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Friday, August 30, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Amaya Avraham


***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Amaya Avraham
Age: 40
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Crimson
Official Job on Shark Station: Chief Hydroculturalist and Nutritionist

Personality Description:


Dr. Avraham has the ESTJ-A or Executive personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/estj-personality.

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: I didn’t volunteer, perse. Mayor Cho personally asked me to go. He informed me of the situation at hand and that the individuals on the station would need someone with my expertise in order to keep everyone alive. They would need food to be grown and in an environment like Shark Station, a rookie wouldn’t have been able to keep the plants alive long enough at a healthy state for human consumption. He also told me he chose me for my distance from the situation and ability to keep my resolve under pressure.


Question 2: How did you feel about Allie and her friends after spending a couple of days with them?

Answer: Mayor Cho had told me about some of their misadventures and why they were being sent to Shark Station in the first place. I quickly discovered for myself why they were being dealt such a punishment. They have a clear lack of respect for authority, take unnecessary risks, and repeatedly put themselves and other’s lives in danger. They refuse to listen to anyone they disagree with and act cavalier about getting out of their predicament without a scratch. I detested having to be in charge of them, but at the least, it gave me dedicated time to work on my gene expression research while having free helpers.


Question 3: How did you feel when the teenagers' attitudes changed towards you after the earthquake?

Answer: Honestly, I was shocked. I did not expect that from them, especially Allie, who had clearly held animosity for me the entire stay at the station. Devon was the one I was least shocked about. He acted with an air of professionalism and did his best despite the dismal circumstances. I am most grateful to him for what he did.


Question 4: What did you do while waiting for rescue in the hydroponic room?

Answer: At first, once I was able to stand again, I attempted to make my way to the stairwell to reach the upper floors. The aftershocks blocked the way both up and down, so I was trapped. I didn’t know how long it would take to be rescued, so I used what I could to make a makeshift bed to sleep on. I had plenty of food and water thanks to the hydroponics chamber, but every time I tried to use the communication system to alert Oceania, I heard nothing. It was disheartening, but I had hope due to the hydroponics chamber. I worried about the others since they were in much worse shape than me.


Random Question: What was the most difficult plant for you to maintain the hydroponic chambers?

Answer: Potatoes. They were difficult for a variety of reasons. One was because of their size, but also because somehow, they kept growing a fungus that I couldn’t place. The potatoes that I was using were genetically altered for a shorter growing period and I hypothesize that could have been why they weren’t growing well. They were certainly the ones that gave me the most headaches.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Jay Kwon


***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Jay Kwon
Age: 51
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Blue Abyss (aka Navy Blue)
Official Job on Shark Station: Ecological Specialist

Personality Description:
Dr. Jay Kwon is a reserved, yet passionate abyssal ecologist. Observant of others, his quiet nature is often mistaken for introvertedness, when in reality he is more of an ambivert. Scientific research sparks an internal fire in him that lights up his persona. Otherwise, Jay Kwon is an even-tempered individual. A muted sense of adventure drives him to want to discover all he can about the mysterious abyss. Although dedicated to abyssal ecology, Dr. Kwon also dabbles in other fields such as the culinary arts, computer programming, and even the art style of pointillism in his spare time.


Dr. Kwon has the INFJ-A or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality.


***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: Oh, that is an easy one. I volunteered to go to Shark Station for the opportunity to research the abyssal and bathypelagic. It is an entirely new area of the ocean than where I’ve conducted previous research and I wanted to make comparisons between the two. In addition, having Shark Station already in the abyssal pelagic zone, I was literally where I needed to study. I could leave the station and conduct research with greater ease and frequency than I could in Oceania. This was the opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn’t pass up.


Question 2: What was it like to research the hadalpelagic in contrast to the abyssal pelagic?

Answer: The hadalpelagic and the abyssal pelagic differed only slightly, to be honest. In both environments, the fauna is minimal. In that way, they didn’t differ much at all. However, the amount of pressure and lack of resources differ. Whether on land or in Oceania, the lack of research on the Sirena Deep is immense and any new knowledge that can be obtained is extremely valuable. I was surprised to find coral at the bottom of the sea—literally. The Mariana Trench is the deepest trench in the world, and it is the closest you can get to the Earth’s core without penetrating the crust. I found it to be unique, as I had not found deep-sea coral, well, quite that deep before.


Question 3: When you were at the bottom of the Sirena Deep and you started to feel unwell, what was your first thought?

