Backstories: a brilliant collection of stories for the socially conscious listener.
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?
These are people you know, but not as you know them.
Peel back the mask and see.
"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.
Backstories is published by Smoke & Mirrors Press.
My Backstories Quest
“Whatever happened to, all of the heroes?” (The Stranglers, 1977)
I was 12 years old when I first heard this song, and although there was something in the feral tone that grabbed me, I didn’t really understand it. I do now. I get the angst and the loss and the emptiness, which is why, in Backstories, I aim to answer the question.
I’m not interested in simplistic tabloid truths. They clung on too long, drank too much, lost their looks and their charm, and generally reminded us that we’re all getting older. That’s not what I want from my heroes.
What I want is to find the spark, to dig down into their pain, their passions, and their imperfections, and show you our heroes as they truly are.
So join me on my quest. Let’s bypass the obvious, the tedious, and the dull. Brave the deeper, darker paths where the treasures can be found, and together we’ll uncover the fears and doubts that made our heroes what they were and perhaps catch a glimpse of ourselves along the way.
Whatever happened to all of the heroes?
They turned out to be human beings, in all their diverse glory.
Simon Van der Velde, January 2021
What listeners say about Backstories
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An excellent read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I worked out many of the clues, but there are still a couple that puzzle me. Once I know who the character is, I find myself wanting to read their story again. Brilliant!
- Nicola Wood
Thoroughly enjoyable read!
Backstories is instantly engaging. Your mind starts ticking over straight away wondering whose ‘backstory’ you’re reading. The author avoids the usual good/bad one dimensional stereotypes. Instead he gives you a very human insight into some of the worst people in history. There are heroes in there too and again the author gives you a very human insight into their frailties and vulnerabilities. Humans are undeniably complex and we’re all the product of our backstories - good and bad. Can’t wait for backstories 2!!