Rumors of benevolent local spirits haunting Gulfport’s Peninsula Inn became the catalyst for author Carol J. Perry’s newest cozy mystery, “Be My Ghost.”
In preparation for the novel’s release, Perry and a camera crew shot a short trailer at the historic hotel at 2937 Beach Blvd. S., on Wednesday, July 21. The Q & A style video set the tone for the paranormal beach read with Perry costumed in an oversized purple witch hat dangling with plastic spiders.
She went for camp and delivered.
“This book is a little more lighthearted – my ghosts are more funny than scary,” Perry said. “I’ve fallen in love with my characters.”
Stranger than Fiction
Perry says she created the characters in her Gulfport-Safety Harbor fusion fictional town of “Haven” with the scraps of local ghost stories; the main ghost is “Isabella” – a friendly spirit play on the Peninsula Inn’s real-life restaurant (and rumored supernatural resident) Isabelle’s – who occasionally bumps into visitors’ beds in the book.
A Boston-fleeing protagonist inherits the Inn and discovers – you guessed it – a dead body on the front porch.
Originally from Salem, Massachusetts, Perry moved to the Sunshine State in the 70s and after decades of visiting the area; she’s not settled in Seminole, with her first novel inspired by Gulfport.
“I never thought of [Gulfport] as a location for a book, but I had a friend staying in the Peninsula Inn while visiting the area,” Perry said. “We realized that it was a great setting.”
While Perry’s friend missed out on ghosty interactions during her Gulfport stay, the historic yellow hotel worked as a cozy, creepy stage for Perry’s human, ghost and animal cast.
See the trailer and more of Perry’s work at caroljperry.com.