ABOUT THE BOOK
These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.
CAN YOU FIND THE FAMOUS PERSON HIDDEN IN EVERY STORY?
Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves, they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth?
‘Oh, how I enjoyed these stories. A highly original and beautifully crafted collection that explodes into the reader’s consciousness like fireworks’ – Kate Horsley, award-winning author of The American Girl.
‘Tightly written, technically accomplished, light-footed, wryly ironic and genuinely affecting. Excellent stuff’ – Professor Graham Mort, Director of The Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research and winner of both the Bridport Prize and The Edge Hill Prize.
This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.
Each new chapter is like a clean canvas that builds a picture of the famous and infamous for you to guess. It is a stroke of genius!
It isn’t a book that I could chill out with, as it seemed to light up my brain and make it work to recognise the people described in the fourteen chapters. The chapters are laced with clues, such as a couple of words from a song, that the artist has written or sung, an incident or in a couple of scenarios playing out the scenes. It makes for full concentration. I loved guessing the right people, as it gave me quite a buzz.
It brought back my memories of these people while I was growing up. Some made me smile, while others gave me goosebumps. One story was a heart-stopper for me when I worked out who the people were just before the reveal. It would have been too late for me.
I really have to mention that I am a sucker for book covers and what a stunning book cover this is, it is like nothing else I have seen. A perfect match for what is inside.
I hope that this author has a second book like this in the pipeline as there is nothing else like it. Brilliant research, choice of characters and dramatisation of the stories to capture who these people were. The era and tone of each story were unique. It is a top-class idea, executed perfectly!
I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, labourer,
teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as travelling throughout Europe and
South America collecting characters and insights for his award-winning
stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction)
in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous
awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Wasafiri
New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Shortstory Prize, The Harry Bowling Prize, The Henshaw Press Short Story
Competition and The National Association of Writers’ Groups Open
Competition – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife,
Nicola, their labradoodle, Barney and two tyrannical children.
ps. I am proud to be sharing 30% of all profits from Backstories with
Friends of the Earth, Stop Hate UK and The North-East Autism Society.
See http://www.simonvandervelde.com for further details.