Another day, another AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY creator to shine the spotlight on!
Before we get to that, just a note: hi, I’m Nina Waters, the lead editor, the person running this campaign, and the one who writes all these blog posts. I’ll be traveling for the next four days (Friday, Jan 12 – Monday, Jan 15) to vend for Duck Prints Press at Arisia in Boston. As a result, I will be slower to answer messages, reply to comments, and post updates (I’m going to try to post one, but I’m not sure I’ll have time). I appreciate your patience while I’m less available. And if by some chance, you’re attending the con, make sure you come and say hi! I’ll be at table D14 in the dealer’s room.
Now, on to Terra…!
About Terra: Terra is a scientist by day who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She has been writing fiction as long as she can remember, and has always told her partner of 17 years that if she wasn’t a scientist, she would be an author. During grad school, she discovered fanfiction and immediately began writing her own. After many years and several fandoms (including Teen Wolf, Hawaii Five-0, and Stranger Things), she returned to writing original fiction. To date, she has self-published two novellas in a 90s-nostalgia polyamory comedy series and has drafted two YA/NA sci-fi novels. When not doing science or writing, you can find Terra indulging her yarn addiction and knitting.
Links: Archive of Our Own | Tumblr (pterawaters) | Tumblr (terrapwaters) | Instagram | Bluesky
Terra has previously published one short stories with Duck Prints Press, a Patreon-exclusive entitled The Wayward Timekeeper, and she also wanted to share a few of her works from AO3:
- Kope Kamekona (Hawaii Five-O, Steve McGarrett/Catherine Rollins/Danny Williams)
- Forever’s gonna start tonight (Stranger Things, A/B/O, multiple ships and ot3s)
- Other Delicacies (Our Flag Means Death, Ed Teach/Stede Bonnet) – this is the piece that Terra used to apply to Duck Prints Press, and several of us reviewers liked it so much that we sought it out and read the whole thing even though we aren’t in the fandom!
An Interview with Terra P. Waters
What motivates you to create?
My love for the ideas!
How did you pick the name you create under?
I’ve been using the name “pterawaters” since 2009, when I joined fanfiction.net. “Ptera” came from an old gaming character I had, “Ptera the Pterrible,” and “Waters” was a last name I really liked the sound of. For my original writing, I decided to go with a more conventional version of the name. I moved the P from the front of my name to the middle initial as an homage to my fannish writing name.
What do you consider to be your strengths as a creator?
My ability to brainstorm scenarios and know how to outline the plot from there. Longer-form works, where I get to dig into the character motivations and development. World building.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses as a creator?
Short stories, creating characters who serve the story I want to tell, adding enough description around the dialog and plot.
When and why did you begin creating?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and even took a lot of creative writing classes during college (aside from my science major). I get a lot of joy out of thinking “what if…” and then turning that idea into a story.
Are you a pantser, a planner, or a planster? What’s your process look like?
I’m most often a planner. I like to outline the story beats of any project before I write. Sometimes, I’ll be more of a plantser. I’ll write 1-2k words of an idea before I do the rest of the outline, so I can see if it’s an idea worth planning out further.
Which of your own creations is your favorite? Why?
I wrote a story called “Entanglement” that was part of a long Stranger Things fanwork series. It’s absolutely my favorite thing I’ve ever written, and I’m excited to get to the point where I can incorporate the rewritten version into my sci-fi series.
What are your favorite tropes?
Polyamory, First times/Getting together, Forced proximity (cuddling for warmth, only one bed), Soulmate AUs, Omegaverse, Fake relationship, Friends to Lovers
What are your favorite snacks and/or drinks to consume while creating?
I like herbal tea, candy, or a crunchy snack like popcorn. I’ve recently gotten into eating roasted lentils, which is a nice substitute for not being able to eat nuts anymore.
What is your “dream project” – the thing you’d see as the culmination of your work as a creator?
I want to finish a series of at least 4 novels and have them all in print.
When you look at your “career” as a creator, what achievement would you most like to reach – what, if it happened or has already happened, would/did make you go “now – now I’m a success!”?
I would like to have at least one full-length novel printed and for people to actually buy it!
Tell us about your pet(s).
I have two orange cats, Gadget (the chonk) and Gizmo (anxiety in animal form).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Finish the thing. My writing got so much better once I forced myself to finish fan works so I could put them up for other people to read. Practicing the first part of writing a story without practicing how to write the end leaves you never finishing anything.
Terra’s Contribution to Aether Beyond the Binary
Title: Ancient Hearts Unearthed
Tags: academia, alternate history, cancer, character illness (serious), f/nb, f/f (background), fat, first kiss, friends to lovers, getting together, hospital, modern with magic, mystery, non-binary, panic attacks, past tense, phobia (claustrophobia), pining, professor, scientist, third person limited pov
Victoria turned and ran a hand over the runes again. “What bothers me is that these are early Age of Aether markings. You see the way they’re using archaic forms of our letters?”
Sasha leaned closer. “I’ll be damned. This doesn’t match the bronze-era artifacts in the rest of the cave, either.” They made a tiny humming noise. “Who else would have this much knowledge of ancient runes?”
As Victoria leaned as close as she could to the wall, she asked distractedly, “What do you mean?”
“Obviously, it’s a fake,” they said, mulling over the problem in their head. “Sanderson has wanted my place on the admissions committee since he joined the department.”
“What if it’s not a fake?” Victoria made a tiny, excited noise. “What if this is early Aether Age work? What if this is a secret that’s been buried for almost a thousand years?”
Sasha’s heart swooped at the thought. “We have to find out what that inscription says.”