Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.
This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Montreal, Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, a female Al-Leyan.
GALVEN: Thank you so much for accepting to do an interview with me out of your busy schedule! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?
ROSEK: I’m always happy to help. I’ve been writing with the fleet on and off for 14 years and love the sense of community here. In real life, I work as an instructional aide in an elementary special education classroom and believe with all my heart that a good education can change a person’s life. I’m the mother of two amazing young boys who are the light of my life.
What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?
I’ve served on any number of ships over the years. My very first assignment with the fleet was the Independence at the time under the command of Jessa Anassasi. At that time, I was writing for a Human woman named Rebecca Hollendale, a security/tactical officer. She also served aboard the Ronin under the command of Idril Mar. A bit later on, I switched characters to a Human woman named Elina Kincade. She was an interesting character because I started writing her as an Engineer who eventually became a trained nurse. While writing for her, I served aboard the Eagle and the Challenger-A.
My most recent, and perhaps my favorite, PC, Lael, started her career as an Engineer before switching to Helm and later back to Engineering. She served aboard the Victory, the Gorkon, the Za, the Veritas, and the Montreal.
I also have a menagerie of PNPCs and secondary characters in a variety of duty posts. I’ve played in the fair majority of available duty posts over my time with the fleet.
What’s been your favorite plot you’ve been involved in?
There are so many to choose from. Our captains and crews have really come up with some excellent ones over the years. This might be a bit biased since it was my proposal, but my favorite in recent memory is the Havley’s Hope mission back when I was still serving aboard the Veritas. It was great to see so many of the newer writers getting into the story and throwing twists in. A new race came out of it, one that I’d like to see a Shoals crew use in the future.
Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?
Well, a lot of it for me is first getting my last sim into a document and adding in everyone’s dialogue. I highlight the actions of others in yellow so I don’t forget to change or remove them. Beyond that, it’s looking at the scene and thinking about the history of the character that I’m writing for. What’s their experience been with the kind of situation they’re facing? What might that experience make them feel? How do they react to those feelings?
Is there a particular aspect of your role of First Officer that motivates you in your position?
In my opinion, one of the most rewarding duties of a First Officer is crew relations. Both Mei’konda and I believe a writing environment should be a nurturing place where writers can feel free to be themselves and where they can feel valued. One of the first things I did in taking on the role of First Officer was create regular opportunities for the writers behind the characters to get to know each other and become comfortable with each other. We have watch-alongs and threads in the forums to showcase good writing. We celebrate birthdays and other special events, always building each other up. When disagreements arise, as they inevitably do with such a diverse group, we work to resolve the issues respectfully and honestly. We really are like a big family, supporting one another with both in and out of character challenges.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Don’t be afraid to get to know your fellow writers out of character, too. The supportive relationships a community like ours offers sets us apart from so many other roleplaying games out there. We have some amazing, kind, compassionate people here who are always looking to be helpful. We want new writers to enjoy their experience and to pass their passion on to others. As so many of us say: we come for the game, but stay for the people and the relationships we build along the way.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek!
You can read more about Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek on the wiki.