Answer: [After a long pause to think, Dr. Kwon answers] The pain was all-consuming, so it is hard to think what my first thought was beyond, “this really hurts.” I think I thought that I was going to die and how far away we were from help. Even though we had Dr. Jones, who I have a lot of faith in, Shark Station pales in comparison to the medical technologies we have in Oceania. I began to wonder if I would die on the ocean floor and never be able to finish my research.


Question 4: What did you think about Allie being your designated mentee?

Answer: Allie is a gifted scientist who seems to either doubt herself or be overconfident. She needs to learn a balance between the two. Her sense of discovery is well-developed and she should continue to explore the deep. I have to say that the way she is comfortable in the blackness of the sea is awe-inspiring. It took me a long time to get comfortable being alone in a submersible, let alone something as indefensible as the SCUBAPS. For that, I admire her.


Random Question: What was your favorite food aboard Shark Station?

Answer: My favorite food item had to be the eel-fish wrap. I discovered a new species of eel that grew to at least five feet long based on the specimen I caught. After catching the first specimen, researching it and then releasing it, I caught several others. I began to assume they were populous in the deep and decided to make a meal out of one. I baked it, cut it into strips, and then placed it on pita bread, added lettuce, rolled it up and it was delicious! I even tried it as sushi and it was even better!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Antoine Gomez


***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Antoine Gomez
Age: 24
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Favorite Color: Purple
Official Job on Shark Station: Head Marine Engineer and Maintenance Specialist

Personality Description:
Dr. Antoine Gomez is a young, enthusiastic scientist who helps balance the divide between the teenagers and adults on Shark Station. Determined, passionate, and understanding, Antoine’s personality is a blend of a scientific and creative mind. Fairly adaptable, he can be comfortable alone or in a crowd. Both socially and intellectually adept, he does well bridging the gap between the scientific and non-scientific world. He easily finds himself lost in his work and can talk about it for hours on end. A bit of a daydreamer, he is constantly thinking of ways to improve structural integrity underwater.


Dr. Gomez has the INFJ-T or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality.


***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: What inspired you to become a marine engineer?

Answer:  When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by the construction of the protective dome surrounding the city of Oceania. I wanted to know how it worked and kept us all safe from the crushing pressure of the abyss. I asked my mother what kind of person studied those things and she told me structural marine engineers do. That was it. I wanted to become one of those when I grew up. I dreamed of designing a material that could withstand fluctuations of both heat and cold, allowing a city to thrive near hydrothermal vents.  At the age of fourteen, I built a model of such a building and tested it small-scale. It failed when I tried to present it at a science convention. However, a gained a mentorship from one of the top marine engineers in the city. She helped me get where I am today and I’m extremely grateful for her help.


Question 2: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: In Oceania, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to build a pressure-sensitive system. Of course, you can research and study the ones that are already completed and have been for decades but going to Shark Station gave me the opportunity to examine a station that was built recently (at least compared to the city). It also gave me a chance to think of and begin developing improvements for substation anti-pressure buildings.


Question 3: What was it like for you living on Shark Station?

Answer: I really enjoyed it. I’ve never been in a place as remote as the station before. Unlike a lot of the other residents in Shark Station, I’d never been on a submersible with only a few other people. I’m used to living in a city with millions of people. Living in an environment with only nine other people was definitely a change and I found myself truly getting to know my station-mates. I enjoyed it and spending time with Max. He’s a brilliant mind when it comes to engineering and I see him going far in the field of robotics.


Question 4: What was it like knowing the teenagers were your only hope and the surmounting odds they faced?

Answer: Honestly, I know most adults would be terrified to know their fate rested in the hands of a group of teenagers, but I didn’t. Dylan, Allie, Max, Devon, and Samantha impressed me with their capabilities that they displayed several times throughout the trip to Shark Station and while we were there. I knew they’d do whatever they could do to save all of us, regardless of any personal differences. They’re good people and the determination I saw within each of them let me know we’d survive.


Random Question: Would you have used the SCUBAPS to escape Shark Station?
Answer: Although I am a marine engineer, I would say I’d emphasize on the engineer part versus the marine part. Don’t misunderstand me, I do love the ocean, but as far as swimming long distances in it at depth, that I do not enjoy. In fact, I’ve never swum in the ocean before if you can believe it. I’ve only swum in pools inside Oceania and I’ve rarely been outside the city. I think I would be paralyzed with fear if I had to use the SCUBAPS to swim from Shark Station to the surface. I honestly don’t think I would have made it.