Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author who writes compelling literary fiction that weaves the real with the surreal. He attended Florida State University where he received his B.A. in English literature. He wrote his first novel, “About: Journey Into The Mystic” after spending a summer in Alaska working on fishing boats. His newest novel, “Pelican Bay,” focuses on a very old fisherman, Captain Shelby, and the mysterious happenings linked to him surrounding a nosy, sea-battered beach town (release date: July 20th, 2013, Imajin Books). One of his literary goals is to write at least fifty novels, and he reminds himself always of something that Ray Bradbury once said: “You fail only if you stop writing.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
After Ethan Hodges discovers an undersea cemetery just off the beach of Pelican Bay, South Carolina, he seeks answers from a grandfatherly fisherman named Captain Shelby. The captain wants the past to remain buried, and he warns Ethan to stay away. But Ethan doesn’t listen.
Ethan’s best friend and secret love interest, Morgan Olinsworth, joins in the investigation, unearthing intriguing secrets about the mysterious fisherman. When Captain Shelby is suspected of murder and disappears, a manhunt ensues, revealing a truth that unnerves everyone in Pelican Bay.
Purchase on Amazon
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, PELICAN BAY. What was your inspiration for it?
A: The novel came from a strange dream. I was standing on a Carolina beach, noticing dark, ominous rocks littering the ocean floor just beyond the shelf. I woke up haunted, and later that day my fingers went to work. Ironically, Captain Shelby, the main character, my favorite character that I’ve created so far, seemed to birth himself by his own will right from the pages; he was not planned at all. He roared for room to grow, and, like a good author should, I gave it to him.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.
A: Captain Shelby’s eyes change to many different shades of the sea based on his moods. In fact, in some situations, they actually glow.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A: PELICAN BAY is one of those novels that writes itself, which is really nice. These kinds of novels flow nicely when edited. I fervently hope they can all be this way. However, the research for PELICAN BAY was somewhat challenging, including visiting the South Carolina coast for some time, as well as a bunch of online research going back as far as the Vikings.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: It really helps when you have a big character that screams to be bigger. Captain Shelby is one of those characters an author shouldn’t argue with, so I really gave him his space. I owe so much to the captain. Publishing, fun creation, exciting marketing, and, God-willing, a bestseller!
Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?
A: Yes. Perhaps that’s normal, though I’ve always found it strange. To write greatly, one must dive greatly deep. It’s only natural to feel some apprehension when you’re lowering yourself as if into a beautifully dark and mysterious bottomless pit. But that is the creative process. It’s scary and wonderful and thrilling and better than even that drug from the movie, Limitless.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: Some authors write inordinate numbers of words. My humble belief is that great words diminish quickly, within a few hours. The creative process is demanding and exhausting. I prefer to write a few hours in the morning each day, then spend the rest of the day with marketing, office work, submission and editing, etc. I strive to stop at 5pm or some reasonable time for relaxation and quality time with those close to me. During a book release, well, the best of plans!
Q: How do you define success?
A: What an interesting question! Earlier this year I was really thinking about this while facing the often daunting challenges of being a writer in the 21st century. If a writer defines himself in terms of book sales, popularity, etc, he’s in for a bumpy ride, and possibly even an existential crisis before too long! The truest definition I can come up with, one that seems to harmonize with my soul, is that an artist’s success should be defined by both the quality of his work, and the degree of impact that work has on at least one connoisseur of his art.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
A: Did that and moved on long ago. I honestly don’t see how that can ever work.
Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?
A: Hmm … I prefer “The Muse” rather than a demon, but Orwell isn’t far off here!
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: Open your hearts and mind to PELICAN BAY and the book will transport you to a world whose memories and wisdom I hope will haunt you afterward in such a way that you’ll forget they were born of fiction.