Ainslie Paton romance author

About That Time I Accidentally Smuggled a Shiv into a Prison

Caught in the Act of Authoring

Michelle Dayton, Emma Sinclair and Ainslie Paton, Authors of Caught in the Act: A Jewel Heist Anthology talk about illegal acts and other shenanigans authors get up to

Have you ever done anything illegal?

Michelle: Me? Do something illegal? Never. (wink, wink)

Emma: Absolutely not. I’m a good girl. 😉

Ainslie: Oh, so I’m the bad girl. I once took a metal shank into a prison. Not on purpose. I was visiting a friend and it was holding my hair up and even though I walked through the metal detector and was visually inspected going in, no one picked it up. My incarcerated friend did and was panicked. Quickest visit ever. Also, tailgating at boom gates to avoid paying, but who doesn’t do that.

If there were no consequences what devious act would you commit and why?

Michelle: Like Jess, my heroine in Strange Tango, I’m a bit of an IT geek. If there were no consequences, I’d hack into everything I could think of and get my hands on all sorts of confidential information. Never know when it would come in handy.

Emma: If I could have one super power, I’d want to be invisible, so I think I’d want to be a spy of some kind. I want to know secrets. Maybe plant cameras around so I could satisfy my voyeur fantasies (not those kind of fantasies, I’m just nosy).

Ainslie: Who wrote these questions? I’m feeling devious towards them. I would never pay for parking. And I’d move money that wasn’t mine around so people who had too much shared with people who didn’t.

What naughty thing have you been caught in the act of?

Michelle: I often write on my lunch hour at the office. One day my boss popped in for a quick debrief. He looked at my screen before I could close my document. Let’s just say I wasn’t writing a PG scene at that moment. His eyes almost popped out of his head.

Emma: I’m too good to get caught.

Ainslie: I lie to my mother. All the time. And then I tell other people all about it in a blog. (

What’s your favorite punishment to dish out and to whom?

Michelle: Ooh, the silent treatment. It’s diabolical – and I can do it for days. To whom? Co-workers, my poor husband … really anyone who pisses me off.

Emma: I’m a fan of the long con. Making people think that everything is fine, until the perfect moment for revenge. I’m patient. As for whom, well, I have an ex…

Ainslie: Do ugly stuff unto me and all your worst traits and deeds end up in a book. Lots of old bosses have shown up as antagonists.

What inspired you to write a jewel heist story?

Michelle: I just love sexy capers like The Thomas Crowne Affair or Moonlighting or Suzanne Enoch’s Samantha Jellicoe series … I figured, why not try writing my own?

Emma: I like the idea of making the “bad guy” lovable. People can do bad things without being bad people. And they still need love (and hot sex).

Ainslie: I’d just completed a series called Sidelined, angsty love affairs set in a Silicon Valley startup, and I was in the mood to write a story that was shorter, lighter and pure fun. I also wanted to explore writing a heroine who I think is kick-ass, but readers might find unlikeable. We’ll see.

What illegal act are the characters in your story doing?

Michelle: Adam is a professional jewel thief and his goal is to steal $25 million in diamonds from a smuggler. Jess is trying to reclaim her life and reputation and is willing to break the law with her laptop.

Emma: Is it really considered stealing if the diamond technically should belong to you?

Ainslie: They cheat, steal, use multiple identities, impersonate, money launder, move stolen goods and fail to co-operate with authorities and that’s before breakfast.

Are your characters ‘bad hombres’ or simply misunderstood?

Michelle: Ha! Misunderstood, definitely. Adam is definitely a professional thief, but he has his own brand of integrity, he’s intensely loyal, and he only steals from assholes. Before the story begins, Jess is the quintessential “good girl”, but working with Adam teaches her respect for the gray areas of life.

Emma: Neither, really, but the characters in Rough Edges are closer to misunderstood than actually being a bad.

Ainslie: Cleve and Aria—bad to their hombre bones. But in a good (so long as your morals are flexible) way.

In one sentence tell us why we should read your story?

Michelle: Strange Tango is for you if you like diamonds, witty repartee, and hot sex? (If you say no, I won’t believe you.)

Emma: Diamonds and hot sex? Why wouldn’t you read Rough Edges?

Ainslie: Hoodwinked Hearts is a tortured reunion of two long lost and wronged lovers with a side of glamour, suspense, danger, incarceration and skullduggery. Also, the heroine is a punk.

What are you working on next?

Michelle: Jess and Adam’s story will continue, yay! I’m working on two sequel novellas to Strange Tango. I’m also wrapping up a fun, super-sexy contemporary romance that begins with a one night stand.

Emma: I’m a sucker for fairy tales, so every time I’m between projects, or don’t really know what to write next, I go back to putting a new spin on some of my favorite fairy tales.

Ainslie: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Oh, all right. Working on book two of Stubborn Hearts. Book 1, The Love Experiment comes out with Carina in October. It’s about two newspaper reporters thrown together to do a love experiment for a story.

Hello, what are you thinking?

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