Award Winning Interviews

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The Elinor of Kanist Order of Excellence winner: Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds

Join us for a special interview in our series of interviews with winners of awards from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony. The Elinor of Kanist Order of Excellence is a new award for 2020 that recognizes those who have served the fleet as a staff member for at least 5 years, attained the rank of Rear Admiral or higher, previously been awarded the Picard Award and Staff Member of the Year Award, and continue to serve the fleet to the betterment of all members. This is the highest staff honor, celebrating longevity, dedication to the fleet, and the perseverance for wearing the Admiral’s belt.

Last month we looked at the namesake of this award, Elinor of Kanist and her legacy for the StarBase 118 Community.  This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, the first player to earn this prestigious award.

Taybrim: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Reynolds: I’m from no particular place in the United Kingdom—I was born in Scotland, but I moved around a lot in my youth. I’m currently living in Yorkshire, England with my partner and our son.

One of Admiral Elinor of Kanist’s legacies was founding the Training Team, and you are our current Academy Commandant.  Tell us more about your involvement with this important taskforce.

Like many, I started as a training officer back when I was a Lieutenant and I very much enjoyed that time. I took a break from the Academy for a while to concentrate on my captaincy and then returned as a Cadet Steward, moving into the Deputy Commandant role and finally Commandant. As Commandant I have a wide variety of responsibilities: reviewing applications, overseeing individual classes, answering questions and offering guidance to our training officers, acting as a Fleet Placement Officer, overseeing the ongoing development of our processes and more.


Duty Post Award Winner – Jona ch’Ranni, USS Gorkon (Voyager Medallion)

Learn more about how to be a great simmer in this interview with a winner of a Duty Post award 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 and this month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant Jona ch’Ranni playing an Andorian operations officer assigned to the USS Gorkon. He won the Voyager Medallion. 

GALVEN: First off, thank you for taking the time with me and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

ch’Ranni: Hello! I’m Josh and I live in the midwest US. I’m married and have energetic twin 5-year old boys. I work in the education IT field and have loved Star Trek since I was a pre-teen. Data, LaForge, and O’Brien were my idols. So, does my secular work push me to write about Ops or did my love of those characters influence me into working in an Operations-type field in real life? Or is it both?

Congratulations on winning the Voyager Medallion! The award is presented to people who have advanced the field of Operations. Could you explain how through Jona ch’Ranni you have accomplished just that?

One of the things that fascinates me about the Star Trek universe is the science and engineering behind the fiction. Star Trek is the kind of sic-fi that could be real in a few hundred years. It’s only fiction because we haven’t attained it yet. I love thinking about all the thousands of details that would go into making life aboard a starship comfortable – or even possible! It’s the behind-the-scenes work of the countless masses that make the exploration of space by our heroes a success and so I try to draw back the curtain a little bit here and there to show what kinds of things might be needed by a ship’s crew.


Counselor Troi talks with a member of the Enterprise-D crew while in her office

Duty Post Award Winner – Corliss Fortune, USS Gorkon (The Order of the Valiant Heart)

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 Lieutenant Corliss Fortune playing a Betazoid female counselor assigned to the USS Gorkon. She  won the Order of the Valiant Heart: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.

GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

FORTUNE: Heya! I’m Hailey and I’m from the grand ol’ state of Texas (we even have our own song, haha). It’s warm and sunny with plenty of allergens to knock you for a roll! I found SB118 way back in the day, but due to College I didn’t have time to check it out. A few years ago a friend of mine stopped roleplaying with me and I felt…lonely, I suppose, so I hunted down a roleplaying group, remembered this place, and decided to leap in and man, I’m glad I did!

Congratulations on being awarded the Order of the Valiant Heart! What does that mean for you and your character?

I’m so excited about it!! I mean it! I think it means that I’m doing a pretty swell job at keeping both in character and keeping things realistic. Sometimes you always get a little niggle that oh man, I’ve messed this up, but it feels good, you know? Means I should keep up the good work and get to it!

Do you take any inspiration from any of the Trek shows/books/movies or anywhere else when you begin writing for a scene?

As a kid, I went to visit my grandmother in another state. On the way there we slept at a hotel with like, two channels, and one of those held a marathon of TOS. My biggest memory is the one with the Horta and just a simple scene of Kirk talking with Spock.

I know various details from fanfics or the show, but when I don’t know something, I go detail hunting with a net and Bing, my own personal search engine, haha. 

However when it involves a session, I fall back on Psychology books and magazines and articles of all kinds, searching for a little start of what I’m needing.

In Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds presentation she says that you help the ship’s writers delve into their character psyches. Could you provide an example on what she means by that?

Sure! I think the one JP with Jo was absolutely interesting. In a pretty recent (how long has it been?) mission, Erin Reynolds (that is to say, Jo’s girlfriend) and Genkos Adea combined minds to ‘swim’ into Quinn’s mind to help her out (it’s very interesting, I greatly suggest reading through it).

