X is for eXperiment

In today’s continuation of the A-Z Challenge, I give you:

X is for eXperiment

I tried to find a synonym for experiment(al) that began with X, even in other languages, but I failed in this task. Hence, I’m cheating on the X like most other folks doing the A-Z Challenge.

Most of my childhood was comprised of instability, so it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I’m a Type-A control freak. Doing things spur of the moment or taking risks isn’t one of my strengths, yet writing Class-M Exile was experiment from moment one.

Class-M Exile by Raven Oak front book coverI don’t typically write in 1st person POV, and I’ve certainly never written anyone with such a heavy southern accent before. But Eerl was both of those things–deep 1st person with the accent I hated most from Texas.

But it wasn’t just the point of view and accent that made the book an experiment–it was the plot and character arcs. I took risks in the writing and went with a non-traditional idea. The top layer held hilarity and puns while underneath lay themes of prejudice and diversity.

Then there was the length.

It began as a short story and evolved into a novella. Quite a few reviewers have called for me to write more in this world or even expand it into a full-length novel.

Writing has always been a risk. It is for every author. Unreliable royalty payments, unknown work schedules, self-employment benefits, travel, and the uncontrollable readers and reviewers. We may put words to paper, but after that, everything about the process is a risk, an experiment.

This novella was a risk worth taking. Just this week, I’ve found that two months before release, Class-M Exile is a Amazon UK Hot New Release, and even better, there’s a flame-war going on on a popular Star Trek forum as to whether the title to my book is a nod to Star Trek (which coined the original Class-M phrase), a stupidity on my part, or something else altogether.

[important]So which is it?

A mix of several answers. While the term was coined by Star Trek, the phrase (along with warp drive and several others) has become part of the vernacular and appears in many novels, movies, etc. NASA has used the phrase as well. It’s commonly used in microbiology as well because we often group planets based on their heat. Earth-like planets are mesoplanets, and thus, categorized as Class-M planets in microbiology. All that being said, I grew up on space opera. Being a space opera novella, the title is very much a nod to my space opera roots. [/important]

Exposure at this point in my early career is a good thing, and if Trekkies want to argue about my novel, carry on folks! I don’t know how they found out about my book, but I’m glad to have them!

Sometimes experiments pay off!


This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) in the month of May, I’ll be posting about people, places, books, games, and other things that influence me as a writer or add a certain magic to my life. Join me in April as we explore a Hodge-Podge of Influences & Wayward Treks through the Fantastical.

Read more of my A-Z Challenge posts here.

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