We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Colleen Bancroft, playing a human Security/Tactical officer assigned to the USS Gorkon.
Shayne: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
Bancroft: In real life, I am an artist across various mediums, recently married, and currently focusing on my massive backlog of personal projects while writing for both the Gorkon and other stuff! I live in Colorado, US, but am originally from Kentucky via Indiana.
Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character?
Bancroft: Most of the inspiration I take from other media for my characters comes from TNG. Star Trek is a significantly different enough universe from our own, and also fairly fleshed out, that I can use the shows as all the inspiration I really need, at least from other media. While attempting to limit it to very low doses, I also take inspiration from the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series.
Are there elements of real life that you especially enjoy incorporating into your simming?
Bancroft: There are some pieces of reality that I do at least somewhat enjoy incorporating into my writing. As a trans person in reality, I tend to pull from my own experiences for my main character. It’s refreshing to be able to take those experiences into character, and see how they play out. So far, it’s been a pretty positive time.
What’s been your favorite part of being with the community so far?
Bancroft: I have to choose a favorite? There’s so much here! But, if I have to choose a favorite… The freedom to tell a story, both with others, and on my own. Events happen on the ship and it’s nice to be able to write an introspective sim, looking at exactly what my character’s thinking. At the same time, those single sims fit into the wider story and everybody is shaping it. There’s no specific set ending when the mission is going, and it goes where we take it. No entirely preplanned missions, or at least not any that survive first contact with us, the writers. It’s nice to be able to write without feeling like I’m constrained to a specific ending.
Where would you like to be in a few years? Have a taste of command of your own? Or maybe planning on joining one of our great OOC groups?
Bancroft: Command? Probably not. Maybe, but likely not. However, I think it’d be fun to be a department head at some point – and apparently Assistant Chief is the right track to that. OOC, I will probably join a couple of groups, but I’m not sure which ones yet. The ASDB looks like fun, though.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Bancroft: One piece? Hm. Communicate. Communicate with your fellow shipmates, communicate with your CO and XO, and finally, communicate with everybody else – whether it be the forums or Discord or OOC email lists. It’s more fun for everyone when people talk about stuff out of character, instead of strictly in character; it can make for some fun plot twists. On the note of using Discord, meeting writers from other ships can lead to writing cross-ship posts, which tend to be fun, and also might lead to making friends.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Bancroft!
You can read more about Colleen Bancroft on the wiki.