No Place To Call Home by JJ Bola: Cover Reveal

We are delighted to reveal the cover for JJ Bola’s forthcoming debut novel publishing in Hardback and eBook on June 22nd 2017

JJ Bola - No Place To Call Home Jacket

Jean starts at a new school and struggles to fit in. He develops an unlikely friendship with rowdy class mate James, who gets him into a string of sticky situations; fights, theft, and more. At home, his parents, Mami and Papa, who fled political violence in Congo under the dictatorial regime of Le Marechal, to seek asylum as refugees – which Jean and his star-student little sister, Marie, have no knowledge of – pressure him to focus on school and sort his act out. Jean is then suspended, and Marie, who usually gets on his nerves, helps him keep his secret, which draws them closer together.

As the family attempts to integrate and navigate modern British society, as well as hold on to their roots and culture, they meet Tonton, a sapeur, womaniser, alcohol-loving, party enthusiast, who, much to Papa’s dislike, after losing his job, moves in with them. Tonton introduces the family – via his church where colourful characters such as Pastor Kaddi, Patricia and Nadege congregate – to a familiar community of fellow country-people, making them feel slightly less alone. They begin to settle, but the reality of their situation unravels a threat to their future, whilst the fear of uncertainty remains.

With colourful characters and luminous prose, No Place To Call Home is a tale of belonging, identity and immigration, of hope and hopelessness, of loss –not by death, but by distance– and, by no means the least, of love.

No Place To Call Home is available here

JJ Bola Debut Novel to be published by OWN IT!

OWN IT! is excited to announce that it will publish JJ Bola’s brilliant debut novel, No Place to Call Home in June 2017.

With great characters and seamless prose, set between London and the Congo, No Place to Call Home is a tale of belonging, identity and immigration, of hope and hopelessness, of loss –not by death, but by distance – and, by no means the least, of love.

JJ Bola is a well-respected London poet who has built a strong reputation on an international stage (he currently holds the Oakland Poetry Slam title). He is also an educator as well as the creator of the increasingly popular adage ‘Hype your writers like you do your rappers’.

His agent Maria Cardona said, ‘At the Pontas Agency we couldn’t be more delighted. JJ Bola is a very special writer with a unique voice. OWN IT!’s passion and vision for this debut is exactly what we were looking for and we expect great things. There’s already been much registered interest from different corners of the world.’

Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Publisher at OWN IT! says, ‘JJ Bola is a beautiful storyteller and this is a unique and accomplished novel made all the more exciting by the fact that it’s a debut. It is both light of touch but deep in feeling and meaning. Full of localised nuances in different times and places and masterfully woven together to simultaneously capture the essence of human heartache and human triumph. I’m confident that JJ has an exciting career as a literary fiction author ahead of him and I couldn’t be happier that OWN IT! will be a part of his journey from the very beginning’.

For more info on JJ Bola and his work, please visit: www.jjbola.com

George the Poet Backstage at MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN Book Launch

Debut novel by Robyn Travis MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN  is now available to buy at all good online and physical retailers including here.

Each day this week we will share a performance/interview from the musicians, comedians and poets who helped launch Robyn Travis’ book at a sold out Hackney Empire launch.

Hear what George the Poet had to say backstage after his performance above.

MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN is an eye-opening exploration of different definitions of masculinity in today’s society told from a black male perspective. Brimming with intelligent and thought provoking ideas, it cleverly challenges, debates and raises uncomfortable questions while drawing the reader into the world.

Sitting somewhere between Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, this is a unique novel which unfolds through a series of prison letters, taking the reader into the minds of a colourful cast of characters.

Robyn Travis Partners with OWN IT!

Robyn TravisOWN IT! is excited to announce the signing of Robyn Travis, a powerful storyteller and fresh new voice. Travis’ debut book (published in 2013), Prisoner to the Streets, is a raw, honest, moving account of growing up in Hackney and Tottenham. In his first book, Travis shares his journey of going from a young man caught up in London’s inner city “postcode wars”, to becoming a positive leader who turned his life around.

OWN IT! will release Robyn’s next book and first novel Mama Can’t Raise No Man. The narrative is creatively told through a series of letters to and from the main protagonist who unexpectedly finds himself in Prison. The novel explores themes such as what happens when there are a lack of male role models for young men, potential consequences of cheating husbands, and how oppressive forces of society and failed systems can negatively effect individuals and family units. Although Travis tackles hard hitting issues, he does so with his trademark engaging style making this not only an insightful, but also an enjoyable read.

The digital edition will take the form of an innovative and unique multi-media format using digital technology to tell the story in a way that really brings the unconventional narrative technique to life in an exciting new way.

Don’t Be Alien: by Cuba and Ewan Green

Ewan_full_BnWOWN IT! believes that good stories can be told in a multitude of ways and sometimes that means expressing the same story across different mediums. The origins of this story started of as lyrics and composition by Cuba but the lyrics and music soon also evolved into the source of an animation by Ewan Green (pictured left). Don’t Be Alien is about two people who were once in love but are now no longer together. They have become distant strangers. A chance encounter see’s them reflects on the good times the couple once had and the mistakes they have made. Now the only thing that unites them is a shared thought, don’t be alien.

Don’t Be Alien will be available as a music download as well as a charming multi-media book which brings together the lyrics, composition and animation.