Last week I released my new book, Tekkers. It’s the story of 13-year-old Zak, an aspiring young footballer who uploads a video of his skills to YouTube and becomes an overnight sensation.
The book has been a few years in the making. Back in 2017, while working as a social media manager, I was an at event to promote my client’s latest football boots. As part of the night’s running order, I was asked to create some content with a young football influencer. This involved asking the influencer to show off some of their skills while wearing the product, then making sure they said a piece to camera. The influencer was great: enthusiastic, humble and well supported by his parents.
But it got me thinking. Not everybody who goes viral has such a support network to keep their feet on the ground. There are countless examples of children who are thrust into the limelight and struggle to cope. Pressures pop up that never existed before. Especially in social media. Algorithms must be met. Followings must be grown. Merchandise must be sold.
I began to imagine what could happen to the influencer without such guidance. After all, when I visit schools and hear about the pupils’ aspirations, they often involve social media. So what would happen, for example, when agents start to swarm? When the trolls emerge? When social media gets in the way of real life?
The result is Tekkers, published by Polaris. It’s described as ‘an amusing and entertaining story about the power of social media with the core message that followers are great, but friends are even better’.
You can order a signed copy direct from me by clicking here. Or you can buy it from any one of the usual outlets.