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  • Tabitha Caplinger

Living Chosen with ADHD

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Welcome to the blog tour for Burn by J.M. Hackman! I am so excited to introduce you to this book and to have the author share her thoughts on living chosen. (Because we also love a good chosen one trope around here.) It's so cool to see all the ways we can live chosen just as we are and how what we view as imperfections can become part of our purpose.

Be sure to check out all the book details at the end!

At the beginning of the book Spark, a quotation by C.S. Lewis greets readers: There are no ordinary people. Brenna James discovers very early on she’s the fulfiller of the First Prophecy of Linneah, exhibit A in the Chosen One trope. I make no apologies for that trope because it’s the perfect vehicle to showcase an ordinary teen who’s broken, imperfect, (and snarky) yet destined to change the world.

Even though Brenna’s the Chosen One, she doesn’t feel like one. One of her biggest struggles is her ADHD which brings with it a host of other issues, like impulsivity, speaking without a filter, zoning out, and a lack of time management. She doesn’t feel like a Big Deal, and in the past she’s been criticized for processing the world the way she does. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t many characters with ADHD featured in YA fantasy. I wanted to spotlight kids (specifically girls) who have ADHD, showing God didn’t make a mistake with neurodiversity. He chose them to be this way. It’s not an error. These kids are traditionally more humorous, energetic, and creative outside-the box thinkers. So what would it look like when a neurodiverse person is chosen to save the world?

I also gave the individuals in this world “gifts,” a talent each of them receives from the Most High King that makes them special. Brenna has a fire-starting gift. She must figure out how this ability can be used for good or evil. Her choices will affect the future.

To me, “living chosen” is realizing God made each person different on purpose. Brenna isn’t ordinary. Nobody is. Each of us is given abilities, gifts to equip us for amazing things. Brenna’s ADHD and her fire-starting ability display this. After throwing a bit of a fit about being the fulfiller, she adjusts her attitude, realizing if she doesn’t do it, nobody else will and the results could be catastrophic. 

So why do some people love the Chosen One trope? From Arthurian legend to Harry Potter, the trope has been around a long time. Don’t we all want to believe we matter, that we too can do amazing things? The reality is that we do and we can. Nobody can replace you. Your destiny may not be saving the world or defeating a tyrannical king, but we each have talents and gifts chosen from the very beginning that enable us to occupy a place in history that matters. There are no ordinary people. Live Chosen. Because you are.


About Burn, releasing May 26th! (click the image above to preorder.)

Life: 1. Brenna James: 0.

An AWOL talent, an enemy-occupied hometown, and a Life Shade boyfriend—Brenna

James just wants something to go right. Although her family has been given sanctuary in

Syeira, Brenna will never be safe as long as Rune is hunting down and killing Firebrands.

Can someone please wake her up already?

When a prophecy sends Brenna and Baldwin on a confusing quest, they aren’t sure where to begin. They must find the Caelestis Staff, a powerful object that both cuts and mends space itself. Rune wants it too, and he’ll use any lethal tactics necessary to obtain it. Yeah, nightmare material right there.

A traveling oasis, plenty of man-eating mermaids, and one Skeleton King later, Brenna

seriously doubts she has the edge she needs to confront Rune. When Brenna’s faced with the biggest test of her life, will she burn like the Firebrand she is? Or will she burn out?


About the Author

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

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May 25, 2020

Thanks so much, Tabitha, for allowing me to talk about #LivingChosen & Burn! 💜

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