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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Guest Post: The Darlings of Flare by J.M. Hackman

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Hey CF friends!

I’m so excited to feature author J.M. Hackman this week, as she dances her way through the internet on her blog tour! Let’s celebrate the release of her latest book, FLARE: The Firebrand Chronicles, Book Two!

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The “Darlings” of Flare

by J.M. Hackman

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

~William Faulkner

Could you kill your parents? How about your best friend? William Faulkner’s advice was impossible to follow when it came to creating the characters for Flare. Why? Because each character is based on people important to me.

Brenna James is a combination of three people—my two teen daughters and a much younger me. Mouthy, snarky, and sarcastic is a default mode for many teens, mine included. Plus, having my kids in the house gave me a birds-eye view on how this generation responds to people and events.

Like Brenna, I have a close, loving relationship with my parents, and although my mom doesn’t run a country, she was the domestic CEO of our house. Grandma Helen, especially, is based on my maternal grandmother. (Although she’s no longer with us, I think she’d find it awesome “her” character has a kick-butt Weatherbrand ability.)

Storm and Baldwin are both modeled after my husband. Although his sense of humor never makes it into the story (because inside jokes don’t translate well to paper), both of these characters have his charm and thoughtfulness.

Tiny’s relationship to Brenna is much like my relationship with my best friend in high school. She always had my back even if my ideas weren’t the best.

So instead of following William Faulkner’s advice, I’ll be listening to Douglas Coupland. “If you write fiction, you have to love your characters. It’s like your family. You don’t have to like them, but you have to love them.”

J. M. Hackman loves thunderstorms, bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her two munchkins and her handsome husband who supports her in this crazy profession. Her days are filled with writing stories, consuming massive quantities of dark chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her at

Connect with her at her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Fantastic advice, J.M. Hackman! And what amazing insight into the world of Linneah and the heartbeat behind Brenna and our other favorite characters. Thanks for joining Caffeinated Fiction and sharing your amazing stories!

Flare and Spark (Book One of The Firebrand Chronicles) are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Kobo, and any other online retailer, and can be requested at any bookstore or library. Order them both through L2L2 publishing here!

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