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once more…

…unto the launch, dear friends, once more. Less than a month after the hugely successful evening at Gays The Word in London, where we officially welcomed A Marvellous Party into the literary world, we’re venturing forth into the glittering world of celebrity-packed book launches again.

This time we’ll be celebrating the publication of a fine fine place – the latest book of poems from Ignite author Steve Pottinger – at the Lych Gate Tavern in Wolverhampton city centre, on the evening of Sunday 15th October. Free entry, good company, great beer. Oh, and copies of the book will be available to buy.

If you’re in the area, it’d be lovely to see you. If you can’t make it, a fine fine place is also on sale here.

fine, very fine

We returned home to Ignite Villas on Friday afternoon, still floating on the excitement of Ian Elmslie’s book launch in London the previous evening (you can read more about that here, by the way) and found a note pushed through the letterbox: your books have been left next door.

It’s a busy time here: A Marvellous Party successfully launched, and now – fresh from the printers – the copies of Steve Pottinger’s latest volume of poetry ‘a fine fine place’.  The confusion over a missing box has now been resolved (thanks for popping back with it, mister courier) and they’re now all with us. which means they can be with you very soon, if you choose. It’s very simple: just follow this link and we’ll process your order as soon as we possibly can.


Can’t say fairer than that. And now, time to crack on with our next book. More news on that later….

reflection

There are times when being a publisher is a grind, a hard slog. It’s not unique to publishing, of course, any job has its downside. Set against those times, thankfully, are the moments which make it all worthwhile.

Yesterday’s book launch for A Marvellous Party – held at Gay’s The Word bookshop in London – was one of those moments. We’ve always known, from the moment Ian Elmslie sent us the draft of his manuscript, that he was a natural storyteller, with a fascinating story to tell. What we had no way of knowing was that he’s also a wonderfully gifted performer.

Listening to an author read three excerpts from their book so engagingly, with such an easy facility for bringing the characters to life – allowing you to imagine Armistead Maupin or Quentin Crisp are actually in the room and you’re eavesdropping on their conversation –  and all that in front of a packed house, well, that was an absolute privilege. A joy.

As one of the Gay’s The Word staff said afterwards: in thirteen years of listening to authors do book launches, last night was the best he’d heard. Praise doesn’t come better than that. Nor, Ian, was it ever more deserved.

A Marvellous Party is on sale here.

party

This is going to be one exciting week. On Thursday we rattle down to that there London to launch our fabulous new book A Marvellous Party at Gay’s The Word bookshop. It’s not officially published till October 1st, but this is our chance to celebrate the glorious response it’s had from everyone who’s got their mitts on it so far. Boyz magazine loved it. And our readers have, too. Here’s just some of the reviews:

‘I’ve just finished your wonderful book. I am in floods of tears that may never stop.’
‘Loving this book so much. So easy and enjoyable to read. Such warmth.
‘A life-changing book.’
‘The best book I’ve read in years.’
Bloody addictive. I’ve never read better in descriptive text.
‘It is rare that I finish a book and feel it has been a defining moment in my life as a reader. I loved every single word.’

A Marvellous Party would be worth your time and your money whenever it was published. In the year when the LGBT community is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moves to full equality, it’s an absolute must-read. 

At Gay’s The Word bookshop this Thursday evening, Ian Elmslie will read selected extracts from his marvellous memoir. There may – just may – be a re-union performance from Katrina and the Boy, too, which will look a little bit like this. Will this be the most culturally significant and fun happening in London town this year? Quite probably. We’ll see you there.

All the details you need for this event are here.

what happened

Ah well, guess that’s the end of summer, then. *sigh* Time to get back to the grindstone… Which means a stock-take at Ignite Villas, and the discovery – a very pleasant discovery – that over the past few months, while we’ve had our eye on other things, the fourth print run of City Baby has been quietly selling like the proverbial hot cakes.

What that means is we’re now down to the last box of this punk-rock nugget of a tale. A mere 24 copies. Wow. If you want a copy, we suggest you get your skates on (metaphorically speaking).

Suddenly, the end of summer doesn’t seem so bad.

 

 

more marvellous

It’s been just over three weeks since we got A Marvellous Party from the printers. We’re very pleased to say that – in those three weeks – with sales via our website and through author Ian Elmslie getting out and about with the book, we’ve already sold almost 200 copies of this our latest publication.

On top of that, we’ve had the first magazine review – a glowing, full-page spread – in Boyz. There’s been a meeting at Birmingham New St station to pass more boxes of books from publisher to author, while enjoying coffee and pastries. Ian has been invited to read from A Marvellous Party to an LGBT youth group in London, and exchanged stories of experiences.

