Speculative Fiction

Spark! Into the World of J.M. Hackman

Spark_Kindle_high res_1

I’m so excited to kick off the blog tour for J.M. Hackman’s debut portal fantasy, Spark! In this post, we have a visual extravaganza for your eyes to devour. J.M talks about the inspiration for her characters, we get a small tour of the land of Linneah, and we have a special treat. Today, I get to host the world premier of the first teaser trailer for Spark. How cool is that? 

I won’t delay the gratification any longer. Read on to discover the fantastical world Hackman has created.


So J.M., tell us about the characters in this fascinating world of yours. How did you come up with them and what do they look like? 

     When an idea lodges in my head for a book, it starts with characters. Only I don’t usually see them, I hear them—conversations, snippets, maybe an argument. As I continue to think about these characters and begin writing their story, they come into focus.

     Years ago, before the internet was available (yeah, I’m really that old!), I’d scour magazines for pictures. Now the internet and Pinterest has made imagining my characters and their environment much easier. I thought I’d share the characters, places, and things inhabiting Spark.

THE MAIN CHARACTERS (Brenna James, Baldwin Marek): I found Baldwin easily in actor Robbie Ammell.


Brenna was the hardest to find a picture of. Apparently, not many girls have straight, black hair.

“Brenna James”

But Sara Helwe of Sara Helwe Digital Arts ( did a great job creating Brenna for the cover of Spark.




SECONDARY CHARACTERS (Annalise Annalice, Talus Trennen, Arvandus, and Erhardt), aka Cara Delevigne, fencer Jason Rogers, and Chris Hemsworth: (No wonder Anna was so enamored with Erhardt!)

“Annalise Annalice”

I loved using Cara as Anna and Jason Roger’s dark, good looks make him the perfect charming, yet sinister villain.


Griffins are very camera-shy, so unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of one. But silver-


tipped black wings are all this panther needs to become Arvandus.






Yeah, I totally get the Erhardt love! (Sorry, pardon the bug eyes. I’ll just use this notebook for a fan. Give me a sec. I’m good.) 

All righty, then. Why don’t we move on to Linneah? When I read Spark, I was able to envision a fully formed, intricate world. Great job with the description! But what was your inspiration for all those places?

PLACES/THINGS (Cloverdale Reservoir spillway, the Linnean coast, a Hualos jasper, a shield tree) All of these pictures fill out the environment where the characters live. It took a while to find a small stone spillway, but the Edgelaw Reservoir in Scotland fits the bill nicely.

“Cloverdale Reservoir spillway”

The Californian coast has the same topography as Linneah’s, sandy yet with rocky cliffs.

“Linneahn Coast”

My love of sparkle and shine came into play with the Hualos jaspers from Linneah. They look a lot like Swarovski crystals and come in a range of colors and sizes. Hualos jasper

The acacia tree below is not as big as Linneah’s shield tree, but the shape is just right.

shield tree

Thanks for joining me on this virtual tour of Linneah and its characters! If you’d like more pictures of what inspired me while I wrote Spark, check out my Pinterest page (

Wow! I especially love how you’ve found something so close to home, the California coast, and transformed it in your mind. Now I’ll forever see it as Linneah! I will definitely be checking out your Pinterest page!

Thank you so much for being with us, J.M. It’s been crazy fun getting a look at your story world. I feel like I’m a part of it! Below you will find a special surprise, but after that, be sure to check out the link for the next stop on the tour,

~Tuesday, May 16, J.M. Hackman ( Release-Day Feature

and find J.M. online!

~FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Goodreads, and Amazon Author.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Spark at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!


And now, the last part. The thing you’ve been waiting for. The first ever peak at the brand spanking new teaser for Spark! This is called “Out of Time”. Enjoy!



By Amy Brock McNew

Author. Blogger. Fighter.

Former nurse and martial artist.

Amy doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. She enthusiastically explores the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird. She pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities.

This wife and mom is a lover of music, chocolate, the beach, and cherry vanilla Coke. Her home is a zoo, filled with teenagers–both hers and those she seems to collect–two dogs, a cat, and various fish and amphibians. Strangely enough, her kids are the ones who have to tell her to turn the music down.

It is her firm belief that everyone should have a theme song.

Originally from Arkansas, Amy currently resides in Indiana. She and her Taekwondo-instructor husband are constantly acting like overgrown kids–and loving every minute of it. She longs for the day when her husband retires, so she can write her adventures of love and war on a back porch overlooking the ocean.

In flip flops.

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