GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In life, we often hear about following dreams. Green Cove Springs resident author and musician Justin Hyler literally followed his dream, and it led him to write his first …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In life, we often hear about following dreams. Green Cove Springs resident author and musician Justin Hyler literally followed his dream, and it led him to write his first book, “The Pewter Scarab.”
Hyler moved to the Jacksonville area from Pensacola in 2001, first living in Orange Park.
“Over the last 20 years, I’ve been here [Clay County] for roughly 17 of them,” said Hyler.
He spent about a year in Birmingham, Alabama, and a year and a half in Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s been in Green Cove Springs for almost two years now and loves the community, with many friends who are lifelong residents.
Hyler got into writing early in life.
“I started out writing young like a lot of kids do,” he said. “You know, you write poems and little stories and things like that. And then I got into music and kind of transitioned into writing music and writing lyrics, and I think that kind of brought out more of the writer in me. It just progressed over the years.”
Hyler said he had thought many times over the years about writing a short story or a novel but never really put the time into doing so. He always had other things going on, like work or his music. That’s when things changed for him.
“It came to me in a dream. I dreamt the whole thing like watching a movie,” he said. “I woke up; I wrote it down. I had the characters, the plotline, everything, and then I just fleshed it out over the course of a few months, and it came to life.” That book that came to life out of Hyler’s dream became “The Pewter Scarab,” the first in a series of three.
Hyler gets some inspiration from people and places around him. He doesn’t mimic people or places directly, but it does play a role.
“A lot of the characters that I use, I won’t necessarily mimic people I know precisely,” he said. “They say write what you know. I think it plays greatly into the scenic approaches when writing. It’s [Clay County] beautiful. We’ve got the river, we’ve got the creeks. Everyone is wonderfully nice, friendly, and we’ve got great views. I love the historical aspect, too. With the springs being a hotshot tourist destination a long time ago, I love seeing all the old photos of that and feeling like I’m a part of someplace that has some history to it.”
“The Peter Scarab” is about a company conducting illegal DNA research. An analyst discovers something he shouldn’t have seen, and the outcome will change the world.
The sequel to “The Pewter Scarab” will be named “The Psychic Thieves”, and the third is yet to be named.
Hyler recommends that anyone who is interested should try writing. “Everybody’s got a story,” he said. “Let’s try to hear them all.”