Friday, May 19, 2017

A Different Kind of Magic by J.M. Hackman

Today, I'm letting author J.M. Hackman take over my blog and tell you about the creation of the magic system in her debut novel, SPARK (which I endorsed!!).

A Different Kind of Magic 

Most, if not all, fantasy novels include magic of some sort—whether it’s magical characters, something the characters can create, or something they’re given (like the magical cordial Lucy Pevensie uses in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.) All magic requires rules. And while writing Spark, I created and then followed those rules so the readers would suspend their disbelief, sink into the story, and travel to Linneah.

While creating the different races populating Linneah, I added centaurs, fauns (like Murray), and griffins (like Arvandus, Brenna’s griffin). I’ll admit Arvandus was inspired by Aslan (and if Spark is ever made into a movie, I want Liam Neeson to be Arvandus’ voice). Arvandus is a mutant in that his only eagle-like features are his wings. He’s wiser than Brenna and is a good foil for her impulsive decisions.

Along with the magical creatures, every individual in the Jasper Territory is born with a latent talent. The Most High King gives them a haulos jasper at their birth to indicate they’ve been blessed. As they enter puberty and go through their teens, the talent begins to surface. A small amount of power resides in each gem for initial learning and/or emergencies. And the talent is available regardless of who is served: Rune’s evil or Rexson’s Most High King.

The ability is different for each person, as well as the strength of the gift. Although a person can learn how to control their talent, even with much training, some may not be as strong as others. This talent can be the ability to deal with fire and heat (like Brenna) or the gift to read and handle emotions (like Brenna’s mother). I gave them different titles, like Firebrand, Sensitive, and Visionary, although there are many more gifts that never made it into Spark. I’m hoping to introduce a few new ones into the following books in the series.

While writing a story about individuals with amazing abilities was a lot of fun, there was a purpose behind it. I wanted to write a story about the incredible talents girls have. Although men and women were created equal, science has proven we’ve been gifted with different skills sets, just as God intended. It doesn’t mean we’re weak— it means we’re wired differently. And if you’re a female with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, or another learning disability, you may constantly feel like a square peg being forced into a round hole, despite your ability to see the world differently. Spark showcases an unlikely, unique teen doing remarkable things, just like teens in the world today. They’re not interchangeable, like swapping out a bad battery. They each have a purpose with a special role to fulfill. With girls being sexualized at younger and younger ages, what better magic is there than realizing you can change the world with your unique gift?

J.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 www.jmhackman.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmhackman/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jm_hackman 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15648309.J_M_Hackman
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jillmhackman/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/100069873149516870326
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/J.-M.-Hackman/e/B01K9PJMPE
Purchase Link on L2L2 Website: http://bit.ly/2mf4Iwg

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

Learn more about J.M. Hackman, and some other great authors by checking out her past and future blog tour posts!


1 comment:

Laura A. Grace said...

I absolutely love this! It's so cool to know you wrote SPARK to showcase the incredible talents girls have. Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing a little bit more about the magic system as well. Sounds really interesting, especially that the gifts can unfortunately be used for good or evil.