Dear readers, tonight we’re hosting the villain of the piece. A shady man, intent on revenge, is prepared to sabotage the happily ever after between a lady and her long-lost knight… permanently.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Silas shuffles in his chair: Not sure as anyone’d wanna know. Rookeries is pretty grim. Poverty, overcrowding, nuthin‘s yer own, death, disease, you name it. Was all I knew fer a long time, mind, and as nippers we didn’t much worry.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Barks with laughter: Toys? Yer kiddin’ me. Toys is what the gentry has. That said, we knew ’ow ter have fun. Hide ‘n’ seek was a favourite. Rookeries is a great place fer that, so many alleys and hidden corners, abandoned buildings, better still, down the docks. Got ter know it like the back o’ me ’and, I could walk it blindfold. Just ’ad to watch out fer the Runners. Oh yeah, we used ter see who could get the farthest on the back of an ’ackney afore the driver kicked us off. Nickin’ coin pouches… now, that was the best. Them nobles is easy pickin’s. Aye, we ’ad a lot ‘o’ fun. Yer make do, see.
What do you do now?
Silas puffs up his chest: I am a businessman. I have an office an’ everything. Yer could say I’m in the service industry. I got several… errr… enterprises on the go at the moment, successful they are, I’m raking in a good profit. I have an ’andful employees who know which side of their bread has jam on it. If yer get me drift.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Silas steeples his fingers. Hmmm… now that’s a bit of a tickler. See, I had this partner, one ‘o’ the gentry, a viscount he was, but ’e tried to double cross me. Nobody doubles crosses Silas Dryden and gets away wiv it. Dunno what was goin’ on in ’is noggin (Silas shakes his head in bafflement). Anyhow, I had to deal wiv it. ‘E shan’t be bovverin’ anybody ever again, and that shoulda been an end to it. Regrettably, of late there’s been some unsettling incidents, yer know, them too close for comfort moments, and I reckoned someone had been tattling. I needed ter get ter the bottom of it.
What was your reaction to this discovery?
I tracked down his missus. He was a rotter through and through and I’d ’eard he treated her right badly, but I had to consider the possibility she wanted in on the profits. It never does to underestimate your competitors. She was courtin’ an earl, who’d been injured in the wars, couldn’t see too well. Lucky for me. Bugger but if me plan didn’t go awry, the madam shot me can yer believe that? By the time I got meself into the carriage, me second-in-command ‘Arold, had grabbed ‘er. Lord, I made more mistakes that afternoon, than in the rest o’ me life put together.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Aye well, my current predicament might answer that. Newgate prison isn’t my first choice of accommodation. Plus, me most lucrative venture ’as been toppled.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Not sure as I’d call ‘em friends. There’s ‘Arold. Found ’im wanderin’ the Rookeries when he were nowt but a nipper. Took ’im under me wing so to speak. I trusted ’im wiv me life, but he showed ’is true colours during this debacle. (Silas rubs his chin, contemplatively). ’E shocked me ’e did… never thought he ’ad an honourable bone in ’is body, and I’ve known ’im nigh on 30 years. Shame, I was primin’ ’im to take over when I retired.
Any romantic involvement?
Chortles with mirth and slaps knee. Romance, nah, that’s for dreamers and fools. Never let emotion get in the way of business or life. I enjoys women as much as the next fella, but only to serve a purpose, scratch me itch (Silas winks). Once yer give into to that nonsense, yer brain gets befuddled and yer thinking with the wrong ’ead. (Loud guffaw).
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Can’t be bovvered to ’ate people. There’s them I dislike and would rather avoid, but none as I’d say I ’ate. Oh, ’cepting Lovell… real nasty piece o’ work, ‘e was. Wouldn’t surprise me if the devil ’imslef spat him back… damn rogue.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Tankard of ale at the Creaky Wench in Long Acre, not a bad tavern, best way to wind down after a busy day. Then home to a welcoming woman, not that they’d dare be anything else. I didn’t used ter ’ave a favourite colour, but now it’s blue, the blue of the sky, something I hardly see anymore.
What does the future hold for you?
Very little, as it ’appens. Can’t see me getting out of ’ere any time soon, if ever. Like I say, the mistakes I made, dammit all. So much for a comfortable retirement.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Never underestimate Silas Dryden. I’m a survivor.
Author of historical fiction and romance, Rosie Chapel lives in Perth, Australia with her hubby and three furkids. When not writing, she loves catching up with friends, burying herself in a book (or three), discovering the wonders of Western Australia, or — and the best — a quiet evening at home with her husband, enjoying a glass of wine and a movie.
You can find Silas on the pages of Rescuing Her Knight.
Join us next week to meet two long-time pen-pals turned lovers. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.