Pam Halter
Writing Editing Serving

Fairies, Fantasy, & Faith

Blog Tour - Jill Hackman
5/24/2017 6:41:00 AM by: pam

Today, I'm excited to introduce my friend, Jill Hackman, and her YA novel, SPARK. Jill is a fellow Realmie and I'm looking forward to spending time with her this summer at the Realm Makers conference in Reno!

FFF: Welcome, Jill! I'll post the synopsis for SPARK at the end of this interview, but I'd love to know more about how you chose the names in your novel.

JH: Thanks, Pam! One of the most enjoyable elements of crafting a story is choosing and creating names. Whether it’s character names, or place names for landmarks and cities, names evoke certain feelings which add to the overall atmosphere of the story.

When I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was amazed at Tolkien’s ability to play with words and names (and even created languages). Most authors choose people and place names after researching their meanings. I found Sue Browder’s The New Age Baby Name Book invaluable.

FFF: I've used baby name books, too. And I love finding a perfect name that has a particular meaning.

JH: Yes! In the First Prophecy of Linneah, the meaning of names is important. “World Ruler,” “Bull,” and “Raven” are mentioned, referring to Donalt, Taurin, and Brenna, respectively. Other names I used because of their meaning were Baldwin (“bold friend” which describes him very well), Erhardt (“honorable and brave”), and even Reina (which is Latin for “queen” because she’s so queenly in her behavior). The griffins all share the same last name—Leon-Ahren which means “lion-eagle.”

I did the same thing with place names, starting with the scary forest beyond the outskirts of Linneah. Silvastamen is also known as the Dark Wood (Silva is “a wood” in Latin + Taman which means “dark or black”). All the mountains were given robust names, such as Steen (“stone”) and Gibor (“strong”). The cliffs that make up part of Linneah’s coastline are called the Galt Cliffs. Galt is a Norwegian name meaning “high ground.”

When it came to the lake lying just outside Wildamek in the middle of the mountains, I drew a blank. After much thought, I labeled it, “Indermitt”, which in German means, “in the middle.” Yes, it was cheating, but I was out of ideas.

FFF: I wouldn't say cheating - I'd call it being creative.  :)  What other books helped you with names?

JH: In Jill Willamson’s book, Storyworld First, she offered a good rule when adding language to speculative fiction. Her advice is to focus on the people first, then build the language around them. I applied this rule to the names and areas where the characters live. What kind of image did I want to put forth when my characters showed up on the page? Were they elegant, mischievous, flamboyant? Adrik, the blacksmith, is a Camlo from Wildamek. The Camlos are a rough and rugged mountain people, so their names have hard consonant sounds, much like what’s found in the German language.

FFF: That is so cool! Do you ever use names of people you know?

JH: Sure - authors can also pay tribute with the use of names. Linneah is a blend of my two girls’ names. Every author puts a little of themselves into each story, and I wanted to honor the two people who have changed me in some of the best ways possible.

FFF: I love that! And I'm sure your girls love it, too. Thank you so much for sharing part of the process with us! Congrats and God's blessings on your novel!

JH: Thanks for having me!


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



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?


Purchase Link on L2L2 Website:

SPARK is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Kobo, and any other online retailer,

and SPARK can be requested at any bookstore or library.



Michele Israel Harpe From Indianapolis, IN At 5/24/2017 2:09:44 PM

Oh my goodness, I loved learning about all the thought and research that went into the different names! Thank you so much for this lovely post! :)

Reply by: Pam Halter

Isn't she amazing? Thanks for stopping by!

Laura A. Grace From NC At 5/24/2017 9:43:08 AM

This was so cool! Love all the thought and meaning that went into the names of characters and places, Jill. Sounds like was a fun adventure! :D

Reply by: Pam Halter

I know, right? Thanks for stopping by!

Previous Posts

COVER REVEAL - Seaspoken
3/30/2021 7:55:00 AM  by: pam

3/16/2021 7:55:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour for LAMENT
1/29/2021 7:26:00 AM  by: pam

9/24/2020 7:13:00 AM  by: pam

COVER REVEAL - The Soda Pop Wars
8/3/2020 8:03:00 AM  by: pam

7/8/2020 9:33:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour for BURN
5/21/2020 6:59:00 AM  by: pam

4/9/2020 8:20:00 AM  by: pam

BLOG TOUR - Shadow Light
4/6/2020 6:35:00 AM  by: pam

COVER REVEAL - Shadow Light
3/24/2020 9:55:00 AM  by: pam

New and Fun Things!
1/15/2020 7:37:00 PM  by: pam

Christmas Specials!
12/12/2019 6:15:00 PM  by: pam

12/9/2019 10:18:00 AM  by: pam

The Great - a truly unique picture book
12/2/2019 8:11:00 PM  by: pam

COVER REVEAL - Dear Author
11/4/2019 9:59:00 AM  by: pam

FAIRYEATER Birthday Prizes
10/26/2019 7:18:00 AM  by: pam

10/25/2019 8:09:00 AM  by: pam

FAIRYEATER Birthday Week - Day Four
10/24/2019 7:10:00 AM  by: pam

FAIRYEATER Birthday Week - Day Three
10/23/2019 8:15:00 AM  by: pam

FAIRYEATER Birthday Week - Day Two
10/22/2019 7:29:00 AM  by: pam

FAIRYEATER Birthday Week - Day One
10/21/2019 7:54:00 AM  by: pam

SECOND BONUS POST for the Children's Book Scavenger Hunt
9/15/2019 8:47:00 AM  by: pam

