her books take place in locations all over the world.

“Sharkbait,” a 2011 novel available at Sherman’s Books, is set in Hawaii. The main character, a Bar Harbor marine biologist, must solve the mystery of apparent shark attacks on land.

Potter, who has a Doctorate in Biochemistry, said the book, while fiction, is “based on real science. I imagine what might happen with the warming oceans changing genetics in the ocean creatures.”

The book description on Amazon calls it “‘Jaws’ meets global warming …” and “an inconvenient tooth.”

Jane Potter

Potter’s latest book, “Margaret’s Mentor,” is set in Scotland. Potter, who was born in Scotland, visits often and said it has become her favorite place to write about.

The book follows two lawyers from Portland, Maine who are interested in the English writer Dr. Samuel Johnson, and travel to northern Scotland. Set in current times in December, the main characters find themselves “in a position to save somebody’s life,” Potter said.

The 2019 novel from Maine Authors Publishing is the first in a trilogy, the next two will be out in the spring. According to Potter, the second and third books are also mainly set in Scotland. “I’ve been studying Pictish monuments and jewelry,” she said. While in Scotland, Potter said she does primary research and visits monuments. “I don’t rely on online research,” she said. “I like to verify them myself.”

An avid birder, Potter said she is working birding into the third book of the series.

Potter was born in Scotland. She lived in New York as a child and spent summers in Southwest Harbor with her family. In 1979 she moved to Bar Harbor to work as a Post-Doctorate researcher at Jackson Laboratory.

After six years at the Lab, Potter studied patent law at University of Maine Law School in Portland. She moved to Seattle, Washington to practice law.

Following a visit to Bhutan, Potter wrote her first novel called “Because It’s There,” published in 2007. A mountain climbing courtroom mystery set in Seattle and the Himalayas, the book was an Indie Excellence Finalist.

Potter returned to Bar Harbor in 2016. Though she is in private practice as a consultant, she spends most of her time writing. Bar Harbor is a good place to be a writer, she said. “For me, I like being outdoors a lot. I can work in the morning and go for a long walk and let ideas percolate.

“I think being out in nature can be so inspiring.”

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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