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 Bryce Tagren-Quinn playing a male Human/El-Aurian Medical Officer assigned to the Gorkon.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? Anything you’d like to share!
Tagren-Quinn: So yeah, hi, my name’s Kara! I’m from a little bit of everywhere. Currently, I live on the East Coast (United States) with my partner, our daughter, and three cats. When I’m not working or doing something artsy, I like to spend time outdoors, whether that be gardening, hiking, etc. Life is busy (isn’t that true for us all, though?!), and I don’t get to go on outdoor adventures as nearly as often as I’d like to.
What was your introduction to Science Fiction in general and Star Trek specifically?
Hands down, it was my father. He was away from home a lot when I was little and, when he was around, my brother and I would always sit with him and watch Star Trek, and explore other fantasy and science fiction films, shows and books. The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone were other popular programs in our home.
What is your experience with roleplaying?
It’s somewhat limited. I know, I know – gasp!
I like to write, though, and tell stories, dive into different perspectives and explore the human condition in a variety of circumstances and backdrops, and I think that’s one of many amazing things that a writing, text-based RPG can offer. An individual can be transported into the mind and life of another, and learn something new or develop an understanding or deeper appreciation – because life is messy, it’s not always perfect, but there are experiences that drive us all. In that, even in that ocean of differing experiences, we can find similarities that connect us in unexpected but extraordinary ways.
What brought you to SB118?
I was a member for a short time a few years back and, at that time, I was looking for a creative outlet. There was something about the highly creative collaborative environment that spoke to me initially and still does to this day – which is why I returned. The community is very supportive and inclusive, diverse, and the calibre of writing and storytelling, the absolute talent, here is incredible. I am constantly left in awe and feel very fortunate (and honestly humbled) to be amongst such talented individuals and to learn from them and grow because of them.
Why did you choose this specific character and duty post?
I wanted to do an extension of something that I had already established within the SB118 world – but also flip the script a little. Bryce and my previous character (who is his biological mother), are similar yet different. He had an already established career in medicine, was in a loving relationship, and had no desire to join Starfleet for a variety of understandable reasons (so, by all accounts, a happy and fulfilling life) until a seismic event changed his course forever. The question was how did that affect him?
The goal was to create a character that was believable and flawed, who has made mistakes, all within the Star Trek universe. He isn’t a bright-eyed Ensign; he has a history and breadth of experience that creates a complicated perspective. Also, exploring what it meant to be partially El-Aurian, since there is limited information out there, gave some room and freedom to explore multiple facets there as well.
The duty post, I felt, allowing for the greatest interaction amongst a variety of levels of characters/writers. Being able to research and think about what medicine meant and entailed in the Star Trek universe made the most appealing, and worked for the overall character and his individual story.
Where do you see your character five years from now?
Oh, who knows?!
There are a few ideas that would take time to develop but there isn’t a “controlled”, concrete plan outside of a desire to see him develop organically. Being a part of a collaborative environment brings a breathtaking element of the wild, adventurous unknown. Relationships, interactions, choices; he has already been shaped by the external environment and other characters – the amazing contributions (e.g., missions, work, conversations, burgeoning friendships, etc.) of other talented writers. And, for that, I’m very thankful and excited to see where things go.
There is some suspension of disbelief when writing in and enjoying the Star Trek world (or any kind of fictional world for that matter), but having some pieces anchored by realistic elements and having a variety of factors influencing how a character develops makes it all the more real (and relatable).
Thanks for your time, Ensign Tagren-Quinn!
You can read more about Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn on the wiki.