Jo’s character was having a bit of an inner argument on how she felt about it.

Now, the thing is, obviously, irl we don’t have people with these powers, and thus the ‘feelings’ behind this is hard to explain. So instead, I rip it down to shreds on what a realistic envisioning of this would be.

However, you also have to take into effect how Corliss, herself, as a telepath and Betazoid, views this scenario. Plus, I tend to poke a little and ask how the writer wants to kind of see things going.

Thing is, you don’t quite know HOW things will go! You try your best! So, she pries a little, focuses on Jo’s feelings (as that’s what was the crux of things), and then gently suggests she speaks with Genkos and Erin about what occurred.

So far what’s happened is: delved into emotions, feelings, and even opened the door for more simming opportunities between Erin, herself, and Genkos at some point.

It helps evolve the story just as much as evolving the character of Jo herself, leaving the door open for her to ask more questions in the future about what may or may not happen between the three (and leaving the writer eager to bash out their own personal story alongside the main plot!)

And lastly, what advice can give new and/or veteran players when they choose to write for a unique duty post such as the counselor? 

The best quote I have ever read is “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you, that’s why you’re here, in college. I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.”

What I like to do, what helps keep me floating along, is when I help others and dig around in their characters and go ‘hey, have you ever considered that this little detail might be evidence of something greater?’ It’s exciting to me, and it’s perfectly okay to let it excite you as well!

Don’t let just one type of counseling session be your ONLY type. Laying on the couch is only useful for some. Some like to pace, to shout, to yell, some like to use the holosuite to go on walks or challenge you to a duel. These open the door to not only exploring their characters, but your own by seeing how YOU react to a new environment!

And uh, don’t hesitate to research! If someone comes up and says ‘hey my character’s drinking problem is becoming an issue’, but you don’t know how to address it, take to Google! Read through AA sources, pound through psychology magazines, buy an audiobook and let it take you on a journey as you make notes.

But above all: have fun with it! Instantly fixing things might be tempting, but it’s much more fun-and helps your own character with their relationships with the crew-to keep digging in and offering real solutions to problems that take more than one attempt to work (such as anger management, couples therapy, EMDR, etc.) and more than one session to get to the bottom of.

Thanks for your time, Lieutenant Corliss Fortune!

You can read more about Lieutenant Corliss Fortune on the wiki.


Duty Post Award winner – Melody Delri’ise, USS Juneau (Sisko Tactical Cross)

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 Lieutenant JG Melody Delri’ise  playing a female Kerelian/Argelian Tactical Officer  assigned to the USS Juneau. She  won the Sisko Tactical Cross: “The Sisko Tactical Cross is a duty post award and is awarded to those Tactical officers who have shown cunning and bravery in battle. Master strategists, and experts in targeting and shield power distribution, these officers have done the impossible to save their ship and the lives of its crew.

Tierney: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Delri’ise: Hello! I’m Ryan, and I write for Melody Delri’ise. I’m an 18 year old, small town drag performer hailing from the outskirts of Melbourne Australia. 

As Captain Oddas Aria noted in her presentation, Delri’ise is seen as creative character that does not always fit the mold of a Tactical Officer. From where did you draw inspiration for this character?

Melody is a character I thought of on the fly and kind of built as I went. I wasn’t at all thinking about trying to make her different from the average tactical officer, or starfleet officer at that. My main thought process in creating her was figuring out how I could incorporate stuff like my love for theatre and performing, and recontextualizing that into a character that could exist in a world like Star Trek. 


Duty Post Award winner – Samira Neathler, USS Gorkon (Natasha Yar Pin)

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 Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler  playing a human female Chief Security and Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Gorkon. She won the Natasha Yar Pin: “Named after the Chief of Security of the USS Enterprise-D, killed in the line of duty, this award is given to those Security officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in protecting and preserving the lives of their crewmates, even at risk to their own.

Tierney: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

Neathler: Thank you for the interview. I’m born and raised in Belgium, one of the smaller countries on the European Mainland. After taking a break from simming, I stumbled on Starbase 118 about two years ago. It’s one of the most enthused and vibrant communities I’ve found so far and wished I had found the place a lot sooner.

In her presentation, Rear Admiral Reynolds notes that your writing  allows you to expertly include Neathler in sims while allowing fellow writers to contribute creatively. How do you walk that line between driving the story while allowing for collaborative writing?

Well, you mentioned it yourself, simming is all about collaborative writing. So as a writer keep that in mind and think of ways how your character can interact with others. A lot depends on the situation my character is in.


