Character Interview The Emperor’s New Clothes


Something different today! I’m hosting a character interview with one of the characters from M/M science fiction romance novel “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Enjoy!

Character Interview

1) Can you tell us a little about yourself? Who are you? What is your role in the story?

My name is Royce Ree. I am a post-graduate Apprentice of the Imperial Academy of Fashion and Culture, and my presence has been requested on the planet of Baldessh for their Princess’s wedding. As wedding-decor-specialist extraordinaire, it’s my job to make sure everything goes according to plan, despite the planetary invasion, my ex’s presence at all the wedding parties, the clearly insane Warlord hell-bent on war…you know. Normal stuff.

My role? Why would you even need to ask? It’s hero, darlin’. Don’t listen to what my ex tells you.

I’m the hero.

I’m always the hero.

2) What is your favorite hobby? 

I play this little game – it’s called “baiting the Nobles”. See, as an Apprentice Couturier, now and again I’m invited–by the ones that can’t afford a fully licensed couturier–to advise mbers of the nobility on their wardrobes.

The objective of the game is to see how many stuck-up aristocrats I can dress in circus-pants and feathered hats under the guise of “artful dissonance”.

In case you’re interested, the current count is Royce Ree: 6, Nobility: 0.

3) What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome during the story? 

Apart from the planetary invasion, the wild animals running around everywhere, and my crazy ex’s mood-swings? Well, I guess it would be the absolutely deplorable decor they’d been planning for Her Highness’s wedding. Yellow bunting! Yellow! Can you imagine?

4) If you could make one wish, what would it be? 

I try not to make wishes–they have a nasty habit of coming true. Take this gig, for instance. I just had to say “I wish I could be assigned, once, just once, to a job on a sunny planet.” Well, Baldessh is a binary starsystem, sunny year-round, with just a teeny-tiny despot problem.

5) Tell us a secret about you. 

I am the highest ranking Covert-Ops Agent in the Empire. And I’m going to take this invasion apart from the inside out.

About The Book

rboxTitle: The Emperor’s New Clothes

Author: Aldous Mercer

Genre: SciFi M/M Romance

Imperial Agent Royce Ree needs to pull off the biggest heist the Universe has ever seen, or it’s bye-bye cushy government job, hello cleaning toilets in a dive-bar on Baga-V.

To succeed, he will need help from the last person he’d ever ask: his ex.



Royce has a simple mission: steal some tech from the newly-discovered civilization of Baldessh. But Royce thinks HQ’s mission specifications are utterly stupid. So he disobeys a direct order, and goes to steal the tech his own way.

“The Empire has survived wars, supernovae, democracy, and the collapse of a neighborhood universe. Let us hope it survives the good intentions of Agent Royce Ree.”
– Author unknown (personal communication to the Emperor) 


Royce’s primary mission has been abandoned in the chaos of Baldessh’s hostile takeover by a third party. Now his only objective is to get himself, and his fellow “agent” off-planet as fast as possible. Unfortunately for Royce, nobody is quite ready for him to leave just yet.

“”I find it curious that the agent was not rescued before the comms-blockade, Spymaster.”
“Imperial Intelligence is not in a habit of rescuing AWOL agents, Councillor. Apprehend and prosecute, yes, but not rescue.”
“I suppose both of us must wait. For…evidence.”
“Would you mind waiting somewhere other than my office? Only, we can’t all be Councillors, Councillor, and I have real work to do.”
-Conversation, Imperial Intelligence Headquarters, Trinity Prime


Royce now has three days to rescue 40,000 space marines, and he’s just been told that the tech he came to Baldessh for doesn’t actually exist. He also has some real problems—his co-agent’s time is running out, and somewhere, far away, traitors are plotting to start a war that will engulf the entire Universe in flames.

Hope, however, can sometimes be found in the darkest of places. Like ventilation ducts.

“ “Every pre-FTL civilization we know of has alcohol. I mean, imagine being stuck to a single planet, wasting decades just crossing your own solar system! Who wouldn’t invent vodka?”
-Gaste Trade Cartel Sales Representative (Conversation overheard at spaceport dive-bar, Gomo-Prime) 


Royce has been betrayed, Baldessh’s burgeoning rebellion is going to be crushed, and all the animals are going to be exterminated. But Royce is smiling. Because Royce, like always, has a Plan.

“ “An Imperial Agent cultivates paranoia the way an Imperial Gardener cultivates prize-winning rosebushes.”
-Master Mess-Remeier,”The Nature of Empire: Volume 7”, 1st Edition


It looks like things are going to be OK for everyone except Royce and his ex. Looks can be deceiving—there are plots within plots, and Royce’s true test awaits him at the edge of Imperial Space.

“ “I’m sorry, sir, your payment didn’t go through.”
“What! Why?”
“There is a hold on your accounts, pending a Deadbeat Investigation.”
“I’m the Procurement Officer for the entire Kovan Fleet, woman!”
“Yes, sir, I recognized your uniform. But I’m afraid your job description has nothing to do with this conversation.”
“The hell it doesn’t! What are my soldiers going to do if you don’t sell to us?”
“Respectfully, sir, that’s not my problem.”
“We’re in the middle of an invasion!”
“I’m very sorry to hear that. Perhaps your soldiers could target a facility that manufactures the toilet paper you need?”
–Transcript, Kovan Flagship: “Comms exchange between Fleet Procurement and Gaste Cartel Customer Service.”

ROYCE REE #6: ON THE TAKE is coming out in 2014.

Author Bio

A native of Toronto, Aldous Mercer enjoys martinis and relaxing on the beac-ha! No.

Aldous Mercer is a workaholic with a penchant for numerical mind games and caffeinated beverages. He uses his degree in Engineering to ensure that none of the spaceships in his books have cubic pressure-vessels. In real life he always annotates Engineering Drawings in Iambic Tetrameter.

Aldous can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Gmail.




One lucky winner will get an $5 Amazon Gift card to celebrate this tour! Comment below to participate in the draw.

Contest ends on January 10th.

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One Response to Character Interview The Emperor’s New Clothes

  1. Pingback: Royce Ree, Bullshit Agent… |

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