Sunday, September 12, 2010
Stephen has a B.A. in information systems and an MBA degree in global management. He is currently completing his doctorate program in business administration.
Stephen spent over ten years in consumer finance for some of the largest companies in the industry, holding numerous management positions. After many years of writing short stories and poems, Stephen has taken the last two years to fulfill his lifelong passion: write and publish Breakthrough.
He has four more suspense thrillers to follow. Stephen receives his inspiration from some of his favorite authors: the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child tandem, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King, among others.
Stephen, I think most of us are familiar with your book Breakthrough. Can you tell us about the other two books you are writing?
How do Opening and Escalation differ from Breakthrough?
The main differences are in the plot, setting, conflict, and the introduction of new discoveries and breakthroughs in theoretical physics. While Breakthrough is set in metropolitan Boston and Orange County, CA, Opening and Escalation expand to a global setting. In Opening (to be released early 2011), the action escalates to Geneva where Chase and his friends need to foil an attempt to blow up the World Trade Organization’s headquarters as well as a large portion of the international city. Events quickly spiral out of control as conflict erupts in the Strait of Taiwan with a showdown between the U.S. Seventh Fleet and the Chinese military. In Escalation, events expand to Europe and the Middle East.
New characters are introduced while others are killed off. Yet, still at the center of everything is Chase Manhattan, his group of friends, and the psychotic grad students at M.I.T. as the power play struggle continues over who will own or destroy this once-in-a-lifetime discovery. Action and suspense are still the name of the game throughout. Fortunately, I was writing Opening and Escalation while I wrote Breakthrough, so I’m half finished with both books.
If you could sum up the Breakthrough trilogy with a single theme, what would it be?
Ultimately, the trilogy seeks to encompass the elusive Theory of everything, but with a supernatural twist. The Theory of Everything in philosophy is an all-encompassing explanation of nature or reality. In theoretical physics a Theory of Everything will (theoretically) link together and explains all known fundamental physical phenomena, forces, and matter into one cohesive framework.
Professor Steven Hawking in a series of lectures in the 1990s, helped popularize this theory amongst the general population by attempting to unite General Relativity (science of the very big) with Quantum Theory (science of the very small). For the record, Dr. Hawking recently stated he is pessimistic on any such discovery in the immediate future. Some of the greatest minds of the past 100 including Albert Einstein have spent decades of their lives in an attempt to unravel and explain this theory. Currently, some of the usual suspects for a unified theory are String Theory, M-Theory, and Supersymmetry.
Does a Theory of Everything need to be confined to scientific method?
Great question, and one many over the millennia have pondered. Would this theory need to take into account the spiritual realm? Throughout the history of mankind, most civilizations including our own hold the belief of a spiritual world that is more real than our own. That there are forces at work that affect our physical world in ways we know in part but cannot fully comprehend.
We do not really have any idea what else is out there, but there is no reason to believe that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe. That would be arrogant and asinine. And there is no reason to believe that whatever else is out there will necessarily have to obey the same laws of physics that we do. Perhaps a unified Theory of Everything will need to take into consideration parallel dimensions beyond our currently accepted space-time continuum where angels and demons dwell and cross back and forth at will. This would explain a lot of things. This is indeed a very strange universe we live in.
If science wants to limit reality to what they can only rigorously test in a lab, perhaps a Theory of Everything should be renamed the Partial Theory of Everything, or a Theory Of A Lot Of Things But Not Quite Everything
How do all these proposed theories tie into the Breakthrough trilogy?
Breakthrough is basically a “What If” scenario. I have taken this premise and developed a trilogy that incorporates proposed theories of physics such as Einstein-Rosen Bridges (wormholes as they are commonly known), String Theory, Parallel Dimensions, and a Theory of Everything. It’s a scenario of what if science and the supernatural collided in such a way that mankind’s very existence was threatened. And to think it all begins with a breakthrough discovery in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, in a tiny lab at M.I.T. in the dead of winter by a lone professor of physics.
Any parting thoughts?
In the right column of my blog I have links posted under SCIENCE, CERN, AND THE BIBLE. I’ve blogged across a broad spectrum of subjects, including the latest and greatest coming out of LHC, string theory, parallel universes, hyperspace, hyperbeings, the Bible and extra dimensions, and other fascinating topics. These matters are at the forefront of discussion and argument as it is very evident our understanding of the universe and our perception of our place in it is about to change.
Breakthrough (softbound version) is available for purchase through iUniverse and is available for download to Kindle through Amazon and to Sony Reader, B&N Nook, iPhone, Palm reading device, or your PC or iMac through Smashwords.
You can visit Stephen at http://www.stephentremp.blogspot.com/