Homesick upon the SS Perseid, Linia, a young linguist, thinks she signed up for a mission of peace, but her crew members have another plan: attack the planet Medusa. Bored with his dying planet, Alezandros, a space cruiser pilot, joins the Medusan Army in his quest for adventure. When the SS Perseid clashes with the Medusans’ space cruisers, Alezandros and Linia’s lives intertwine. Sucked through a wormhole, they crash upon a post-apocalyptic Earth and are captured by cannibals. In adjacent cells, Alezandros and Linia cast their differences aside for a common bond: escape. But when romantic feelings emerge between them, they might do the unthinkable, because for a Medusan and a Persean to fall in love, it would defy gravity.
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Confession: I'm scared of aliens. I'm kinda scared of space too. So I've never been much of a sci-fi fan. BUT I made an exception for Defying Gravity, and I'm glad I did :-)
Things to enjoy:
- The alternating points of view: It adds another dimension to a story when you can see it from more than one perspective. And I always enjoy it when I'm allowed to know what the characters think of each other! The author switches from one POV to the other at just the right time, building tension and keeping readers' interest.
- The world-building: It makes sense that on another planet they wouldn't use the same language and words we do. Planet-specific words add to the believability of this story. I like "pairing up" for dating and (my fave) "pegasifly" for some kind of insect :-)
- The characters: Linia is sweet and Alezandros is kind-hearted and understanding. If the situation were slightly different they could have hated each other, but with a prison wall separating them and only a tiny hole to speak through, they get to know each other for who they really are.
- The cool powers! I won't say what they are (duh, spoilers), but they're not your average mind reading/super strength/super speed etc. They're pretty darn awesome.
Lines to enjoy:
She couldn't place Mixi's age, since her white-blond hair was pulled back in a bun so tight it gave her a face lift.
"Well, I was thinking--"
"That's dangerous for you, and the answer is no."
She tumbled and fell into the infinite darkness of unconsciousness.
AND NOW.... we are fortunate enough to have the author herself here to answer a few questions!
About the Story
1. How did you come up with the title, Defying Gravity?
Ah, that’s easy. I was trying to think of a title, and then the song “Defying Gravity” from Wicked popped into my head. It seemed to fit the main characters, what they were doing, and sounded a bit sci-fi to me.
2. Are there any songs you’d like to mention that inspired/influenced/are connected in any way to Defying Gravity?
Well, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, but in name only. I also liked listening to Katy Perry’s “E.T.” as well because it always got me into a forbidden alien mood.
Rachel: LOVE that song!
3. Do you plan to write any more stories set on the same planet/s mentioned in this novelette?
Originally, Defying Gravity was a stand-alone book. Then, I got the idea of making it a series of novelettes. I debated on whether to continue Linia and Alezandros’s stories or to use the universe and focus on new couples. The latter is what I’ve decided to do. Right now I’m working on Fighting Gravity, which involves Phoebus (an Aresian) and Marissa’s (an Earthling) story set on the post-apocalyptic Earth as in Defying Gravity. The third and most likely final story of the Gravity series will be Pull of Gravity involving the Earthling Nike and the Cupidian Edonys on the planet Cupidis.
Rachel: I like the gravity theme you've got going there.
About the Author
1. What's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
When I’m thinking on what to type next, I often tilt my head to the side. Usually it is to the left if I’m trying to think of a word or phrase. Then, I’ll tilt it to the right, if I’m trying to be more creative. I’ve found I do that when I took exams too in school.
2. What is your favourite time of day to write?
I would have to say morning. By nighttime, I’m usually too tired, or if I do write, it makes me awake and that’s not good for bedtime and work the next morning.
3. Do you have any weird little writing rituals? (eg. coffee in a specific mug that must stand on the left side of your computer)
I do most of my writing at the day job, so I’m limited on my quirks, but at home, I do love a cup of hot tea. I have noticed I sometimes make facial expressions like my characters when I write too.
Rachel: Must be entertaining for someone to watch you write ;-)
4. If you were stuck in an elevator and had the choice of any writer, living or dead, to be stuck with, who would it be and why?
Good question! I would have to say Michael Crichton. I loved his books, particularly Jurassic Park, and he’s one of the authors I’ve regretted not meeting before he died. His passing still makes me sad to this day.
5. Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, tell us about the one you’d most like to meet in real life.
That’s easy. I would want to meet Apenth. He’s the god of prophecy, wisdom, and a few other things in my Phoenix trilogy. He’s also my muse.
6. Who would you say is the fictional book character that resembles you the most?
Of Defying Gravity, it would be Linia. Of all my works, it would be Rose from my novel Starred. From all the books out there, it would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
Rachel: Hermione = good choice!
7. Lastly (and most importantly): cake or ice cream?
Cake or ice cream? Are you really going to make a girl choose? Hm, I guess I would have to go with ice cream.
Rachel: Yay! That leaves all the cake for me!
~ ~ ~
Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor and library assistant. She enjoys writing horror, fantasy, and mysteries, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying other genres. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her e-books include Once Upon a December Nightmare, The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, and Defying Gravity. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Valley Writers and placed third in Roanoke Valley’s BIG READ writing contest.