29 April, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Ivan Sivec, #Author of The X Factor

*** Special Feature - April 2016 ***

Quick Recap
1st April - Introducing Ivan Sivec
8th April - Guest Post: Why Literature has to hurt?!
15th April - Guest Post: The Story behind the Story: Why a Girl’s Fate can Help Changing Lives
22nd April - Guest Post: The Chandelier of the World

About the Author
Ivan Sivec is a writer, poet and publicist from Slovenia, Europe. People say he is ‘a man with a hundred stories’ and he has been sharing them with his audience, both young and mature, for over four decades now. He is listed under the top five Slovenian bestselling authors.

In his rich and thriving career he has written in many genres. As a poet he has written more than 2,500 lyrics for ethnic and entertaining music for which he received several awards. His broad prosaic ‘repertoire’ includes biographies, historical, psychological and adventure novels, travelogues, youth book series, picture books as well as humorous stories. To this date he published over 130 books and is considered to be one of the most popular Slovenian authors.

His particular interest goes to psychological novels on issues teenagers face today, especially topics like suicide, drug addiction, adoption, AIDS...  He shares true stories to let the young reader know they’re not alone.

Sivec devotes his free time to his wife of 44 years, their two children and three grandchildren. Since his retirement a decade ago he enjoys his days hiking the Alpine peaks (he is especially proud to have conquered the tallest mountain in Europe, the French Mont Blanc (4,810 m/ 15,771 ft), together with his daughter-in-law Tina). When he is not gathering inspiration from the mountains he is soaking in the tranquility of the Mediterranean Sea with his wife.  Nature is his source of creativity. It allows Ivan to gather his thoughts and pour them onto paper.

Interview with the Author

Author Ivan Sivec has been on this blog before for an INTERVIEW. You can check it out for more details.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
I’ve actually never told this to anyone before, but I’ve kept a lot of material I wrote as a child and teenager, mostly short stories and poems. I will pass them on to my son and daughter, but for now this stays our little secret, ok?:)

Tell us about your writing process.
I keep it very simple. All I need is my computer and a few pieces of chocolate to feed my brain cells. I don’t allow myself to get stressed out over writer’s block. I never let myself get time pressured as well. If I do experience a lack of creative flow, I distance myself from writing and wait for the inspiration to call me back. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Maja, the main character of my YA novel ‘The X Factor: Confessions of a Naïve Fashion Model’ inherited my idealist view on the world. And stubbornness. In some way me and Maja are quite the same – we are both determined to finish what we have start and try to be our best at all times. No matter what. Sometimes we get burned and sometimes we succeed. But we never stop believing we can achieve whatever we want. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
The ritual I have each morning before I start working: I sit down, open the drawer of my oak desk, take a piece of chocolate, take a few moments to visualize the beautiful day  that is ahead and start writing. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
That the first version of your note, your initial inspiration, is always the best version, because it originates from your inner voice, the essence of your spirit. Try to add or remove as less as possible after the first version, as every change is commanded by your rational sphere and you lose the connection to your primal spirit.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Paper, pens and my wife. Hope she wouldn’t mind being stuck with me until the end of time :)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Dear readers, thank you for following my work over social media. To all readers who are not familiar with my first translated English novel ‘The X Factor: Confessions of a Naïve Fashion Model’: a warm invite to read it! Enjoy the beautiful spring, my friends!

About the Book
It takes three mistakes to be swallowed up and spat out by the fashion industry. You trust the wrong people. You think you know everything there is to know about life. You take drugs. Maja started off as a regular 17-year-old high-school kid, fighting her inner insecurities while dreaming to become an actress like Marilyn Monroe. At a party her boyfriend Klemen introduces her to a renowned modelling agent. He sees a special X Factor hidden insight her. And a great business opportunity for himself... Fast forward a few weeks later. Maja's charm and talent land her a modelling contract in the trendy and exciting fashion capital of Milan. She's completely enchanted and determined to make it in the fashion world. But things don't turn out the way she had planned. Exhausting long photo shoots, stressful fashion shows, strict dieting and wild parties start taking their toll on her soon enough. In desperate search for help Maja reaches out to her agent and other false friends from the fashion industry that emotionally and physically exploit her to the point where 'Maja the Great' is merely a shadow of her former self. She starts battling drug addiction that ends up in a tragic event. Maja has been finally swallowed up and spit out by the fashion industry with its endless traps. What price will the girl with the X Factor have to pay for her naivety?

5 e-books of The X Factor