FIRST BONUS Post for the Children’s Book Scavenger Hunt
9/14/2019 7:41:00 AM  by: pam

Children’s Book Scavenger Hunt: Stop #8
9/12/2019 8:46:00 PM  by: pam

BLOG TOUR - World Building in Curse Bound
7/10/2019 7:10:00 AM  by: pam

7/4/2019 7:54:00 AM  by: pam

6/6/2019 7:43:00 AM  by: pam

COVER REVEAL - Heart of the Curiosity
5/24/2019 7:05:00 AM  by: pam

Interview With Spencer Meadow Press
5/17/2019 10:52:00 AM  by: pam

Happy Half Birthday, Fairyeater!
4/25/2019 8:20:00 AM  by: pam

4/10/2019 7:22:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour - FLARE
3/5/2019 7:56:00 AM  by: pam

February is Fairyeating Month!
2/6/2019 8:35:00 AM  by: pam

The INSPY Awards
1/29/2019 9:54:00 AM  by: pam

Cover Reveal - FLARE
1/18/2019 8:39:00 AM  by: pam

Rothana Blog Tour - Mythology
11/27/2018 7:22:00 AM  by: pam

Black Friday/Christmas Sale!
11/23/2018 6:24:00 AM  by: pam

Cover Reveal - Rothana
11/6/2018 3:05:00 PM  by: pam

Release Day for Fairyeater!
10/25/2018 7:28:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour for Fairyeater Starts Today!
10/22/2018 9:29:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour - Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales
10/1/2018 2:49:00 PM  by: pam

Blog Tour - Kill the Beast
9/17/2018 7:45:00 AM  by: pam

8/31/2018 7:03:00 AM  by: pam

Almost Cover Reveal Time!
8/24/2018 3:35:00 PM  by: pam

Willoughby's New Bling!
8/2/2018 3:22:00 PM  by: pam

The Realm Awards Finalists' FB Party!
6/15/2018 3:54:00 PM  by: pam

Mechanical Animals, Mechanical Animials, Mechanical Animals
6/5/2018 7:37:00 AM  by: pam

Book Review - SINKING
4/23/2018 10:03:00 AM  by: pam

Author Spotlight - Imani Ariana Grant
4/16/2018 7:41:00 AM  by: pam

Blog Tour - Exordia
4/10/2018 7:22:00 AM  by: pam

Willoughby Wednesday - The Realm Awards!
4/4/2018 9:41:00 AM  by: pam

Willoughby Wednesday - Cover Reveal!
3/28/2018 9:14:00 AM  by: pam

3/27/2018 9:30:00 AM  by: pam

Willoughby Wednesday Sneak Peek!
2/28/2018 12:52:00 PM  by: pam

Blog Tour COMMON by Laurie Lucking
2/5/2018 6:40:00 AM  by: pam

Manuscript Monday - a new beginning
1/22/2018 7:17:00 AM  by: pam

Realm Makers, here I come!
7/25/2017 7:41:00 AM  by: pam

Katie Morford and her amazing Author's Toolkit!
6/26/2017 1:29:00 PM  by: pam

Willoughby In New York!
5/31/2017 9:31:00 AM  by: pam

Willoughby's Illustrator is Having a Map Drawer Clean Out!
5/25/2017 3:44:00 PM  by: pam

Blog Tour - Jill Hackman
5/24/2017 6:41:00 AM  by: pam

Willoughby Wednesday 5-17-17
5/17/2017 7:19:00 AM  by: pam

Manuscript Monday, May 15, 2017
5/15/2017 8:13:00 AM  by: pam

Fantasy Fhoto Friday 5-12-17
5/12/2017 3:45:00 PM  by: pam

Manuscript Monday May 8th
5/8/2017 3:32:00 PM  by: pam

Blog Tour - Rachel Lopez
5/4/2017 6:51:00 AM  by: pam

New Schedule!
5/1/2017 2:02:00 PM  by: pam

Willoughby's Dragon Party
4/2/2017 3:45:00 PM  by: pam

Willoughby Loves to go Visiting!
3/24/2017 8:26:00 PM  by: pam

Fun Facts about Willoughby
3/16/2017 3:49:00 PM  by: pam

Willoughby's Facebook Party!
3/14/2017 8:01:00 AM  by: pam

Cover Reveal Day!
3/6/2017 7:44:00 AM  by: Pam

Willoughby's Coming!
2/27/2017 3:25:00 PM  by: Pam Halter

Those pesky revisions
10/2/2014 1:14:14 PM  by: pam

Contract signed!
8/16/2014 7:20:41 AM  by: pam

My Writing Process Blog Tour
5/26/2014 12:48:35 PM  by: pam

New Location
5/19/2014 12:17:30 PM  by: pam