Spark Blog Tour: Author Interview with Portal-Finding J.M. Hackman


Happy Thursday!

Today I have the great pleasure of introducing a wonderfully fun author who might just know how to get you into a few alternate realities.

Pretty cool, right?

I thought so too, especially when she shared a delicious breakfast recipe and we talked about waffles.

(Are you getting hungry yet?)

Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with J.M. Hackman about portals, creating fire, and her portal fantasy, Spark.

About the Book


Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands. Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against her will. Who knew portals even existed? But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, including a royal murder and the theft of Linneah’s most powerful relic: the Sacred Veil. Hold up. Can everything just slow down for a sec?

Unwilling yet left with no other choice, Brenna and her new friend Baldwin (Um, hello, Hottie!) pursue the thief into the dangerous woods of Silvastamen and beyond. Exactly what Brenna wanted to do for her sixteenth birthday. Exactly. When they spy an army marching toward Linneah, Brenna is horrified. Can she find the veil, save her mother, and warn Linneah in time? And more importantly, why on earth doesn’t this alternity have Belgian waffles?

Spark is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Kobo, and any other online retailer, and Spark can be requested at any bookstore or library.

Purchase Link on L2L2 Website


Let’s Chat!

– I am SO excited to have you on my blog, Jill! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?

Thanks for having me, Laura. Creative, introvert, dreamer (It’s a nice way of saying I’m forgetful).

–  Haha! I agree, especially if you get caught day dreaming. You mention on your site that you have been looking for portals to other worlds. Have you found any that you’re willing to share with us? Maybe a location?

Portals are always found around water. The Outer Banks in North Carolina is a portal—one of the most beautiful places on the planet. But I don’t believe there are any Linneans there, just truly nice people.

– Ooo I must take a trip to my state’s coast line then because I live in NC. Thanks for mentioning where I could find them. 😉 I love the idea behind your blog of “True North Fiction.” Who are some people that have helped guide you onto the path of writing? 

Because I’ve written since I could hold a pencil, my parents were instrumental in letting me write whatever was in my heart and supporting me. After I got married, my husband didn’t demand I give up this silly idea of writing, but instead encouraged me to keep trying. He’s my beta reader/critiquer/lover/friend. And my two munchkins were the inspiration for the theme of Spark. All of my family had a part.

– That’s so wonderful! My husband is that to me too. Your first speculative novel has been released and the cover is so eye-catching! What were some of your first thoughts when you saw it for the first time?

“Oooh, pretty!” Seriously, I thought it was gorgeous. Sara Helwe is so talented. My best efforts at truly artistic drawings are stick figures, so I admire her ability to create such fantastic covers. It was interesting—Sara managed to capture Brenna’s stubborn streak. I thought the person on the cover looked like someone who wouldn’t hesitate to give someone a little attitude.

– Oh my goodness, I thought the same thing! Spark is sooooo pretty and Sara did an amazing job. What would you do if you could create fire with your hands?

I’d be very popular at camp-outs when it was time to make s’mores. Actually, I’d be dangerous, until I learned to use the gift to heal, like Brenna did. Otherwise, I’d probably walk around accidentally setting everything on fire.

– Haha! I agree that you would definitely be very popular at camp-outs. 😉 I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I am curious about who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with you? What would you guys do?

I had to think hard about this question, because I love all my characters (except Talus. I don’t love him. At all.) I’d have to pick Arvandus because he’s a special kind of cool. Maybe we could fly to the Penn State creamery for some ice cream—it’s so delicious.

– That sounds like so much fun! Since Belgian waffles seem like an important thing to have in the alternate reality, Linneah, what’s your favorite kind of breakfast?

If I have the chance to eat at The Waffle Shop in State College, I love their Georgia Pecan Waffles. If I’m at home, I like making Egg Muffin Sandwiches. They’re quick, easy and microwavable. Here’s the recipe:

Split and toast an English muffin. Meanwhile, spray a ramekin with cooking spray, then crack in one egg and whisk it. Add in 1 T. bacon bits and 1 T. cheddar cheese; stir. Microwave on high for 30 seconds or till done. (Check underside to make sure it’s not gooey; if it is, flip and microwave for a little longer.) Butter the toasted muffin and put the cooked egg “disc” in the middle. Enjoy!

Thanks again for having me, Laura!

– I’ll have to try that out! Sounds delicious. Thanks for stopping by and chatting with me! It was fun!

About the Author

Author_JM_Hackman_Headshot.jpgJ.M. Hackman has held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds the last three. And loves it. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University and now spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her at

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Be sure to check out this fun guest post about how J.M. chose names on Pam Halter’s blog and stay tuned for a behind-the-scene over on Jebraun Clifford’s blog tomorrow. 

By | 2019-03-03T10:21:06-04:00 May 25th, 2017|Author Interview|2 Comments

About the Author:

Laura A. Grace had a lifelong dream of getting to know authors behind the covers of her favorite reads. Little did she know that one day she would become an author, too! She has since published Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl and Team Lines: A Poetry Collection, and has an upcoming manga, Gathering Faith. An avid BookTuber and book blogger at Unicorn Quester, as well as writer of clean, Christian manga, Laura creatively balances her passions of supporting indie authors and feeding her readers new stories. In between, she wields plastic lightsabers with her children and binge-watches anime with her husband.


  1. Jebraun Clifford May 25, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Yum, yum! That sounds like a quick and easy breakfast 🙂
    annnnd, Brenna looks exactly like her character!

  2. jmhackman May 26, 2017 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on J.M. Hackman and commented:
    Thanks, Laura for the interview and hosting me — I enjoyed chatting about waffles with you! 🙂

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