Hi guys! Today I am pleased to welcome author T.C. Mill who is here to share more about the new release, Thornless Rose. T.C. will be interviewing some of the characters from the book.  Welcome T.C.!

Meet Tyrel & Verithe from “Thornless Rose”

This is my first-ever blog tour, and I considered doing an author interview as part of it. But the fact is, I’ve already done some author interviews—the latest for the release of my short story “Sojourn Home” in Storm Moon Press’s Carved in Flesh anthology—and nothing much has changed since then. I’m still a philosophy major who’s been writing since birth, driven by a fascination with storytelling and an even deeper fascination with exploring characters. Overall, I’m not that interesting.

So, instead, I’d like to give an interview with people who are actually worth reading about: Verithe and Tyrel, the protagonists of my newest release, Thornless Rose. Let’s say I’m radioing my questions in just before their diplomatic mission’s ship lands on the surface of the planet Corrina.

T.C. Mill: Good afternoon, gentlemen. Thanks for giving this interview. I’ve just told our lovely readers that I think you’re both fascinating individuals. Even if you have had to undergo a barrage of personality and psychological tests before being assigned to this mission.

(Verithe laughs; Tyrel does not join in)

Mill: Already we can see the range of personalities here. How did you two even wind up together?

Tyrel: Er, together? Oh, you mean working together. I’m his assigned security escort.

Verithe: I’m his assigned ambassador. Well, that’s not quite how it goes. I’m the ambassador he’s assigned to.

Tyrel: And you’re assigned to Corrina.

Mill: Lovely place, isn’t it?

Tyrel: Absolutely. I really hate having nothing to do on a mission but stand around looking intimidating. The marauding hordes wandering its ruined surface are an especially nice touch. I’d like to have a word with whoever designed the place.

Mill: (shifts uncomfortably in her seat) Um…

Verithe: I don’t think any sort of malevolent design factors into these things, Tyrel, with all due respect. Sometimes a place is just… unlucky. But that doesn’t mean it’s cursed. All the same, though, congratulations on the touch of sarcasm. I always suspected you were capable of it!

(Verithe laughs gently, while Mill titters—almost in relief. Tyrel is obviously aware he’s being ribbed, but doesn’t take as much offense as he could, all things considered. He seems forgiving of Verithe’s sense of humor.)

Mill: So, given you’ve been assigned to each other on such a dangerous mission, teamwork is essential. Do you think you’ll get along?

Verithe: From the beginning he swept me off my feet.

Tyrel: (Looks down as he answers; if his skin were lighter, I’d swear we could see him blush) A malfunction in our ship’s artificial gravity swept you off your feet.

Verithe: Yes, but you kept me off them.

Tyrel: To protect you from flying debris. (Hesitates, then adds) I’m glad I was successful, though.

Mill: Nothing says friendship like protection from flying debris, I’m sure. We should all be lucky to have such friends.

Verithe: (Very definitely flushing) Absolutely. Even if it is just his job. Tyrel is a professional, one of the best Union has to offer. I’m honored to be working alongside him.

Mill: You’ll certainly want the most professional security available down on Corrina’s surface. Are you scared?

Tyrel: (Almost too firmly) Absolutely not. Cautious, of course, but it’s no use being scared.

Verithe: Maybe a little twitchy.

Tyrel: Maybe I’d like a partner who took things more seriously.

Verithe: And there’s that professionalism again. You can be unnervingly stern, Tyrel, especially since you’re always carrying a gun.

Tyrel: I’m pretty sure the one time I didn’t would be the one time I needed to.

Verithe: And you expect that you’ll need to on this mission?

Tyrel: Well, marauding hordes and all… it’s quite possible, wouldn’t you say?

Verithe: I’m supposed to make contact with those marauding hordes. I don’t want to go in expecting disaster! What sort of psychological influence would that be?

Mill: (cutting in quickly) That’s a very good point! This close to drop-down, let’s concentrate on the positive. Sure, you might be going into a death trap and, despite your obvious fondness for each other, you can’t seem to quite agree how to face such a possibility–but let’s finish this interview with a more pleasant topic. My final question: Verithe and Tyrel, have you read any good books lately?

Tyrel: I’ve spent the past week on board this ship sitting in my room reviewing the protocol manuals.

Mill: Good reading?

Tyrel: Very useful. I needed my sleep.

Mill: You’re… not joking.

Tyrel: I never joke.

Verithe: (murmurs under breath) Consummate professional.

Mill: Well, what have you been reading, Verithe?

Verithe: Actually, like Tyrel, I’ve also been relying on some soothing nonfiction. On horticulture, to be precise. I’m a bit of a gardener—

Mill: So, you have a green thumb along with your green uniform?

Verithe: I hope so! The roses I’ve brought with me haven’t died just yet.

Mill: Thornless Roses?

Verithe: Of course. All the beauty and much less chance of bloodshed when pruning them.

Mill: (with a knowing smile) It sounds like a great book, Verithe. Thank you both for your time.

Tyrel: And you for yours.

Verithe: And our readers for theirs. –I’m sorry, are we supposed to protect the integrity of the forth wall?

Mill: I hope not, as it’s a bit too late for that. Good luck on your mission, gentlemen! I’m sure everything will go perfectly

Thornless Rose — by T.C. Mill — Now Available from Storm Moon Press for just $3.99!

Thornless RoseTyrel Uvieras, a bodyguard serving the Union of planetary governments, has been assigned his most interesting charge yet: Verithe Jerrith, Union’s ambassador to what might be the most cursed planet in the galaxy. Something distinctly unsavory surrounds Corrina, whose first contact with Union space came through the stolen equipment of a stranded spaceship. Yet, Union policy requires an answer to the Corrinans’ request for negotiations. The best they can do is send a well-prepared diplomatic party—if it’s possible to prepare for what they find on the planet’s surface.

Tyrel and Verithe discover a mutual attraction, though Tyrel also thinks Verithe perhaps too lighthearted given their dire mission and certainly too gentle—like a thornless rose—to survive long in a dangerous world without protection. Tyrel tries to provide that protection, but the two men are captured in what is just the beginning of their descent into barbarity and treachery. They will be called upon to make unbelievable sacrifices and confront the “curse” of Corrina that brings out people’s darkest desires, endangering sanity and soul. Even their feelings for each other might not give them the strength to endure.