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Amara Sage’s brilliant YA debut INFLUENTIAL goes to Faber

Children's Books News

Influential, a contemporary YA debut about navigating social media from author Amara Sage, has been has acquired by Faber.

Set to publish on 5th January 2023, Influential delves into the world of cancel culture, online trolls and social media influencers. Amara’s novel explores growing up in the social media spotlight, and follows 17-year-old Almond Brown who has no friends, but 3.5 million followers.

“Forced into the spotlight when she was just a perfectly filtered bump, Almond’s mum has been documenting their family life through social media since before she was born,” the synopsis explains. “Trapped in the world of online influence, Almond feels compelled to carry on the pretence of her ‘perfect’ life online, despite her life offline crumbling around her.”

Amara Sage graduated from Bath Spa’s MA in writing for young people with a distinction. She writes contemporary own-voice YA fiction that explores issues of body image, mental health, racial identity and the impact that social media has on this.

Amara commented: “It still feels so surreal to be able to share this incredible news. Little me who always wrote ‘author’ in the ‘what do you want to be when you’re grown up’ sections of school worksheets still can’t quite believe that Alice, Ama and the rest of the team at Faber are making this happen. From the moment we met – very fittingly via Zoom, considering the story’s focus on connections made online – I knew that Influential had found its home at Faber. Hearing Alice’s passion for my writing and realising our shared concern over the issues young people face competing in today’s social media sphere, explored in Influential, I felt so certain that my book had found its people. I am truly thrilled that my debut is being brought to life by Faber and I can’t wait to share Almond’s story.”

Editorial director Alice Swan added: “I am buzzing to have acquired such a brilliant, intelligent novel for the world we live in now,” Swan said. “Amara grew up with the internet, as her readers will have, and as a result the voice and themes feel intensely genuine. If anyone is looking for a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of social media that teens will actually want to read, this is it. Upholding Faber’s gold standard for quality writing, this is a book of historic importance that we are very proud to be publishing.”

The full Bookseller’s article can be found here.

Published: 18th March 2022