Florida novelist’s book perfectly fits the Coronavirus phenomenon

Book Cover 'The Pewter Scarab'Florida musician Justin Hyler has done something not uncommon in the creative sphere. Hyler has crossed into another genre, writing, and he released a timely novella in late January. ‘Timely’ is an understatement when it comes to the story’s central theme, considering the rampage of the Coronavirus around the globe.

Justin Hyler novelist, musician
Justin Hyler (Photo used with permission)

Hyler’s novella The Pewter Scarab centers on a financial analyst who studies figures on a special research project involving the immune system and the manipulation of DNA. The analyst ends up somewhere in Singapore in dire straits for awhile as those in charge of the project protect their nefarious work. As the protagonist David Stills encounters a company secretly involved in “illegal research, fraud, and human trafficking,” back home the company he works for is concerned about losing a top client.

Hyler embeds the scarab as a motif in both the title and the story, perhaps as a symbol of rebirth because Stills certainly undergoes a rebirth of sorts, courtesy of the challenges he faces in Singapore, namely trying to survive what started out as a typical visit to a client because of anomalies in accounting and recordkeeping. As the story unfolds, Hyler introduces an interesting concept—“the mind cloud.”

The book is a straight-through read, one of the assets a form like the novella brings to the reader in our time and attention-crunched age.

Hyler told Indie Art South he dreamed the book, “characters, plot twists, and all.” After he finished, he compared the book to a parable “with the characters reflecting religious characters from the stories of old.”

In addition to music—he’s been playing guitar since he was nine years old—he said he’s working on two new books and one is the “follow-up for The Pewter Scarab.” There’s certainly a lot of potential in the scarab as continuing theme. The beetle-inspired scarab has been around in terms of cultural significance dating to ancient times. Even in the US, the scarab form is often used in jewelry. He said another book he’s working on “is a journalistic piece covering the festival scene, the artists and musicians involved and of course the dark underbelly that can get associated with that scene.”

A music project Hyler is involved in, “The Typical”, is a duo comprising his friend Geoff Willis and himself.

Hyler is a Florida transplant, having been born in Pennsylvania. He said he’s “moved around a lot,” but now resides “in beautiful Green Cove Springs, Florida.” He first began to study music when he was seven, and said, “I got my first real guitar when I was nine…after 34 years of playing music, I still am the happiest kid on the block.”

To read The Pewter Scarab, head to Amazon.

Ed. Note: By way of disclosure, linking to the book , if you should purchase it, delivers no benefits to this website. The only partnership we have at present is with our readers.

(Kay B. Day/April 3, 2020)

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