Q&A with Shayla Mist

Love Rivals

  • By Shayla Mist
  • Editions: ebook
  • Published: July 10th 2013 by Less Than Three Press LLC
  • Genre: New Adult MxM Contemporary / Romance
  • Aiden has a crush on Shawn, but there are two problems in the way of the happily ever after he knows they’re meant to have. The first is Shawn’s new boyfriend, Noah. The second is Jordan, Shawn’s best friend and Aiden’s long-standing rival for his affections. So how’s a man to overcome such obstacles?
    Not by accidentally sleeping with his rival. And not by going on the camping trip from hell, where Aiden swiftly loses track of what it is he really wants.
    ~ Goodreads

    Amazon | B&N | AllRomanceEbooks


    1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
    Crazy 😛
    2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
    I never know what inspires me. At that time I wanted to write a love triangle book. Then this image came in my head of a guy crowded on a couch by two others, who are fighting over the bag of chips – obviously, this being a metaphor for their own feeling, ’cause I intended to have them both like the guy in the middle.
    Anyhow, I didn’t end up writing this scene, not exactly, but this image was what inspired the whole story.
    3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
    Wah! Why are your questions so tough?! I really don’t know, honestly. I just write. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter. I only get inspired by what’s in my head. My antagonist is pretty much also my main character. I like jerks, I guess that’s my source of inspiration. Any and all characters who have the habbit of stepping on everyone’s toes are my inspiration.
    4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
    All the time. It’s procrastination, in my case. The only thing I can do to break it is just force myself to keep on writing even when I hate everything about my story. In the end, I might just give it up and start something new, and then my inspiration is back in full gear. But don’t do like me. It’s bad. Bad! It’s how I ended up with a stack of dozens of notebooks full of unfinished stories Y_Y
    5. Your all time favorite book?
    Only book I’ve reread in my life, because I love it that much – Dune by Frank Herbert (the whole series).
    6. What made you pick that one above all others?
    It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but what I remember amazed me about it was the philosophy behind the book, the wisdom, and, of course, the author’s superb vision on the future.
    There’s something hiding behind the words, a message. It’s like the author shows you a veil and he lifts one corner of it, just enough for you the catch a glimpse of something beyond. And then, it’s up to you to interpret what you’ve seen.
    I know what I’m saying is ambiguous, but it’s the best I can do. Once you read it, you understand.
    7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
    My cat passed away about five years ago. He just disappeared and never came back. He used to do that, but always came back after several days. I found out later from a vet that cats go away from home when they feel it’s their time to die.
    Anyway, I was really affected by this, because I loved him very much. It was the only cat that allowed me to cuddle with him after about three years of keeping his distance. It meant a lot to me, and when he looked into my eyes, I saw such adoration, such trust in his eyes, that it felt like I was sharing my soul with him.
    Ever since the time he disappeared I’ve been trying to work on a story, not exactly dedicated to him, but with him in mind. However I never get to finish it.
    It’s the only project I’ve kept coming back to. All the others I just give up on them after a few months if they don’t seem to go anywhere. I’m not the type to dwell on things. If it doesn’t work then you need to move forward, no point in wasting time on something that’s not destined to work out.
    But this story … I feel like it’s the one that got away, you know. If there was such a thing applied to stories, this would be the one.
    8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
    Definitely. I have become more confident, more straight-forward and chattier. It’s become obvious in real life. Everyone tells me I never used to be so talkative before.
    I didn’t, because I was too shy to express my opinions. Nowadays I’m opinionated about everything. Writing can do miracles for your social skills.
    9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
    I’m the sort of writer who gives up on every project after the first three chapters. And I did feel the temptation with this story as well, but I persevered. I told myself if I keep giving up on things, nothing good will come out of it. Since I had planned for this story to be short, I encouraged myself to push forward and kept in mind that it was short. Hang on just a little longer, it’s short. You’ll finish it in no time. That’s what I told myself until I reached the end. And writing those two last words – the end – was an exhilarating feeling.
    10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
    Work at my day job; read lots of M/M ebooks and mystery books, when I feel life it – right now, I’m in the Agatha Christie mood, you can never go wrong with her. I also blog twice a week, and generally I spend my free time learning new things – how to sew, how to speak Korean, how to cook certain things, how to make wire jewelry, how to make candles, how to make soap etc. I love learning new things all the time, although mostly I give up on them just as quickly. I have only two long-lasting hobbies besides writing: painting/drawing and crocheting. I like to do that before bed time. They’re a form of meditation for me.
    11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
    Ah, this sort of question deserves a whole blog post, because my perspective on this changed a lot ever since I started writing. When I received my fist crit, I cried and lost sleep for a couple of days. After that, I became sort of numb. I stopped writing and concentrated on my other hobbies, thinking maybe writing just wasn’t for me. But I couldn’t resists much longer, and, after a year, surprise-surprise, I started writing again.
    The thing is that this whole year in which I didn’t write, I felt like a part of me was missing. I felt very lonely and I had the feeling my existence was pointless. The moment I opened my old notebooks again and began writing, my heart was filled with a sense of rightness. It was then that I realized that it wasn’t about others, it was about me. Writing was something I needed, to feel whole.
    After that, no criticism hurt me. Of course, it bothers me, because it makes me feel like I disappoint those readers who feel like they waste time on my stories. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Those people who felt disappointed would soon forget my book even existed in the first place, and those who liked it, will move away from it with a smile on their faces, which is something I’m extremely grateful for.
    So, for those writers who struggle with taking criticism, I would advise them to stop taking things seriously. Stop stalking your own book’s page in search for new reviews, stop analyzing every single word. You have to realize that those people who give bad reviews don’t know you and they don’t give a damn about you, and by taking them seriously, you’re giving them way too much credit. Walk away from their reviews with a rational mind; think about what they said and try to figure out if you could improve your future stories based on their complains; if not, then there’s no point in thinking about them. If yes, then roll up your sleeves and start writing a new story. There’s no guarantee you won’t have bad reviews for the next one, and the one after, but the whole point is for you to enjoy what you do.
    12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
    Not part of a series, but I’ve been thinking of writing a sequel. I’ve left an open ending, a happy-for-now ending, but this couple *spoiler* hasn’t had any real relationship drama yet. So, I’m thinking of exploring their future relationship. Unfortunately, based on the current reviews, I’m not sure anyone would be interested in reading about them. But, who knows, if I have inspiration, I might surprise readers with something.
    13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
    I’m working on many other projects at the moment, of course, but nothing definite. I get bored quickly and keep coming back to old unfinished stories, then drop them and start new projects.
    I’ve been trying to write a Cinderella remake, and I found myself blocked. For the moment, I can’t figure out the reason, so I put it aside.
    I also have a contemporary novella and a holiday story that are almost in the finishing stages.

