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 Talia Ohnari, playing a Haliian female Medical officer assigned to the USS Constitution-B.
DeVeau: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from? What sort of interests do you have? Anything you’d like to share!
Ohnari: Hi! I live in the US, Ohio, more specifically. I live with my two kids, partner, and a small menagerie of cats and dogs. It’s a little chaotic, but we thrive.
What got you into the science fiction genre, specifically Star Trek?
I’ve been into Trek since TNG was on TV and I would watch it with my best friend. She would have to explain the backstories because she had the channel, and watched more regularly than me.
How did you stumble across SB118 and why did you decide to join?
I actually joined about 6 years ago. My ex-husband had been a previous writer, and we joined up back in 2015. I took a couple of years off, and I stumbled back into it last October.
What is your experience with roleplaying in general?
I’ve had previous experience with an online roleplay way back in the days of Yahoo Chat. (Yes… I am old.) And some tabletop experience.
Why did you choose to write a Haliian, and why a Medical officer?
Well, my first character was a Betazoid Medical officer. I wrote for Mirra Ezo back in the day. I wanted something that was new, but somewhat familiar because…. honestly I fear change. I work in the medical field for my day job, and the Trek universe medical science has always fascinated me. I chose a Haliian as I felt that having an empathic character lends itself well to writing for medical. I confess I am not incredibly knowledgeable of all things Trek, (please hold your pitchforks) and get a little nervous playing more recognizable races and accidentally getting something wrong or backwards in the lore.
What are your future plans for Ohnari?
Right now she’s in her first mission just trying to keep on keeping on, so it’s fun writing from the perspective of a newly graduated Ensign thrust into the fires of a rescue mission.
I want to expand on Talia for having a love for baking that she takes far too seriously. I hope it comes out comically in the writing as I picture it in my head. Some people paint to destress. She has a bad day and manically dives into a vat of frosting and flour to “pipe the rage away.” The image amuses me too much not to create.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Ohnari!
You can read more about Ensign Ohnari on the wiki.