Today makes nine years since I first started publishing Jack of Harts. I was writing before that, of course. I’ve been writing various fan fictions from Transformers to BattleTech for most of my life, in fact.

But always in the back of my mind I’ve had this idea of the Peloran Confederation. It was a confederation of good guys, human but not from Earth, led by an Admiral Aneerin, who fought to protect everybody he could. Despite the humanity of the main man, it was always a bit of an alien concept, and one that was enjoyable to create in the mind of the child I was when he first came about, but he was hard to truly write about. Who would have thought that telling compelling stories about a basically immortal man with abilities beyond the ken of mortal men, and the greatest fleet and technologies in this galaxy and beyond, all at his disposal in his mission to protect everything and everybody would be difficult? Not the ten year old me who first thought him up, that is for certain.

But, oh around ten years ago, I finally decided it was time to take those stories of the Peloran Confederation I always wanted to tell, and make something of them. I decided I was ready to write stories and sell them, and so I took everything I had learned from a decade or two of writing stories and started Forge of War. It was from the perspective of one human from Minnesota, caught up in a War he did not fully understand between galactic factions he did not even realize existed. The Peloran Confederation and their allies became a far distant realm, with Aneerin having only a small force to aid the Earthborn humans who were the primary protagonists. THAT is a story that is easy to write.

The name of my main character was Jack. His first name was easy. I like to find names that fit the personality of the character I’m writing, and Jack is so very… well… Jack. 😉 The final name came about after exhaustive searches for copyrights and available Internet domains. Existing characters in literature wiped out one possibility after another. It seems a lot of people like to write characters named Jack. Hehehe. There were a lot of possible names or descriptors Jack could have had, but in the end I settled on one that nobody appeared to have ever used before if my searches were to be believed. Certainly never published by any publishing house I could find.

Jack of Harts. At of course. Because it was available and I could buy it.

And nine years ago, I posted my first little snippet in Jack of Hart’s voice. Every day since, for the last nine years, there has been a post on Sometimes previews of stuff I am working on, sometimes my own reflections on the world around us. Usually something in the voice of one of the characters I write, describing their world far in our future. Their diary entries as I like to think of them.

These posts helped to introduce people to the world of Jack before I published Forge of War, and I’ve published at least one story a year on Amazon and other services ever since. Including a total rewrite of Forge of War itself. I’ve got several stories waiting for publishing right now, in fact. The conclusion to the Wolfenheim story is nearly done, while I’ve completed several short stories, which are ready or nearly ready for publishing. One is awaiting a cover. Others are awaiting final editing passes. The joys of self-publishing.

It’s been a good nine years, and I’ve learned more about writing stories than I ever expected when I started. I thought I knew it all back then. I thought I was ready. Hah. And again, I say… hah! It has been a wild ride, and I’m a better writer now than I was then. And I greatly hope I can say, nine years from now, that I am a better writer than I was nine years ago.

To nine years of Jack. I have enjoyed them all. To nine more years of Jack. I look forward to seeing what they bring. And should I manage to succeed in my life-long ambition of living forever, maybe I can add a few more nines of years to that little forward-looking toast.