    Fun Facts:

    1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
    A hot bisexual husband.*drools*
    2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
    SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the WIld, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea I’m a practical girl.
    3. Name your favorite fruit.
    4. Coffee or tea?
    5. Favorite season?
    6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
    Early morning.
    7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
    Nope. Though I would’ve definitely been a good one. My friends laugh at me for always being prepared. In my travel bags you can find anything.
    8. Favorite food for breakfast?
    Just plain yoghurt.
    9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
    Going for the Gold Anthology from MLR Press. It’s full of awesome stories.
    10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
    I’m not a collector per se, but I have sea shells, rocks, acorns, pine cones, and all sorts stuff I find on my trips.
    I also collect memories. I never throw away anything. Notebooks, old pens, screwdrivers, absolutely anything that isn’t being used, I put it in a safe place and always know where to find it. Maybe it’s the beginning of a hoarding compulsion…
    11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
    White, I think. I rarely wear white, ’cause I’m too chubby for that, but I satisfy my white addiction my buying white flowers, especially white orchids. I love them.
    12. Drama or comedy?
    Comedy for sure. How the hell else could I relax?
    13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
    Yes, a motto my best on-line friend told me she has. We established it will become ours : they laugh at us because we’re different, we laugh at them because they’re all the same.
    I like to encourage myself with this motto when I feel down. It might sound arrogant, but it makes me feel good thinking like that.
    14. Cats or dogs?
    I love them all. But I think I’ll go for dogs. They’re more cuddly, and I love to cuddle. It takes a lot of time for a cat to get attached to the owner enough to allow them to pet them, while dogs let you pet them from the moment they meet you. My most favorite moment of the day is when I get out in the morning, sit in my chair and my dog immediately climbs in my lap. It’s a very special feeling.
    15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
    Dinner. Not necessarily by candle light as long as the food is delicious 😛 I’m a sucker for good food and pleasant company.


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