Interview with Stephen Martino, author of THE HIDDEN REALITY

Stephen Martino is neurologist practicing in New Jersey. Though not separating conjoined twins like Dr. Ben Carson, he is part of an active medical practice and is currently participating in concussion research and inventing new medical products. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to provide stroke education to the local community, EMS squads and healthcare professionals.

His latest book is the science fiction/political thriller, The Hidden Reality.
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About the Book:

In the year 2084, the brilliant inventor, Alex Pella, finds himself at a precarious crossroad between the pursuit of justice and preservation of his own sanity. While attempting to undermine an international New World Order government created by the financial juggernaut known as The New
Reality, he must also face the hidden truths about his own genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him. After receiving an ambiguous message sent from a former New Reality executive who died 2 years prior, Alex learns that the only possible means to confront this New World Order is to defeat a long-forgotten enemy almost 2500 years old.

THE HIDDEN REALITY is the second stand-alone novel in a trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist and entrepreneur Stephen Martino. With his fusion of history, politics, and science fiction, Martino joins such masters of the thriller genre as Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Michael Crichton.

Martino’s villain is a corporation run by a cadre of ruthless international bankers known as The New Reality. Directed by the most corrupt and morally unscrupulous of the bunch, Myra Keres, the company has economically seized control of the world’s governments and the population’s personal freedoms in the process. In order to save humanity from this despot ruler and the unwonted atrocities to which she plans to perpetuate on the world, Alex Pella must infiltrate the company and face an enemy that has unknowingly haunted both him and history for almost 2500 years.

Martino says he wrote THE HIDDEN REALITY more than just to entertain the reader. He wanted to create a modern day Orwellian ANIMAL FARM to allegorically forewarn his readers of a possible dystopia future that awaits all of mankind if humanity continues to proceed down its path of self-destruction.

In THE HIDDEN REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic cloning, unprecedented economic debt, the rise of big government, and the threat of a New World Order run by the economic elite, while bringing the reader back almost 2500 years into the past when the ancient city state nation known as Greece fought the mighty Persian Empire for world domination.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE HIDDEN REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation and the world if they are not properly addressed today.”

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Thanks for this interview, Stephen.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I come from a completely nonliterary background. With a B.S. in Biochemistry and M.D. in medicine, fictional reading was placed on the backburner for years as I poured through scientific and medical books and journals. My love of fiction was again ignited when the Harry Potter series was first published. I would sit with my oldest daughter and read her the books an hour or two each night.

In addition to a scientific and medical background, I also have a great love of history, current affairs, and political theory. Though it may seem like an eclectic mix, keeping abreast of each topic makes me better understand the seemingly endless chaos and turmoil which increasingly plagues the planet. In the end, I attempt to combine all my training and interests together in order to create novels that not only tell a story but also have the reader thinking long after they finish reading it.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

October 11, 1786 Landsbut, Bavaria

THE HYPNOTIC MELODY of the whistling wind and the patter of raindrops hitting the roof ordinarily proved more comforting to Xavier von Zweck than the most angelic lullaby. On this night, the grandfather clock had just chimed 2:00 a.m., and Xavier could barely close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.

Insomnia was no friend of his but had become an accustomed bedtime partner over the past year. Though the night was unusually warm and muggy for a Bavarian October, Xavier pulled another quilted blanket over his body, covering himself as if he were trying to make a cocoon.

“Xavier?” his wife mumbled, half asleep. “You’d rest better with the lamp off.”

“Mind your own business,” he quipped. Not wanting to start another argument, his wife simply turned away and drifted slowly back to sleep as if nothing had occurred. She had become accustomed to her husband’s quick fits of temper and erratic behavior. The man she married in her late teens was certainly not the man she had grown to know over the past year. His gentle, caring demeanor had been transformed into one of paranoia and fear. Though she cared for him dearly, their relationship dwindled as quickly as Xavier’s sanity.

If she only knew, Xavier thought. She would not be sleeping so soundly.

He double-checked his bedside table drawer for the tenth time that night to ensure that his gun was in the proper place. He had loaded the flintlock pistol and stowed it there in case of any emergency. Assured the gun was where he stored it, Xavier rolled on his back and looked blankly up at the ceiling. It was such a noble and just cause, he lamented. The enlightenment we would have brought to Bavaria, if not the world, would have made the Renaissance pale in comparison. Now they hunt us down like a pack of dogs, wanting to rid their country of any contrary thoughts or points of view. The government and church are nothing more than instruments of suppression that hinder man’s true nature to achieve enlightenment and pursue humanitarianism.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I never fathomed how many aspiring writers there are on the planet! It seems like everyone these days has an unpublished book or movie manuscript sitting on their desk. The competition to find a publisher and agent was much more of a daunting task than I ever expected. Writing my first novel was retrospectively the easiest task. The real time consuming job proved to be finding a publisher. It’s a task that required immense time and even more humility. On a daily basis, I sent out query letters, mailed sample copies of my novel to publishers, spoke with agents or potential leads, or even at times went to book expos where people in the publishing industry gathered. Eventually, being persistent and at times a nuisance paid off.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Doctor’s Science Fiction/Political Thriller Warns of Dystopian Future.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I wrote The Hidden Reality more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code or Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. These books not only tell a fantastic story but they also make the reader think. So what I did in The Hidden Reality was incorporate certain pressing topics that effect our word today such the unprecedented world-wide economic debt, globalism, clash of East and West, and the rise of big government while combining it with some interesting subjects such as Ancient Greek military history, the concept of an Open Society, and futuristic scientific concepts.

In the end, my goal was to turn The Hidden Reality into a modern day allegoric Animal Farm to forewarn my readers of the possible future consequences we may face as a result of our current follies of today. As political tensions rise around the globe, the world plunges into economic debt, Europe delves deeper into chaos, and new scientific and medical achievements astound us by the day, I incorporated these high-concept ideas into The Hidden Reality and attempted to make sense out the pandemonium that surround us on a daily basis.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Great question!

I would say that The Hidden Reality would be placed in the Easter section. When you think of Easter, there is an underlying theme of rebirth and resurrection. With modern science and technology, the idea of death has been blurred. There are theories that one’s mind, if not their consciousness, could possibly live on in a computer after the body has died. Also, with cloning, a person theoretically could live on or be reborn years or even millennia after they were originally conceived. Lastly, on a quantum level, time does not exist. What was, is, or will be is currently happening at this moment. Death does not exist in this subatomic world. Though these topics seem awfully deep, I touch on these themes in The Hidden Reality and weave them into a bigger picture that makes the reader consider the ethics behind both future and current scientific achievements.

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on my third and last installment of The New Reality trilogy titled The Final Reality. The Hidden Reality is my second stand-alone novel in the series. The last novel will continue to delve into high-concept ideas and explore a long forgotten world that has been hidden under our eyes for thousands of years.

In addition, I will continue to write medical articles for the local paper and for local hospital publications.

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