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.
For More Information
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.”
For More Information
- The Hidden Reality is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Would you call yourself a born writer?
Actually, as a child, I did not think I was a born anything. When it came to writing and most other aspects of my life, I was a late bloomer. In fact, I never started to write until my late twenties. Though I had aspired to create the next great American novel since my college days, the thought of creating an entire book seemed overwhelming.
When I first began to dabble in the writing field, it was strictly non-fiction and for the local paper or for throw away medical flyers. I toyed with the idea of moving on to fiction for years. However, it was a coworker who eventually inspired me to take that final step. He would walk into my office and relay to me fantastical ideas of what he thought would make an exciting book, or what he envisioned could create the next blockbuster movie. The more we talked, the more I wanted to create my own novel. After procrastinating long enough, I finally decided to jot down an outline for my first book and continued writing fiction ever since that time.
What was your inspiration for The Hidden Reality?
I remember daydreaming in college over 20 years ago, thinking of different ideas that I may want to write about one day. In fact, the initial idea for The Hidden Reality came to me while I was in history class learning about ancient Greece. It was not that the lecture was boring or that professor lacked charisma, but the thought of recreating such a world and bringing it back to life mesmerized me. Plus, as the cultures of the Eastern and Western worlds collide once again, these historical topics are as apropos today as they were almost 2500 years in the past. Though the pearls of wisdom conveyed in class that afternoon have been long lost in my memory, the inspiration I garnered from that class still lives on and motivates me to this day.
What is even more interesting is that when I completed the class at the end of the semester, the professor wrote me a note, wishing me greatness in all my future endeavors. Ironically, this idea of greatness turned out to be a cornerstone of both my first and most recent novel, The Hidden Reality. Retrospectively, I can thank this great teacher for launching my eventual writing career and recognize him for all the inspiration he has given me throughout the years.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
Before writing The Hidden Reality, I conducted years of research into different scientific, medical, historical, philosophical, and political topics. In fact, I have shelves of books dedicated just to this novel. The goal was to create a finished product that was meant more for than just enjoyment. 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.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
Actually, sitting down and writing the novel was the easiest process. It only took me only 2 months to create the first draft. However, there was years of research sitting on my desk even before I started writing. Plus, it took me weeks to create the outline which I used while writing The Hidden Reality.
Researching, making an outline, and writing the first draft of the book were definitely the most exciting and satisfying facets of the creative process. Editing, however, proved to be the most laborious. This process took months. Sometimes I spent days going just going over a single chapter. Thankfully, my editor and proofreader aided tremendously in the process. Without them, I would honestly still be editing my book.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
Fortunately, I’m an earlier riser. Before the first bird sings her morning melody or the hens in the nearby farm welcome a new day with their cock-a-doodle-dos, I’ve been typing on my computer for at least an hour or 2. It’s in these wee hours of the morning when I’m most creative and no one is bugging me. With 5 kids at home, a dog, and a high-paced work schedule, it proves to be the only time of the day when I can have any peace. Plus, writing serves as a mental catharsis whereby I feel at ease with the world. Without writing, going to the gym in the morning, and having a cup of hot chocolate, I’m not ready for the day.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
I found that creating the compelling ancient Greek war scene in the novel to be the the most challenging aspect of writing the book. Though only a small portion of The Hidden Reality was dedicated to this topic, the research that went into it was the most time consuming. In order to have a convincing finished product, every detail needed to be historically accurate.
What do you love most about being an author?
My greatest highlight of being an author was when I presented my first novel at the Book Expo America in New York city. I had attended this massive conference for years, dreaming of being one of the authors. When the day came when I was a presenter, it turned out to be much more exciting and exhilarating than I’d anticipated. If someone would have told me a year or two prior that I would be in that positon, I would have thought they were lying.
Plus, being an author has introduced me to an array of fantastic people. I cannot say enough compliments to the people in my publishing agency. Plus, the fellow authors I’ve met and the people who’ve actually read and enjoyed my books have been such a joy. I feel very blessed to have all these great experiences.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
A small independent press known as Light Messages Publishing took on my work and brought it to print. As a previous novice to the publishing industry and writing business, finding Light Messages was a completely humbling task. I was rejected by hundreds of agents and publishers before eventually joining Light Messages. Honestly, the only time I was rejected this many times was when I was dating back in high school.
Before ever being published, I was signed on by an agent. It was this agent who eventually made contact with Light Messages and brought me into their family of successful writers. Sadly, a week before I closed the contract with Light Messages, my agent suddenly passed. However, I believe she is on the other side still rooting on my books for continued success.
Where can we find you on the web?
Thank you for having me. The Hidden Reality can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and iBooks. Also, please check out my website at http://www.martinoauthor.com.