Paul Ferrante has had a busy summer.
The Fairfield resident's debut novel, "Last Ghost at Gettysburg: a T.J. Jackson Mystery" has been a success -- so much so that the second T.J. Jackson book "Spirits of the Pirate House" is due to be published this month.
Since Patch last spoke with Ferrante, he's made several public appearances to promote "Last Ghost at Gettysburg" -- including a book signing at the Fairfield University Bookstore (during which the store ran out of book copies) and a trip to Gettysburg during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
That was quite an experience, Ferrante, who teaches English at Coleytown Middle School, said. The pivotal Civil War battle's commemoration -- a weeklong event -- was "the biggest thing to happen" in Gettysburg in some time, Ferrante said. "I was honored to be a part of it."
He sat with other authors in the gift shop of the Civil War Wax Museum and chatted with tourists about T.J.'s story.
Other visitors included Civil War re-enactors, dressed in full costume and in character.
"It was pretty funny to get their reaction," Ferrante said of explaining the premise of the novel -- which follows the story of three teens on the hunt for the vicious ghost of a Confederate General -- to the re-enactors.
Now T.J. and his two friends LouAnne and Bortnicker (all three are main characters in the first book) are headed to Bermuda for ghost hunting and mystery solving in "Spirits of the Pirate House." This time they're after the sinister ghost of Bermudian buccaneer Sir William Tarver -- and they learn the meaning of the book's tagline: even paradise has a dark side.
Ferrante, who's visited Bermuda a few times, said the reader will learn through twists and turns Bermuda's role in piracy and "dark places in the island's past."
Fans of the T.J. Jackson mystery series, mark your calendars: Ferrante will visit the Fairfield Public Library on Nov. 2 for an author talk and the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook on Oct. 27 for the Big Book Club Getaway event.