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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 abuse drugs.
The almost 18-year-old Maja is a regular high-school kid, who at the threshold of adulthood thinks she knows everything there is to know about life. As she enters the world of fashion modelling she gets completely enchanted.
However, the more her career thrives she’s less able to see the danger lurking around fashion industry. Maja starts falling in a downward spiral of drug addiction and is torn between the tempting dream of becoming a world famous model and the horrendous thought of destroying her body beyond the point of no salvation.
At a yacht party Maja gets drugged, assaulted and tossed overboard. She’s found the next day. Barely alive. Only a shade of her former self, in a gray space between life and death, she realises the fashion industry sucked everything out of her – except one thing – the will to live. Maja wants to be her old self again.
Ironically, it means losing the only thing that made her special. She has to give up on her hidden X Factor.
The X Factor:
Confession of a Naïve Fashion Model
is a psychological YA novel showing the glamorous fashion world behind its less glamorous scenes.
Enjoy an excerpt:
The window scene.
It was like a scene from a film about the escape of prisoners. They tied four sheets together to form a rope and climbed down onto the pavement, one by one. It was easy, just as if they were shooting a commercial. Downstairs, they hugged, as if they had just saved each other’s lives.
“And now what?”
“Nothing’s open right now and we won’t make it far on foot.”
There was a bakery on the other side of the street. Every day they rushed past, as they were tempted by the wonderful smell coming out of it. They were too afraid they would give in to temptation.
“We’ll break in to the shop, end of discussion!” Maja was overcome by a divine power. “As soon as we get our first salary, we’ll pay the owner back everything, including a large tip. I’m sure he’ll be understanding.”
“But is there even any bread in there?”
“There must be! Old bread and bread rolls stay in the bakery until the morning, when the farmers from the suburbs pick them up. They must use them for pig fodder. I’ve watched them from our window many times.”
The bakery wasn’t built very solidly. They took out an old window, easily entered and rushed to the shelves.
“Wow, that’s a lot of bread!”
“Oh, I’m so happy!”
Sitting on the floor in the middle of the room they stuffed themselves with old bread rolls until their stomachs became blown up as if they were pregnant.
“Well, I won’t die after all!”
“I won’t die either!”
Feeling blissfully satisfied, knowing they were full, they fell asleep from exhaustion and all the bad things that happened to them.
The owner found them half lying, half sitting, surrounded by old bread rolls.
“Mamma mia, mamma mia! What’s the world coming to?” he said, wringing his hands.
“They’re wearing the most expensive clothes in the world, but they would have died of hunger if they hadn’t stolen some bread!” He carefully woke them up and said with an understanding tone:
“Don’t be afraid, I won’t report you to the police. I’ve been observing you for a long time now. You’re as thin as rakes! Are you even women still?! I wouldn’t like to have such a woman for anything in the world. Oh, mamma mia, mamma mia, what’s the world coming to, what’s the world coming to…!”
They swore that when they get rich they would repay him for all the damage and add a prize on top.
“The biggest prize for me would be if you would buy some bread rolls each evening and start living a normal life.”
But despite the fact they were full, they couldn’t work that day. They were too full. They were so sick they vomited everything out, every last bite. They were too weak to even leave their beds. That was their first day without work. It was their own fault.
“A final warning before expulsion,” the director Monica let them know. “There are at least a hundred girls waiting in line who are serious about work. One more mistake like that and you’re out!”
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.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ivan.sivec.en or http://www.facebook.com/the.X.factor.the.book
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