Before Shay Mitchell got her big break on “Pretty Little Liars,” she was a bottle service girl in Toronto, booking parts when she could. Working a soulless job just to pay the bills? She’s been there. Friend drama? She’s had her share of that too. Devastating heartbreak? Definitely.
Art imitating life
All the ups and downs helped inspire Mitchell’s new novel, “Bliss” (out today), which she wrote with her best friend, vblogger Michaela Blaney. “Michaela and I got together and were just talking about the past and all the crazy experiences that made us who we are today,” Mitchell tells us. “We started jotting down ideas and thought, we could write a book about this. So that’s kind of what we did.”
Similar to Lauren Conrad’s “L.A. Candy” series, Mitchell says much of what happened in the book actually happened to them, but they heightened the drama, which is where the fiction-element comes in. One character represents Mitchell, one represents Blaney and a third character is a composite of various people they know.
Keeping it real
At it’s crux, “Bliss” is about friendship more than anything else --- and it isn’t always pretty. “Friendships go through ups and downs just like a romantic relationship does,” Mitchell says. “Michaela and I have certainly had our fair share of ups and downs. We had our fair share of ups and downs writing this book!”
Her goal wasn’t to make characters people liked. Instead, she wanted to make them real, showing both their good and bad sides. “None of these girls are bad girls,” Mitchell says of the characters. “They’re just trying to find their ‘bliss’ while living in their 20s.”
Writing it herself
While filming keeps Mitchell plenty busy, she says she has a lot of downtime on set, which is when she would do her writing for the book. And to help promote it, she’s heading out on a book tour all across the U.S.
She’s also giving fans who can’t make one of the signings a way to talk with her through the book. Next week (exact time TDB), Mitchell and Blaney will host a YouTube book party to answer readers’ questions and just gossip together.
If you go:
New York City
Tonight, 6 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Tribeca
97 Warren St., 212-587-5389