Critically acclaimed thriller writer Stephen King — who published “Carrie” at the mere age of 26 — may have nothing on Seaford resident Paul Antonucci.
Antonucci, 22, recently published his second thriller novel, “The Truth Revealed” through Page Publishing Inc. His first published work, the series opener, was released in 2019.
The new novel is a conspiracy thriller which follows three former members of a governmental organization similar to the National Security Council. The trio – Paul Mitchell, Matthew Pierce and Amanda Knox — become aware of a “cover-up” of elements in the Sept. 11 attacks on the twin towers. “The Truth Revealed” closes out the stories of these characters.
The 2016 MacArthur H.S. alum said that the sequel begins exactly where his first book, “The Truth Behind the Lens”, left off.
“It opens up with the main characters who are hunted down by their old agency,” Antonucci explained. “They’ve accepted the notion that their mission had failed and before they were killed, they had to escape.”
Antonucci started writing the sequel in November 2019, just a few months after his first book was published. Some of the work was completed during the pandemic, he said, which influenced his writing style. From the first book to the second, the style varies tremendously, he said.
“If you take a look at the first book, the writing is totally different,” he said. “The first one is amateurish – this one is professional, almost like someone else wrote it.”
A tip to readers, Antonucci said: be sure to read the first book in the series, unless you want to be lost along the way.
The Seaford resident said that he never went to school for writing — it just always came to him naturally. As a child, he’d write for fun in his free time, but often struggled with the rigid guidelines of writing for essay assignments, he said.
Antonucci said he often juggles several story concepts at once – a reflection of his personality and sometimes busy thought process.
“It’s kind of like they’re fighting each other, I never know which one to pursue,” Antonucci said.
He’s already sketched out a trifecta series about three different wealthy families that create crises for their personal gain, like causing an economic breakdown, an energy crisis by destroying an oil platform or nuclear meltdown.
He said the pandemic also influenced a concept for a screenplay about a “dystopian-style” pandemic.
Antonucci said he believes there’s a lot of crossover between novels and screenplays. “I consider a book like a screenplay,” he said. “A movie is a book on the screen, and a book is just a movie.”
James Patterson and David Baldacci are two of Antonucci’s favorite authors. While he has some horror story ideas, he said he expects his future works will remain in the conspiracy and thriller genres, since it's difficult to transition from one genre to another.
Antonucci’s latest book is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.