Monday, July 07, 2014

Interview with Stephen Martino: 'My book is Da Vinci Code Vs. Jurassic Park'



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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About the Book:

Alex Pella, an acclaimed neuroscientist and the hero of the new medical thriller, THE NEW REALITY, finds himself racing across the globe to find a cure for a rapidly spreading illness threatening to end all of humanity. To combat this worldwide pandemic, Pella and his colleagues must use modern science in an attempt to decipher a code hidden by God within the original pages of the Bible.

THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook. 

Martino's villain is a deadly retrovirus accidentally unleashed on the world in the year 2080, a time when no country is financially equipped to deal with such a disaster. It's up to Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia to lead the search for a cure while fending off an elite foreign military unit sent to stop them. The scientists, guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, traverse ancient lands in an attempt to solve a biblical riddle and save humanity from total extinction.

Martino says he 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, Martino has 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.

The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW 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 if they are not properly addressed today.”

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Steve . Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The New Reality.  

With the recent spread of the deadly, new MERS virus, the reason I wrote The New Reality has definitely become more relevant. While in medical training, I saw how a virus used during gene therapy either directly killed the patient or inadvertently caused the patient to develop cancer. Because this was the same virus that caused the common cold and had no cure, I imagined what would happen if it somehow got loose into the environment. For over 10 years I thought about that possibility until about 5 years ago when I started writing the novel.

Now, as a practicing physician, I am still concerned about the possibility of a virus such as MERS mutating into something more contagious or if scientists accidently release a deadly, manmade virus into the ecosystem. With declining research funding, increased world travel, and mounting world debt, the real question that has to be asked is if we will be both financially and medically prepared for such an occurrence.

Q: I love you’re title The New Reality. Can you tell us why you chose it?

The New Reality is actually titled after a company in my novel. It not only represents the name of this business, but it also foreshadows the political, economic and social consequences of its eventual financial rise to worldwide power. Plus, I liked the way the name sounded.


Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

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.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

My publisher, Light Messages, has given me a real head start in publicizing my book. They started a blog tour, had giveaways, introduced my book on many websites, and created me a personalized web page. I have supplemented my publicity campaign by also working with my own publicist, Charlie Barrett. I have also extended the blog tour, introduced my novel on different web sites, conducted a few interviews, and also performed some public speaking engagements.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to?  How is it different?  What makes your book special?

The New Reality can be compared to both (Brown’s) The Da Vinci Code or (Crichton's) Jurassic Park. However, my book takes on more contemporary and pertinent issues that affect not only our generation, but also generations to come. It serves both as a source of entertainment and as a warning to the consequences of our current follies if they remain unchecked.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

Turn to any page in the novel and you will be confronted by a mixture of action, suspense and humor all rolled nicely together. Though thrillers are meant to keep the reader at the edge of their seat, I also wanted the reader to laugh while sitting there.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

The New Reality is just the first of a 3 novel trilogy. In each subsequent book, I also plan to keep the same intensity, humor and modern relevance as in the first.
  
Q: Do you have any final words?

I can be found at http://www.martinoauthor.com. The New Reality can be purchased online at both Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.