'Pretty Little Liars' Author Launches New Book Series With TV Cameo (Video)

Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard is launching a new YA series, The Amateurs, as the debut title in Disney Publishing’s new Freeform imprint. 

To kick off the new series, The Amateurs is getting a cameo in the July 5 episode of Pretty Little Liars, as seen in the exclusive image above. 

Eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier is obsessed with solving the five-year-old disappearance of high school senior Helena Kelly from her backyard in their hometown of Dexby, Connecticut. Joined by her friends Maddy, Brett and Helena’s sister Aerin (who all meet on a cold case message board), she tries to figure out what happened to Helena and who caused her disappearance, all while trying to hide her own dark secrets. 

Book one in The Amateurs series publishes Nov. 1. It is the launch title for Disney Publishing’s new Freeform imprint, which will focus on YA and crossover fiction for the 14-34 demographic. The imprint is part of Disney’s transformation of ABC Family into the Freeform network, which occurred in January 2016; Freeform books are aimed at the same audience Freeform TV is pursuing. Freeform will look to cross develop the books across other formats. (And the PLL/Amateurs cameo highlights the cross-promotion possibilities of Freeform TV and publishing.) 

“Through her Pretty Little Liars series, Sara Shepard has become known for writing stories with the perfect mix of mystery, thrills, and romance,” said Mary Ann Naples, vp and publisher, Disney Book Group in a statement. “We could not be more excited to launch our Freeform imprint with the first book in her gripping new series, The Amateurs." 

Pretty Little Liars has been a publishing and broadcast success. Since launching in 2006, the 16-book series has made multiple appearances on the The New York Times best-seller list. The TV show, which debuted in June 2010, is the net’s highest-rated show and generates a substantial engagement across multiple social media channels, including Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.