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 LTJG. Edward Spears, playing a human male medical officer assigned to the Constitution-B.
YITO: We spoke to you a few months ago after you won duty post ribbon. Do you want to tell us a little more about the writer behind the character — and remind us where in the world do you hail from?
SPEARS: Thanks for having me for another interview. It’s always a pleasure to chat about my experiences with the fleet so far. As I have mentioned before; I live in the chilly northern reaches of Canada and tend to move around the country quite a lot as a serving military officer. Beyond that, I’m a father, science fiction fanatic, and of course a Trekkie.
Living in a country filled with diverse landscapes, climates, cultures, people, and traditions have really informed my view of the world at large. I also hold a bachelors degree in cultural anthropology, which has helped me cultivate an endless desire to learn more about the way other people live. I think my early love of Trek might have helped push me in that direction during my university studies.
Is this your first simming experience, or have you done other forms of role-playing before?
I’ve had the pleasure of roleplaying in a wide variety of formats and settings. I started with Dungeons and Dragons when I was in 6th grade, and haven’t really looked back since then. I’ve been involved with other Star Trek roleplaying groups in the past as well but had to take a break from my writing and from roleplaying in general thanks to that pesky thing we call real life.
How did you find out about Starbase 118 and what made you ultimately choose our community and stay with us?
I was feeling the urge to get back into roleplaying via writing but wanted to keep an open mind about my options. A few Google searches brought me here to SB118 and I’m so glad that this is where I decided to pick up my proverbial pen again. Creative writing has always been a passion, and doing so collaboratively is still my favourite way to keep the inspiration flowing. To get with a group of people as passionate as this, and to watch the ideas and the enthusiasm flow so easily is exactly what is keeping me engaged in this community.
Everyone from the upper echelon on down shows time and again how committed they are to not just the fun side of writing characters and having adventures, but also to the business of managing a growing community of talented people. A lot of personal work goes into keeping this community afloat and feeling the way that it does and that work by those tireless enthusiasts is really what helps keep players around, so a big shout out to everyone committing their time to the fleet’s continued mission!
When we spoke last you were the second medical officer on the Constitution, now that officer has transfer to one of the new ships, how are you finding having sickbay to yourself?
Well as we know in this fleet nothing stays the same forever. The formation of several new ships just goes to show how active this community is, and that’s how we all get opportunities to try new things, whether that’s new duty posts or new ships. At the time of writing this interview, I’m already back to being part of an outstanding team in the Constitution’s sickbay, but with a different dynamic from before. I’m beyond excited at the prospects these new character relationships are going to bring for my character, and to continue adding to the overall story of our ship.
Do you personally have aspirations in the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join?
My aspiration is to be the best writer I can be and to be an integral piece of telling the stories of whichever group of other writers I’m with at any given time. As to the opportunities that such continued involvement might bring; I am always excited to take on new challenges and responsibilities.
My current OOC activities include volunteering as a wiki-helper for the Constitution and continuing to work on a journal article for Starfleet Medical (It’s coming, I swear!). What I’m most looking forward to in the future is the chance to become a mentor, and to help new members of the fleet fit in and thrive as they find their feet here.
Looking back on your experience so far, what would be one piece of advice you’d give to anyone who’s just joined?
Can I only give one? Take advantage of the experience of all the other amazing writers you’re going to work with. Read their sims, learn how they tell stories from the perspectives of their characters, and then use that to help you develop your own unique storytelling style and to truly bring your character to life. It will help you feel connected to and inspired by your character, and will easily integrate you into the crew. Once that happens you’ll be at the centre of the action no matter what duty post you’re holding down.
Bonus advice! Don’t be afraid to take some risks in developing your character. Add some drama in your backstory, form a rivalry with a PNPC, or throw in a quirk of your character that both adds to your story, and sets you apart as unique. This roleplaying format is like a huge blank canvas for you to play with. Take advantage!
Thanks for your time, LTJG. Spears!