- Independent debut author Scott Harvey, launches the first title in the HEROPLOT series and becomes an instant Amazon best seller
- Released on August 15th, 2021, HEROPLOT: The Spear of Destiny has spent the first three weeks as a number one Hot New Release on Amazon
- Harvey himself remains overwhelmed by the response to his ya dystopian novel
Scott Harvey may not be the first name that comes to mind when young adult readers of science fiction are asked for their favourite author. But if the initial success of Harvey’s first novel, The Spear of Destiny, is anything to go by, then things may be about to change.
Heading for stardom. Scott Harvey’s page-turning epic modern-day dystopian thriller, The Spear of Destiny, has certainly attracted the attentions of young adult and adult readers around the globe, spending its first three weeks as a number one Hot New Release on Amazon.
Trading the Visual World for the Imaginary
“It’s been quite unexpected to say the least,” said Harvey when asked to comment about the success of his book debut. “HEROPLOT is something that I’ve been planning for several years, a multiverse of characters that readers and audience members might relate to more than the stereotypical approach to superheroes and villains in capes and costumes.”
Why did you choose, quite deliberately, not to focus on a hero in The Spear of Destiny?
“Well, for me, the genre of dystopian fiction and most especially young adult dystopian fiction, is so formulated that I just couldn’t see any point in offering yet another world gone bad that relies on a teenager to save his or her friends from yet another evil regime. The problem in recent years is this formulated approach to dystopia, which for me personally, always leaves me wanting. I find myself appreciating the hero’s quest, just not enough to really care most of the time.”
Why do you think that is?
“I would say because a lot of dystopian fiction, the worlds where heroes are often found, especially where the subject matter is more in the vein of realism or science fiction, rather than say, fantasy, are so abstract as to lose a sense of believability. This often forces, to a greater extent, non-stop action as a means to carry the story forward, and that can become tiresome. In The Spear of Destiny, I wanted to convey a sense of believability, based upon the world in which we live today, yet seen through the eyes of one who wants more. When we talk about heroes or villains, the term itself is a matter of perspective. With The Spear of Destiny, I wanted to take a character who could easily be anyone, neither cruel nor heroic, yet like so many of us, one with aspiration and ambition. One, who based upon the decisions that the character takes, create consequences that reflect on us all. That as a reader, it would not only be possible to understand the character, but more importantly, to empathise with him, so that whether he’s a hero, or a villain, becomes secondary to the actual character development itself, which coincidentally, also takes us on this journey or decline into a dystopian future.”
The Spear of Destiny is quite a dark start to a series? Do you think this is a result of not really portraying an out-and-out hero?
“Not necessarily. Yes, The Spear of Destiny is the first HEROPLOT book, but my aim was never to rush the reader through a heroic challenge. I wanted to really take us on this journey into a believable future, and at the same time perhaps send up a few red flags regarding certain aspects of our current global culture. Certainly, aspects which teenagers are sometimes often overly exposed towards. At the same time, it’s important of course to remember, like the definition of a hero or villain, that a dystopia is again a matter of perspective. Who’s to say that one person’s dystopia is not another’s utopia?”
Reading The Spear of Destiny, it often feels quite cinematic, especially the dialogue, one can almost imagine the characters acting it out on screen. Was that your intention?
“Not at all, so I take that really as a compliment. Before working as a designer, I graduated as a film maker from university, so I guess that background and sense of storytelling has always been there. But actually, I’ve been asked many times why is HEROPLOT a work of written fiction, rather than say, a graphic novel? Especially since I have also drawn each character. The answer to that is really quite simple. My vision for how I see these characters is very strong, although it may not be how to best portray them. When I say best, I mean the style and the stylised approach to representing them visually. Through words, through stories, I can offer a sense of each character that can live in the mind of the reader, but before these characters should take physical form beyond my own sketchbooks, I would really want to work closely with artists and people far more skilled in character design.
So, the book is just the start of something bigger?
“The start of anything can quickly become the end, that’s wholly dependent upon fans and readers. I’m more than aware that the factors of success lie far beyond my ability to control. But any creative aspects that I can influence, I will of course try to do so. I remember a few years ago, I took my son, who was five at the time, to a toy store, and we were looking at action figures. He took one from the shelf and asked me who it was? I told him it was Batman. Then he took another and again asked me who it was? I said the same thing, it was Batman. Then he took one more and again asked me the same question, and again I told him it was Batman. As I stood holding the figures, I understood why he asked. One of the representations of Batman was from the 1960s TV show. Another was from the animated series and another from the Justice League film. The point was that all three were Batman, but all were very different from each other. Different colours, different capes, different masks, different body builds. They were three very different representations of the same character. All were on the same shelf, which begged the question, who was the real Batman, and which Batman should I buy? Of course, that character has evolved over several decades, but I would like the characters of HEROPLOT to be clearly defined and unmistakable. I would hope that one day, someone might take their child to a toy store and know that there was no ambiguity about who any of my characters were.”