Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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:

Title: The Hidden Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Pages: 318
Genre: Science Fiction/Political Thriller

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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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

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 professor 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 express gratitude for all the inspiration he has given me throughout the years.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Actually, as a child, I did not think I wanted to be 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 began to dabble in the writing field, it was strictly non-fictional work for the local paper and hospital. 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 with different ideas of what he thought would make an exciting book, or what he envisioned could create the next blockbuster movie. The more we talked on the subject, 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.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Why limit taking notes reading or watching TV? Every time I turn on the news, listen to the radio, or watch the History or Discovery channel, I am inundated with ideas. There are so many controversial, unstudied, or even unknown scientific or historic topics that I come across on a routine basis that they all prove fodder for my writing imagination.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

By day I’m a neurologist and practice in a 6-person private practice group. I also have the good fortune to run a 7 hospital system stroke center. Though the days are long, I enjoy my office patients and really appreciate making a difference in people’s lives. Plus, through the stroke centers, I’m able to create a multi-hospital system to treat stroke patients and deliver the most cutting edge and state-of-the-art care to all of them. Plus, as part of my job, I also conduct concussion research and teach medical students and residents.

By night I’m a father of 5, designated cab driver, tutor for the kids, and butler for the house.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

First and foremost, write what you love. Follow your passion. The more desire you have for your topic, the easier it is to write and the better the finished product will be. Plus, there is a niche for just about every topic, genre, or idea out there. Find your niche and run with it.

Secondly, in order to write you must read. The better repertoire of books you’ve read under your belt, the more diversified your writing style will be. I enjoy reading thrillers and have read at least 20 different authors of that genre. After reading such a plethora of works, I have begun to understand certain writing styles and techniques that suit me better than others.

Lastly, I find creating a complete outline of a book before writing it creates a better overall writing experience. Before starting The Hidden Reality, I researched a multitude of topics in books and articles for well over 2 years. After compiling a massive pile of notes, I sat down and wrote a rather lengthy outline. In fact, the outline took me almost 20 hours to write, and I had been thinking about what I’d put into it for a least 2 months. Finally, when I went to actually pen the novel, it flowed almost effortlessly.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

When I write, all other things don’t matter at the moment. I keep my hot chocolate and thoughts to myself, not letting the external world interfere with my time of peace. Whenever this time of tranquility is disturbed, I step away from the computer and restart at a more appropriate time.

What hours do you write best?

I am a morning person. I love it when it’s dark and my only companion is my dog. I call it my “sane” time of the day. Though I write on insane topics and high concept ideas, I can do it with a proverbial sane mindset in those wee hours of the morning.

How often do you write?

I write every day. Whether it is blogging, creating my next novel, or writing a medical blurb for a local throwaway journal, the clicking of my keyboard echoes throughout the house at least once a day.

What are you reading now?

I just started Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins. However, I keep a few of Rhonda Byrne’s books by my bedside and page through them also on a nightly basis. Her writing on positive thinking has proven to be a very powerful tool in my life. Plus, reading just a few pages of her books on a daily basis keeps me mentally grounded and focused on what I want to achieve at work, home, or with my heath.

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