Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of awards from our recent 2022 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 Lt. Commander Samira Neathler playing a human female First Officer assigned to the Gorkon. She won the Locutus Award: “Awarded to members of the Publicity Team who go above and beyond their monthly requirements for participation regularly.”
DeVeau: Hello Samira! In your last interview, you shared a little about yourself with us. Would you be willing to share more, perhaps your hobbies and interests and your experience with simming before SB118?
NEATHLER: Thank you for the interview. I had to check my old emails. I started simming in 2006 in a different fleet. Long story short, when the place where that ship was hosted shut down in 2015 somewhere, I stopped simming. Between ‘06 and ‘15, I simmed on different ships, but none lasted as long as that very first ship I joined.
After a few years, I kind of missed it, or maybe I missed the interaction with people from all over the world and went looking for a new place to sim at, so I stumbled on SB118 in 2018 and gave it another go. Seeing I’m still here, that’s saying something.
As for hobbies, too little time. But I picked up reading again, and I switched to English books to help me with my writing.
You joined us about four years ago and have been involved since then. What sort of ways do you take part in SB118 beyond simming?
Hmm, let’s see.
The first team I joined was the Training Team. I don’t know what drove me to it. Maybe it was the interaction with new players/writers, introducing them to our ways of simming. Seeing how their ideas can drive a plot in several directions is amazing. Or maybe it was just to help the fleet.
Early on, I also joined the History Team, maybe even before the Training Team. I can’t recall now. These days my input there is keeping the long list of Writer IDs up-to-date on the wiki.
In the meantime, when I encountered funny memes or pictures on the internet that those in the Publicity Team could use, I copied them into Discord for them to use and later I joined the Publicity Team officially.
Each month, there was also a call from those in the Fed News Service to help with editing articles. So here I joined the FNS mainly to help them out with the editing.
Some time ago, the Publicity Team was replaced by the Social Media Team, so when asked who wanted to keep participating, I said yes.
And somehow (Okay, fine, don’t twist my arm, I volunteered.) I also ended up as one of the Training Team Statisticians.
What sort of things do you do as a member of the Publicity team?
I’m mainly maintaining the Facebook page for UFOP SB118. So each time an article from the Newsies Team, like all the interviews you take with our different writers, shows up on the forum, I schedule it so it’s published on the Facebook page.
The same thing goes for the announcement of major events, like the upcoming Halloween contest, the Writing Challenge, the Monthly Ship reports, our monthly Fleetwide Chat, new members that joined the fleet, the Poll of the Month, and so on.
We also have a few people in our team, who collect other links that involve Star Trek, science or writing and that might interest those who follow our page, so those get posted too. And now and then, I toss in the amazing artwork of our Image Collective Team.
The same thing goes for the FNS articles which are published on two Facebook pages (SB118 and the FNS).
What got you interested in being a part of that taskforce?
I was already involved with the Publicity Team, so when the switch was made and they asked for volunteers to keep our Social Media sites up-to-date, I signed up for the Facebook part, because I was most familiar with that.
Why do you think the publicity team is so important to SB118?
Just like our Wiki page, the Forum and our other Social Media Channels, it’s important to show other people who aren’t members or are looking to join our Fleet that our community is alive and thriving. So if you post something every week or even better, every single day, it shows people that there’s activity, that our Fleet is alive and kicking. Just like, I think it’s important that if someone asks questions on our Social Media, that there’s someone around to answer.
How do you juggle your responsibilities to real life, to simming, and to the publicity team?
Some would say by drinking lots of coffee, but I’ll leave that to others.
I take a break now and then, especially during shore leaves, when there’s not that urge of having to sim every other day, I noticed I write less. When RL really bugs me, the first thing I’ll shut down is Discord, while focusing on the simming, because it can take your mind away from what is happening around you.
As for Social Media, that’s the beauty of Facebook. When I struggle for time, there’s usually already something scheduled to be published that day.
Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Neathler!
You can read more about Lt. Commander Samira Neathler on the wiki.