I started writing the Jack of Harts stories over a decade ago. One of the earlier visuals I wrote back then was that Republic of Texas warships flew the Texas flag over the American flag. Both the names and the visual were designed to give the reader the feel that the world of Jack was subtly different from our own. And this was not long after the story was introduced on a bass boat on a lake with a father and son fishing to show that this world was very much like our own. Even if it was three centuries in our future. This duality of like and unlike is something I have used in all the years since to further tell the Jack of Harts stories. And it has made them better than they would have been without either or both.