Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles. Last month, we interviewed FO of Duronis II Embassy, Brayden Jorey.
This month we’re interviewing Capt. Jalana Rajel – Jess – captain of the USS Constitution-B. Let’s get started!
WOLF: Capt. Rajel, I was just looking through our news archives and it looks like you have been interviewed only once outside of the podcast earlier this year! It’s time to rectify that glaring oversight. Tell us a little about yourself, the writer behind Jalana?
RAJEL: First thank you for having me. I’m not sure how much there is to tell about me. I am Jessica and I’m 37 years old, living in Berlin, Germany. I live there with my boyfriend of almost 15 years in a tiny one room apartment. My first steps in roleplaying I took when I was 8 years old, back then it was a German role playing game called ‘Das schwarze Auge’ (The Dark Eye) and Dungeons and Dragons. Around that time I also started to write, well I tried. My stories were short or never found an actual ending. I also wrote poetry which – remembering that I was 8 – was not very profound. But I kept writing and today I’m a self-published author working on my second novel.
Congratulations on that! Talk to us about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
My style is chaotic, which I don’t think is a bad thing. But I have random ideas, some work, some don’t. I write what comes into my mind and go with my guts or in the roleplay world with the flow of the general story. It is ever changing and keeps surprising me.
When it comes to simming my process is what I call puzzling. I take the pieces from all the sims belonging to the scene I want to write and puzzle them into one post, putting everything in order and if needed untangle things that got tangled. After that I start at the beginning, read everything that has come together, remove other people’s descriptions and rewrite them with my own view and words and after that I begin to fill the gaps and bring the plot forward.
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
Mostly emotions and experiences. I love to make people feel. Be it making them laugh or cry, get angry at a character or put someone – including myself – into difficult situations that make them think. When it comes to experiences I have always worked through issues with writing about them. So many things that I have gone through in my life found their way into writing to process and heal.
Another thing I really enjoy is research. When I still was Medical Officer and later CMO, I have enjoyed that the most. I spent hours or whole nights surfing the net about details of illnesses or treatments, different medical tools or cases for inspirations and so on. I still love the research, I do it for myself, for inspiration, to give more detail in certain plots, or to flesh out my PNPCs. Just a mission or two ago I spent hours with reading General orders and directives, because one of my PNPCs lives for rules and I wanted to make sure I get them right.
Can you give the readers some insight into what it’s like commanding a ship in UFOP: SB118?
Are you sure? ::Laughing:: Well it is like what I imagine it to be to have children. It can be stressful and a lot of work but also so very rewarding. To see the creativity seeping through everyone’s fingers when they write, adding to the story that you gave the base for and they make it to something completely different and unique is fantastic. But not only the whole coming together in character is amazing, also the feeling of community is wonderful. I personally see my crew as a family. We might not always agree on everything but we just love writing together in that world we love provided by Roddenberry. Every day brings new surprises in the stories and to discover each other’s characters is so much fun.
As the facilitator of The (Image) Collective, you’re one of our graphics wizards. How’d you learn all these design skills?
I taught myself, would be the short answer. For the long one, Imagine… Sicily, 1932 – wait wrong show. It has been when I was about 10 years young one of my school projects was to make a calendar and I made one with images and informative texts about Native Americans. Back then I still used tracing paper and one of my favourite books to help me with the pictures. I did like doing that because without that I would have been helpless when it comes to drawing. I still have that problem. But then one day I found a computer magazine with a free graphic program on its CD and played around with it. That must have been over 20 years ago but I never stopped playing around with it in different programs. Imagine me about 15 years later when I found my first tutorials on the internet. I was in heaven. I still find some I have never seen before, and I still play around with things. I am far from what I call great, but working on it. But one thing is for sure, I am having a blast with it and love to share what I have learned and found in the vast world of Graphics design.
Do you take inspiration from any of the captains featured in Star Trek? Are you more of a Kirk or a Picard?
I believe I take inspiration from all of them. Each canon captain has parts that I adore and would like to bottle up for keeps. And despite my love for all of them – yes ALL of them – I have always been a Picard girl, with the desire to be a tad more like Janeway.
Thanks so much for your time!
You can read more about Capt. Rajel on the wiki.