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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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

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 recognize him for all the inspiration he has given me throughout the years.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing The Hidden Reality proved to be an exceptionally exciting endeavor. I had researched information for this novel for years and compiled an enormous file of notes and ideas. After aggregating this colossal amount of information, I sat down and laboriously created a rather lengthy outline. By the time it finally came around to writing the novel, the words flowed rather effortlessly onto the page. However, if I hadn’t put all the hard work into before I began, the job would have turned out to be an immense task.

My suggestion to new writer is 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. I love history, politics, and science. Reading and writing on these topics is an immense to joy me, and this enthusiasm can be seen in my work.

Secondly, in order to write you must read. The better repertoire of book 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.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I have been blessed that Light Messages Publishing took on my work and brought it into 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 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 that she’s on the other side rooting my novels on for continued success.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I never fathomed how many aspiring writers there are on the planet! It seems like everyone these days has an unpublished book or movie manuscript sitting on their desk. The competition to find a publisher and agent was much more of a daunting task than I ever expected. Writing my first novel was retrospectively the easiest task. The real time consuming job proved to be finding a publisher. It’s a task that required immense time and even more humility. On a daily basis, I sent out query letters, mailed sample copies of my novel to publishers, spoke with agents or potential leads, or even at times went to book expos where people in the publishing industry gathered. Eventually, being persistent and at times a nuisance paid off.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The Hidden Reality is my current thriller on the market. However, my last stand alone novel in The New Reality trilogy, The Final Reality, will hopefully be completed by the end of this summer.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Though I hit all the major news web pages on a daily basis, I find myself captivated by Reddit. The Funny Subreddit is my page of choice. Laughter is the best medicine. When I wake up in the morning, I hit this Subreddit and scroll through some of the top posts. It’s better than a cup of coffee or going to the gym. The hardy laugh wakes me up and sets the course of my day in the right direction. Also, throughout the morning and afternoon, I’ll click this page on my iPhone for a quick laugh. It’s a definite mental reprieve and helps alleviate the day’s stress.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I’m not sure if I would call it a ritual as much as I would categorize it organized chaos. With 5 kids at home, attempting to get them to bed is a combination of self-restraint and Stalinesque dictatorship. Plus, putting them to bed only begins after my wife and I have driven them all half way around the country to their different after school activities. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, dance, Scouts, or whatever else they are doing, I feel like an unappreciated cab driver just waiting to clock out at the end of my shift.

Peter De Vries said, “There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.” It’s this well-bitten hand I then take to put my kids to bed. As an adult, I can’t wait to finally hit the sack. However, asking my kids to go to bed is like ordering them to go climb Mount Everest. And that’s when the self-self-restraint is needed. After a long day, all I want to really do is take off my belt a corral them into their beds like a bunch of wayward cattle. Instead, I have to make sure their homework is finished, showers taken, chores completed, and the TV is turned off. After a few threats and possibly a little yelling, I can finally attempt to lie down and have a modicum of free time to myself. I use this needed quiet time for some reading before I go to bed and start the fun of a new day once again.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I wrote The Hidden Reality more than just to entertain the reader. 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.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for having me. The Hidden Reality can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and iBooks. Also, please check out my website at

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