Thanks for the reply
I guess you are completely right about the Kelvin; for all we know, the history of the Federation changed to a massive degree in those 70 years, so the two eras do not neccecarily bear any relationship. It also fits with the whole 'bridging' problem - for all we know, Federation technology changed in a completely random direction in between ENT and 2233.
Also, I'm really glad to hear about where you are taking the novel, in terms of suprises, and new things.
As I get older, I become more of a Roddenbury purist - I begin to realise more and more what an astounding philosopher and visionary he was, and like the Trek from when he was alive (TOS, TAS, the movies, early TNG), more than any other era - and one of the things he always favored was 'the new' over looking backward - and that has served Star Trek remarkably well.
Fundamentally, his humanist vision of exploration and diversity, but mediated by objective reasoning (as opposed to subjectivity) is the essence of Trek. As kids, we tend to look forward to the episodes with Klingons and Romulans, but as adults, it's the stand alone stories that often prove more philosophically fulfilling