The New Reality by Stephen Martino

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.


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.

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Q) What inspired you to write this story?
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.

However, I actually had the idea for The New Reality almost 15 years ago. 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. The idea for my book has been brewing ever since then.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Writing The New Reality turned out to be the quickest aspect of brining my book to print. Prior to even starting it, I spent at least 2 years researching the information for the novel. From eclectic topic such as mysteries within the Bible and viral pandemics to exotic places like Patmos, I accumulated books and papers that completely filled up my desk. Many of the things I researched did not make it into the novel. However, until I actually sat down and wrote an outline for The New Reality, I was unsure what exact information I would use.

Writing the novel then took about 9 months. It was, by far, the most entertaining and rewarding aspect of the process. When the book was complete, it required well over a year of editing. I was the first to go over The New Reality and make the initial changes. Then, I had 2 different editors make their corrections. Finally, a proofreader made the last adjustments.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I enjoy the quietness and solitude writing brings me. Because most of my days are hectic and stressful, I enjoy sitting in the basement and writing before anyone in my house has awoken. It’s an excellent way to stay sane and provides me with a real create outlet for my imagination to run wild.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
There is really nothing I don’t enjoy about writing. However, if I had to pick something it would be writer’s block. It’s never a fun thing to encounter, but it’s part of the whole experience. However, when it does occur, it can be very discouraging. Though throwing my computer against the wall or opening a bottle Jack Daniel’s is my first instinct when dealing with this problem, I fortunately handle this situation in a much more pragmatic way. Usually stepping away from the computer, doing something completely different or trying to better visualize what I am writing about works for me.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
If I had to pick someone famous I’d be for one day, it would certainly not be for glamor or fame. Instead I’d pick whoever is the sitting president of the USA as my choice. With the rise in our economic debt, crumbling borders, stagnant economy, the destruction of our healthcare system, and our mounting foreign policy problems, I would certainly want to accomplish something positive for that day that could make a difference not only for me but also for all Americans. The world is at a critical crossroads at the moment. And if I could have one opportunity to do something positive, I would definitely take it.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
With 5 kids at home, nothing lasts in my refrigerator. As soon as I unpack the groceries, the food is eaten. Even simple condiments seem to disappear within a week. Sometimes I ask myself how bottles of ketchup or mustard could be gone after I just went shopping a few days prior. At times, it would just seem quicker if I didn’t even put food in the refrigerator. Instead, I should just unpack the bags and place the food in front of the kids to eat.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
The New Reality is the first in a three book trilogy. Just like in my current novel, I plan to incorporate high-concept, pertinent topics in the following two in order to them both relevant and enjoyable to read. After a year of research, I just sat down and wrote an outline for The New Reality’s sequel. Hopefully, I be able to bring it to market by the end of 2015.

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