All this, and we’ve only just begun. Thanks to each and every one of you who’ve bought a copy of this heartwarming book already. So much done, and there’s still two months till A Marvellous Party is officially published. Wow!

marvellous

The party has landed! A Marvellous Party – our new book, written by Ian Elmslie – is now here. In fact, it’s not just here – as any self-respecting party should, it’s got out and about already. Copies are in the post to flats and houses all over the UK, they’re making their way to Spain and Germany, and a big boxful are flying out to the States as I type this blog.

A Marvellous Party arrived on Tuesday, with the rain. This meant a lot of scurrying from pavement to hallway, hallway to pavement and back again till all the boxes were safely squirrelled away in Ignite Villas. Two hours later, we were on a train to London, taking a goodly number of books down to an impatient and excited author. On arrival, we learned that three boxes of books take up more space than is ideal on an evening rush-hour Tube, that dragging 35kg of weight from tube train to escalator to the bottom of a flight of stairs (stairs?? oh god…) is overrated, that whichever exit to the surface you use will be the one furthest from the bar where your author is waiting, and that the pint of beer you have once you’ve got your breath back may well be the best thing you’ve tasted in your life.

Since then, we’ve been fulfilling all the advance orders and plotting publicity campaigns. This morning, we finally had the chance to sit down, draw breath, look at what we’ve achieved, and revel in a sense of great pride at helping bring this beautiful, delightful, entertaining, book into the world. It really is very, very good.

Oh, and if you’ve missed out so far, you can get your copy here. Be sure we’ll pop it in the post as soon as we can.

passion

There’s one thing driving force which underpins everything we do here at Ignite: our love of stories. We’re absolutely passionate about work which has something to say about the world, about how we find our place in it, and – above all – about the extraordinariness of our everyday lives.

Conventional wisdom would look at the time and effort we put into creating our books, the hours, days, and weeks we spend working with our authors so that the end product is something remarkable they’ll always look on with pride, and ask ‘is it worth it?’ Our answer is a simple and resounding Yes! Sure, the bottom line is important – and we should point out here that every single one of our books has turned a profit of some sort or another – and of course we’d love to see the hourly rate for our work come somewhere closer to reflecting the effort we put in, but putting our heart into each and every one of our publications is absolutely central to who we are and what we do.

Human beings have always told stories, and listened to stories. They’ve shared their experiences over a beer, or across a garden fence, or round a campfire. It’s one of the better things our species does. We take huge satisfaction from Ignite’s involvement in continuing that tradition, and in giving a platform to voices which might otherwise remain unheard.

Just over a year ago, Ian Elmslie came to us with his manuscript for A Marvellous Party. We read through it, and knew this was very definitely a story worth the telling. Since then, he and Ignite have worked together to hone his tales into 320 wonderful pages, and in the next few days we’ll be sending the book files off to the printers. Shortly after that, a pallet packed with cartons filled with copies of this brand-new book will arrive at Ignite Villas and we’ll start posting them out.

Those of you have ordered copies already – which shows you’re just as excited about this book as we are – can expect A Marvellous Party to drop through your letterbox soon after July 15th. It will be marvellous. It’s a party, it’s a celebration, and it’s a reflection on what it was like to grow up as a young gay man in 20th century Britain. It’s a beautifully written, candid tale of love and loss and carrying on. It has much to say about fame, and stars, and our shared human condition, and it’s much, much more besides.

Be ready to clear your diary, to sit down and read this book. Trust us, you’re going to love it.

new broom

Welcome to the new all-singing, all-dancing Ignite website! We hope you like the new look (it’s easier on the eye for those of us who have to surf cyberspace in our reading glasses) and we think the cleaner, less cluttered appearance reflects what Ignite is all about. Yes, flim-flam can be entertaining, but we’re aiming for content over that.

All the great reads you’d expect from us are still there, so if you’ve been meaning to grab a copy of one of our books for your friends, it’s just as easy to do so. (If you find any issues, please let us know!)

Oh, and we’ve some great new books in the pipeline for 2017. So watch this space!

up for a prize

It’s always nice to have some good news to share, and we’re proud as punch to announce that Ignite author Carl Stanley is one of the twelve authors on the longlist for this year’s Polari Literary Prize.

If you haven’t yet got your hands on a copy of Carl’s book Kiss & Make Up, you’ve been missing a treat. Candid, hilarious, and outrageous by turns, it’s a glorious romp of a read, the story of a schoolboy from Smethwick who ends up as make-up artist to the stars. Interwoven with this – and what gives the book so much of its power and appeal – is a familiar tale of estrangement, conflict, and reconciliation, a tale which Carl tells with skill, sensitivity, and wit. Oh, and there’s the unforgettable meeting with Mrs Thatcher, too…

Kiss & Make Up is available via Gay’s The Word bookshop in London, Prowler in London and Brighton, and from all good bookshops, as well as online retailers, and – of course – via our website. A Kindle edition is also on sale.

We wish all the longlisted authors the best of luck! The Polari Prize shortlist is announced at the end of July.