Duty Post Award winner – Addison MacKenzie (Prantares Ribbon)

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 Lieutenant Commander Addison MacKenzie playing a Human female Chief Medical Officer assigned to the USS Thor. She  won the Prantares Ribbon: “Awarded to those Medical officers who has moved beyond competence to display a true gift for the healing arts in the context of space medicine. The officers given this award should display the ability to keep a steady hand in the often hazardous conditions in which they must practice, as well as the willingness to risk their own life to save the lives of others.

MOON: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

MACKENZIE: Sure! Born, raised, and living in Cleveland, Ohio, right on Lake Erie in the U.S. I’m a former professor, but now a full-time musician and conductor when COVID isn’t a thing. I love reading and hanging out with my orange Maine Coon, Fritado.

Captain Aron Kells specifically called out your character’s “mature, professional but wryly funny” attributes. As a CMO character personal connections are important. What advice can you give others who want to create a nuanced bedside manner?

Well, I think that’s something that’s totally dependent on the character. Addison cares deeply about the welfare of her patients, as I think all good doctors do, but she also isn’t afraid to throw shade when someone deserves it. There were a number of people on the Thor who recently had physicals that resulted in some serious sass from their CMO… I think that’s just part of who she is, though. If she were a Vulcan, for example, she’d be a lot different. Probably still funny, but the humor would be very different.


Duty Post Award winner – Wes Greaves, USS Thor (Semper Fidelis 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 First Lieutenant Wes Greaves playing a human male marine assigned to the USS Thor. He won the Semper Fidelis award: “For those Starfleet Marines who have shown great skill in protecting their crew, accomplishing their mission, avoiding tragic loss of life in the line of duty, and upholding the values of the UFoP in times of crisis.”

LEPHI: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

GREAVES: Hey there! The name behind the character is Jacob, and I originally hail from Washington state in the US, although I’ve lived all over it seems.  So far I’ve called Washington, Virginia, Missouri, California, and North Carolina home.  Of all of the places I’ve lived though, I still love the Pacific Northwest the best.  

I’m a proud  nerd through and through, like I assume most of us here are.  Grew up in the 90s watching TNG after school, and I’ve loved trek ever since.  In real life I’m a military police officer, however my career has been so crazy I’ve actually never been involved with law enforcement. Spent most of my time doing training to do mounted combat patrols, working battlefield forensics, and leading a section that does strategic transportation planning.  In the last few years I rediscovered a love for aviation, and I am slowly but surely working my way toward a transition to commercial aviation as a new career path. 


Duty Post Award Winner – Quentin Collins, USS Arrow (Cochrane Award)

Learn more about how to be a great simmer in this interview with a winner of a Duty Post award 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, and this month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt. Commander Quentin Collins, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Arrow. He won the Cochrane Award which is awarded to those science officers who have contributed greatly to the advance of science in the midst of their Starfleet career, by staying knowledgeable about their field, participating in the community of science, but most importantly, by placing their knowledge at the service of their ship and its mission. 

GALVEN: First off, It’s an honor and a privilege that we could sit down together for an interview and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

COLLINS: THE HONOR IS ALL MINE. As people have surely seen by now on the Discord, I could talk forever, so this is WONDERFUL for me.  My name is Justin and I am a full-time/freelance writer from the north of Texas! I’ve been writing full time for a living for about ten years now. Mostly I focus on feature writing and criticism, mainly comics and movies BUT I’ve started to put in a number of pitches for work-for-hire comics and audio scripting. To try and “level up” as it were in my writing career.

I found the 118 toward the end of 2018, was given my first posting shortly thereafter,  and it’s been just a delight and privilege to get to hone my prose and create here with so many other wonderful writers and creatives.


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.


Counselor Troi talks with a member of the Enterprise-D crew while in her office

Duty Post Award Winner – Alexander Brodie, Embassy of Duronis II (The Order of the Valiant Heart)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 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 Alexander Brodie playing a Human male chief counselor assigned to the Embassy of Duronis II. He  won the Order of the Valiant Heart: “This award is given to those ship’s Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.

GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?

BRODIE: Well, I hail from the United Kingdom and stay up in Scotland currently. To be fair, I consider myself Scottish having lived here pretty much my whole adult life. Always been a fan of Star Trek from watching TOS reruns on the BBC after school.

Rear Admiral Toni Turner said in her presentation that Brodie counsels by not counseling and this is powers of observation is excellent. Could you provide us an example of what she means by that? 

I’ve always tried to have Brodie be a very alert character, sees a lot but doesn’t always act on it. He’s definitely a watcher and listener. That allows him to work with his crewmates ‘out of the office’ as it were, spending time talking to them and being there when he’s needed – or when he feels he will be.

I suppose a recent example would be the reported death of Irina Pavlova. Brodie had met Irinia briefly when he arrived at the Embassy so knew how it may affect her former crewmates. This allowed him to come at the situation as a concerned friend rather than as a medical professional. It helps to talk but sometimes people find it easier to just ‘talk about old times with a friend’ than ‘go and see ‘the shrink’.


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