What inspired you to become an author?
The New Reality is actually based upon real life events, and it was these events which piqued my interest in writing. While in medical training, I saw how “gene therapy” directly led to the untimely death of many young patients. What happened in each instance was that the virus that was used to insert a “healthy gene” killed the person outright or caused a life-threatening leukemia-like disease. So back when this occurred about 15 years ago, I asked myself, “What would happen if that virus that caused these kids’ deaths got loose?” It was a reasonable question because basically the virus the scientist used causes the common cold and is easily transmittable.
So what The New Reality does is takes it one step further. The virus basically gets loose and causes an instant pandemic that modern medicine has absolutely no answer for. Because of the world-wide economic debt and the declining healthcare system, no country is economically or scientifically prepared to handle this new, deadly disease. The main character in the book, Alex Pella, along with a few colleagues set off to find a cure for this mysterious disease. Guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew version of the Bible, they must traverse ancient lands and solve a biblical riddle in order to save humanity from its own self-inflicted destruction. All the while, they must fend off an elite foreign military unit sent to stop them at all costs.
Which is your favorite genre to write?
I enjoy writing fictional thrillers because I enjoy reading them. I love to have my heart pounding and fingers tingling, eagerly awaiting to turn the next page. Plus, this genre has unlimited artistic potential. I can incorporate any of my interests such as history, medicine, politics and science and create endless thriller novels based upon these topics.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wrote The New Reality more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown's) The Da Vinci Code or (Crichton's) Jurassic Park. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.
In The New Reality, I have included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation. Hopefully, these subjects will resonate with a wide audience and create awareness of issues that have serious consequences for generations to come.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
The truth is that fact is much more interesting than fiction. As a physician, I encounter patients with exotic diseases, see illnesses that have yet to be identified, and have the pleasure meeting new and exciting people on a daily basis. Plus, every time I turn on the news I am in disbelief or amazement about what is going on in the world.
Taking all these experiences into account, I wrote The New Reality to reflect our current society and highlight some of its major problems. Plus, I use real life experience to make every page of the novel as realistic and authentic as a fiction novel can be.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
James Rollins has influenced me more than any other writer. The way he researches his novels, his writing style, and the subject content in his books all completely captivate me. If I could become half the writer he is, I would consider it a great honor and success.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading Timeline by Michael Crichton. I recently bought the book on sale for 1 cent (Plus 4 dollars shipping) on Amazon. Because I enjoyed many of Crichton’s other works like the Jurassic Park series, I picked it up for a quick read. However, after about 50 pages into the novel, I quickly realized that this book dwarfed all of his other novels in excitement, style and suspense. As I finish it, I can honestly say that this was one of the best works of fiction that I have ever read.
What books are in your to read pile?
As my reading pile grows by the day, my wife encourages me to invest in a Kindle or Nook. However, I enjoy the feel of a novel and simply like holding it in my hands. With regard to the names of the books at my bedside, they are too numerous to recall. However, authors like Dan Brown and James Rollins are the most frequent in this pile. Though I enjoy these popular writers, I also have a few lesser known, independent novelists in the mix. Just because they don’t have a big publisher, doesn’t mean their work is any less exciting.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I am in the process of writing a sequel to The New Reality. Like the first book, I plan to highlight hot topic, current events in the sequel in order to make the read educational, provocative and exciting all in one process. The outline for this sequel and the final book in The New Reality trilogy have already been written. However, I just need to sit down and start writing before the hot topic issues emphasized in these novels become history.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
The farthest I traveled is the basement of my house. Though The New Reality takes place all over the world, I did exhaustive research on the internet to learn as much as I could about the places that I wrote about in my novel. However, I would have certainly enjoyed traveling to all the places I wrote about in my book. Maybe one day I will follow in the footsteps of my main character Alex Pella and treat myself and my family to a New Reality world tour.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Most tips would be considered a cliché. However, they become clichés because they hold definite truths within them. My favorite cliché is Never Give Up. The honest truth about becoming a published author is that rejection is part of the process. However, an aspiring author must believe in their work and learn from these rejections in order to not only become more adept as a writer but to finally see their work published. It’s a long and difficult road, but in the end, it is well worth all of the effort.
The New Reality
Alex Pella Series
Genre: Medical Political Thriller
Publisher: Light Messages
Date of Publication: May 15, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-61153-074-2 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-61153-075-9 (ebook)
Number of pages: 326
Author Stephen Martino delivers an action-packed medical thriller in a heart-stopping race to save humanity.
In the year 2080, a deadly retrovirus is inadvertently released upon the planet. Facing financial ruin and catastrophic loss of life, the world’s nations turn to acclaimed neuroscientist Alex Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia.
Assembling a team of experts, the scientists begin an international search for the cure while fighting off a foreign elite military unit sent to stop them at all costs. Guided by a code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the scientists must traverse ancient lands and solve a biblical riddle in their quest to save humanity from its eminent destruction.
Drawing from both our nation’s politically charged environment and the worldwide economic crisis, The New Reality follows Alex Pella on a journey that projects a frightening path for human existence in the twenty-first century.
Book Trailer: http://www.martinoauthor.com/trailer/
About the Author:
Stephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. 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 educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.
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