Monday, June 9, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: The New Reality by Stephen Martino

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
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.

Are you a mom (or parent)?
Yes, I’m a parent of five kids—4 girls and one boy. The oldest now is 15 and the youngest is 5. My son is number four in the mix, and he is 9. Plus, besides the kids, I have one dog I adopted from a shelter. And to be honest, my little mutt is the best one of the entire bunch.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?
My kids are really my life outside of work. Between helping them with their homework, taking them to games or practices, watching their sporting events or dance recitals, and being a den leader, there is little time left to pursue any hobbies. However, I would not trade what I am doing for anything. Fortunately, my kids are not morning people while I am. Plus, I am blessed with the ability to wake up and feel refreshed. It is in those early morning hours when I do most of my writing.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from 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.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
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.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Despite being 43 this year, I feel as if I’ve never really grown up. I could have the most stressful day, full of important decisions and life or death situations, and come home and laugh just as hard as the kids while watching Sponge Bob. Plus, I enjoy playing Nerf, Laser tag or any sports with the kids. Also, I can be found outside on the driveway drawing with chalk with the littler ones, riding scooters down the roads or running the neighborhood during a game of manhunt. I believe that your age numerical age should not hinder you from feeling like a kid.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
There a few main characters in the book, each with their own unique personalities, flaws and quirks. However, my favorite character is Alex Pella. Both cunning and charismatic, he heads a neuroscience company called Neurono-Tek. Although successful, Alex yearns for something more out of life. He finds that sitting behind a desk and going through the daily grind of life long lost its novelty. And that’s why I like him; I think many of us can relate to this feeling. Though we all have achieved some modicum of success in our lives whether at home, work or in the community, life finds a way of moving a little too quickly. Just like Alex, many of us want to find something that will change the monotony of our lives or find a way to bring greater meaning to it or to others.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
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.

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 is 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.

The New Reality
Alex Pella Series
Book 1
Stephen Martino
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

Book Description:

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.

Available at Amazon and BN 

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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Unknown said...

Thank you for having me on your web site!

Brett Daniels said...

Sounds like a really good book to pick up. I’m in the middle of “Hypocrisy” by D.M. Annechino; it’s a medical thriller about cancer research. His website, has more insight into the book. It'd be great to read another medical thriller after I finish this one, so thanks for the review and book idea.