I first began writing the original Jack nearly 20 years ago, back when Cowboy Bebop had just recently come out. He was very much based on the archetype of Spike, though without the crazy hair. Very roguish in actions, covering for far more sincerity underneath. He was the best of the best, he knew it, and was happy to help others know it too. He had long since left Earth behind, and was living his best life on the other side of known space. Much like the Jack I ended up writing for Jack of Harts was living his best life on Earth. Even if it wasn’t the life he would have chosen if he known where it would lead. Which of course is the point. Nothing is perfect, even when one is trying to make it so. Perhaps especially then.
In both versions of the character, Jack works with the Peloran. The prototype Peloran were actually the very first stories I ever wrote back in the day, over 30 years ago, back when I was in Middle School. They were always warriors, and never, ever retreated. They may withdraw to fight again, but they NEVER ran from a fight. And if cornered, they fought to the death. Death in battle in defense of something great is glorious after all. This was always one of the bedrock principles of the Peloran, even from the earliest writing, and holds true to this day in my Jack of Harts stories.
Now Jack in those early stories was very much one of those who had seen things, been places, done all that, and retired to a quieter life on the outskirts of known space. He wasn't the young Jack we see in my current stories. He was an older Jack, who had a much darker history than the current Jack I write about. But one thing remains true between that prototype Jack and the one in my Jack of Harts writing.
Betty. Betty was his partner. I think Jasmine was too, though I would have go back and check to be certain. Either way, even in those oldest stories, Jack and the other humans who worked with him, had AI partners that made them better. I don’t know if AIs will work out that way in real life, but I like to think that it could if we make the right choices. Now Jack has had rather good relations with a lot of AIs over time. Cybers as I call them in my stories. His family has a long tradition of working with them, you see, though he is mostly in the dark about it. The cybers are not. And the more they see him living up to his father’s and grandfather’s examples when it comes to them, the more they are happy to work with him.
In the end, the Jack I write about in these stories has weathered tragedies. Some of his own making. Some that came out of the blue. And Jack ends up developing two rather opposed personalities during the stories. The first one is his base personality, the one he defaults to, even if he has spent years running from it when the stories start. Serious, studious, and determined to do right at every opportunity. The boy his parents raised him to be. Nice to everyone, and quick to help others. He was a genuine Boy Scout, and a tour guide for rich vacationers seeing the wild sights of Northern Minnesota. That man peeks out from time to time.
The second Jack is the personality he wears most of the time. The personality he projects. Captain Jack Hart. Obnoxious, opportunistic, and rather concerned with displaying his good looks for all the pretty girls to see. He is God’s gift to women, and he is happy to spread that gift far and wide. He is the man with the plan. Well, the beginnings of one. He’ll fake it until he makes it up, and everything that happens is totally according to plan. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing. And the enemy will never see him coming, because nobody knows Jack about him.
It makes him fun to write, and honestly he tends to write himself rather easy. He was originally based on an anime character, so I try to write scenes I would like to see in an anime. And since I love music, I slip that in as well. Both when I’m actually writing, which I always do to music, and into the scenes themselves. Jack even fights to music, must of which is sung by the very best girls in all the worlds. In his own very biased opinion of course. But no one would argue the point with him. Especially to his face. Right?
Included is a link to one of the many songs on Jack of Harts Writing music list. I bring it up, hit shuffle, and go to work with all kinds of music in the background. And Jack comes from a little bit of all of that.