Take the Backstories Challenge – Giveaway

Take the Backstories Challenge – Giveaway

Today on the blog we welcome author Simon Van Der Velde, with his ‘Backstories Challenge‘. To be in with a chance of winning one of three signed copies of Backstories and a chocolate treat keep reading and all will be revealed below. This post contains affiliate links.

Take the backstories challenge

How to enter: To be in with a chance of winning this fab giveaway all you have to do is read the short story below and work out who the lost little boy is. Once you have worked our your answer head to – www.simonvandervelde.com/stories/backstorieschallenge, where you can leave you answer and also sign up to the Backstories Mailing List.

Hint – If you haven’t a clue who the story is about, sign up to the mailing list and you will be emailed the full-story which should help you work out who it is.

The giveaway closes at 11:59pm Saturday 24th April, 2021 (GMT) and is open worldwide.

Find this lost little boy to claim your reward

The Guitar: No doubt about it, he was a bright kid, talented even. He was quick on his feet and with his mouth too, and he could smack a baseball out of the park. But he was a Jew, and he was short. I mean like really short. The kid was the size of your average third grader when he was twelve years old. When he was taking those first steps towards manhood. When it mattered most.

And this was back in the fifties, with Sinatra top of the charts, John Wayne High and Mighty on the big screen and New York thrusting itself into the heavens, one skyscraper taller than the next. It was a one-size-fits-all sort of time, but it didn’t fit him. If a girl laughed away down the street, he felt the heat in his cheeks. Even a simple smile was met with squinty-eyed suspicion. He felt like the whole world was laughing at him, and there was truth enough in that.

The other kids couldn’t resist. Let loose from class they could forget about their failures and rejections, their overbearing fathers and screaming mothers, their secret fears and pigeon chests. For that hour at lunchtime they could be free of themselves, laughing fearlessly while they pushed the little guy around the yard and asked him what he was doing out of kindergarten, or where he’d left Snow White. That was the best one. They banged away at it for months, with raucous renditions of ‘Hi-ho, hi-ho,’ booming across the yard, reprised with hums and whistles in the classroom…

Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde


Author – Simon Van Der Velde
Publisher – Smoke and Mirrors Press
Pages – 90
Released – 25th March 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-1838296407
Format – ebook, paperback, audio


These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.


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?

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.

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Author Info

Simon Van Der Velde backstories

Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, laborer, teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as traveling throughout Europe and South America collecting characters 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 Prize, and The Harry Bowling Prize – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost short-story writers.

Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife, labradoodle and two tyrannical children.

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Why not have a read of our five star review of Backstories whilst you are here, to see what we thought about the book – backstories-simon-van-der-velde-book-review

Share your thoughts on ‘Take the Backstories Challenge’ in the comment section below!

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

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