Today’s guest on Inheritance Books wrote a great series about high class con artists. Welcome, Ainslie Paton. Why don’t you kick things off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I started writing when I was able to hold a pencil. I was a child playwright mostly, but I also wrote long and boring stories with chapter headings like—An uneventful day. I very clearly hadn’t learned to start with a bang.
I converted that interest in the written word into a journalism degree and I work in corporate communications. I write media releases, marketing copy, advertising, websites and convert complex technical material into readable text during the day. By night, I write about people living full lives and finding the right person to be with.
One pays the rent, the other is much more fun.
My latest book is One Night with the Sexiest Man Alive, the inspiration for which was the occasion I should have and didn’t meet George Clooney. I did however, write his bio, like the story’s heroine does. But all similarity stops there. It’s tropey and amusing because we need a little of that right now and escapism is good for the soul. You can read the George story here:
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
I don’t come from a family of readers. I’m the oddball who chose to escape into a book as often as possible. That’s not to say that no one reads. The sports pages get a thumping. My grandmother read copious copies of women’s magazines, and my mum read popular fiction and now reads crime. If you knew my mum, it’s slightly terrifying what she thinks she can get away with.
My brother once famously said, “Never buy me a book,” when I made the fatal mistake of thinking he might be interested in a book written by his school friend.
My grandfather had very basic literacy, but he was a great oral storyteller. He wove the best stories about picnics with chocolate biscuits and furry animals and fire engines. I suspect my want to tell stories comes from him.
I grew up reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. Often with a torch under the covers. Mostly that meant raiding Mum’s shelf and trying not to get caught. I read a lot of stuff not suitable for an impressionable mind. Hello, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorne Birds. For a while you made going to Sunday mass so much more stimulating.
Which book would you leave for later generations?
The book reading bug is unlikely to survive me. Our next generation is big into watching entertainment but not reading it.
When my nephew was away at a school camp for four months, I began a series of letters in the form of a science fiction story to be mailed to him each week. By week three, he told me he was way too busy to read a story, and could I just send “normal news” instead.
I sent my reply—one word—okay—but in an envelope filled with glitter. Despite the very clear warning not to open the envelope inside, his whole dorm got glitter bombed.
Right there—the power of reading.
Thank you for sharing your favourite book with us, Ainslie. Best of luck with the new series.