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Duty Post Award Winner – Romyana Casparian, StarBase 118 Ops (Phoenix Award)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Ensign Romyana Casparian playing a Vulcan/Human hybrid female engineering officer assigned to StarBase 118 Ops. She won the Phoenix Award: “This award goes to those Engineering officers who continue this tradition of excellence in the field of engineering. By performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence, by managing to make their equipment perform above and beyond its rated capacities, the officers meriting this award further the mission of their ship by their superior know-how. In short, miracle workers.”

GALVEN: Thank you so much for accepting my invitation for you to be interviewed! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

CASPARIAN: Hello! My name is Rebecca and I write for a character called Romyana Casparian. I’m a born and bred Dutch, 35 year old, lady who currently lives and works in Germany. I’ve been with SB118 now for four months and before that I only scribbled down a few fan fiction stories to pass the time between university classes, but never any serious role playing. 

The boring cold winter evenings made me look for something I could do that didn’t require any special gear (like most sports do) or supplies (like most crafts hobbies do), and it had to be something that I could fit flexibly within the day. So writing was the perfect solution and Star Trek the perfect theme. I browsed the web for the possibilities of sharing my writing creativeness with others and found SB118. The rest is history!

Congratulations on receiving the Phoenix Award for your amazing work! Could you provide for us how you prepare yourself when preparing to write for a scene?

When I write I need everything around me to be quiet – no distractions. This way I can completely immerse myself into the story – sometimes I even close my eyes and picture the events before me –  and then write them down. In case of action scenes, for example during missions, I also like to put on some epic film music that will help set the general mood.

Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim mentioned in their presentation that the moment you stepped aboard SB118 Ops during a mission, you were able to bring your skills and quick thinking to the table. Do you take any inspiration from any of the Trek shows/books/movies or anywhere else when you begin writing for a scene?

My inspiration for trek related things in the scenes, such as the looks of the environment or the technology used, I take from the Star Trek tv series I watched as a child; TNG, DS9 and Voyager. The rest I take from everyday life or from my own Aerospace Engineering knowledge, which I then spice up a tad to make it fit seamlessly into the Star Trek universe, just like the original creators used to do.

On Romyana’s wiki page, you’ve already edited in quite a bit of history behind your character. What do you take in mind when you’re writing a scene and what you’ve written in her wiki page in terms of character development?

The background for Romyana started off quite sparse because I wanted her to have room to grow and fit into the way role play is done here in SB118. Once I understood the concept better, I fleshed out her back story with some events that explain why she does or doesn’t like certain things. I think this is important, because a person’s character is not only what we are born with but it is also cultivated by the events we encounter in our life.

As Romy grows and experiences more in Starfleet, this will also become part of her character and her backstory.

What advice can you give new and/or veteran players if and/or when they choose to write for a duty post such as an engineering officer ? 

You don’t need to know anything about engineering to write for an engineering duty post. What? Really? Yes! Even though I’m an engineer myself I hardly use my technical knowledge to write the everyday scenes. If you really want to add some detailed technical content, start with a known principle and use search engines to find information, then give it your own twist to turn it into “technobabble”. Don’t worry about the accuracy too much, in the end it is supposed to be an imaginary future world we are role playing in. 

Also, you are not confined to the engineering deck and polishing the antimatter manifolds all the time. There is more to be done around the ship than just taking care of the engines. Move around, pop your head into places and get involved in the action. You are just as much a versatile Starfleet officer as any other! 

It is all about your character’s adventures and your fun while writing them. Creativity knows no bounds!

And lastly, with winning the Phoenix Award and what Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim said about how much you’re willing to go above and beyond helping fellow crewmates both in and out of character, do you have any aspirations within the fleet? Are there any OOC activities you’re associated with, or any you’d like to join?

The OOC community gives me a lot of motivation and pleasure while playing the role play writing game and I want to return the favor to everybody, which is why I participate in as much OOC activity as I can next to my demanding daytime job. I spend quite some time on the Discord chat joining in all types of conversations or sometimes just a simple “Hello, how are you?”, because I believe that a visibly active community motivates people to join, participate and stay. 

Naturally I would like to raise through the ranks, but not too fast! At the moment I enjoy the carefree life of an ensign. 

Recently, I also featured in a podcast interview and this was fun to do. It made me think about joining the Podcast team in the future to lend my voice for reading posts and such. I’m also quite drawn to the Academy training team, writing for mock Cadets. But all in good time.

I’m very honored and pleased to have received the Phoenix Award already so early in my (and Romy’s) SB118 writing “career”. A big thanks to everyone who helped me with my first steps into role play by mail writing, such as my Academy training group, my ever supportive mentor German Galven, the writers in the Ops ship group under the excellent command of Sal Taybrim and of course to each and every fellow role play writer participating in the SB118 community. 

Thanks for your time, Ensign Romyana Casparian!

You can read more about Ensign Romyana Casparian on the wiki.

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