Today I’m delighted to welcome author Jesse Christiansen from Florida to my blog, Jesse is one of the writers it’s been my pleasure to meet on social media and his novel Pelican Bay has just been released. Welcome Jesse.
When I try to describe myself as an artist from a third-person perspective, I can’t help but think of myself as a creature that underwent a metamorphosis from a non-winged to a winged state.
Up until the age of fifteen, I was involved in sports and the usual boyhood mischief. But during that fateful summer twixt my fifteenth and sixteenth year, something mysterious happened. I became quite introspective, and began songwriting. By high school and college I was writing short stories. Now, I’ve devoted the remainder of my life to novels. I’m a person who lives in his own creative space, and I’m told that often. What happened in that summer? Maybe I’ll never know.
Tell me about your journey as a writer – how you started and how you have developed?
I started writing extremely unusual short stories that are still tucked away in a personal box in storage. Whenever I’m moving, I’ll often look at them and giggle. They were stories the likes of someone waking to utter darkness and nothingness and trying to find others, etc, etc. I must laugh when I share the fact that my college professors did not like them at all. Gave me low grades. I wonder what they would say to me now as a published author. What kind of review would they write for my novels?
I went into a hiatus after college, then years later, at age twenty-six, I wrote my first novel. Perhaps I needed to process things. I learned that the writer must read as much great work as he can, and write as much as he can, in order to develop. And somewhere along the way I realized that what was more important in building my confidence in my literary art was not what my college professors saw, but what I saw in my work compared to the work of successful authors. The threads of magical realism that my professors loathed are, ironically, what are present in many great modern works. So I guess you could say that I transformed my “C’s” into “Industry A’s.” Maybe I got the last laugh after all.
How would you describe your work – it‘s themes and the important things about it?
My publisher says I write mystery suspense. I suppose my work does carry much mystery and suspense, but only in an effort to obey the story, for the book is the boss, and only in an effort to keep the reader turning pages, for readers are the wind, without which the artist flies rather low to the ground. But my work has many other themes, including my desire, like most writers perhaps, to share some wisdom about the human experience. Also, magical realism, inevitably, finds its way into every novel I write. Maybe those themes that keep coming back unfold the true voice of a writer.
PELICAN BAY is about a nosy little quirky beach town and its investigation into an undersea cemetery as well as into the soul of a very old and very mysterious fisherman, Captain Shelby— an investigation the reader may soon feel was better left alone. Ethan looks to the grandfatherly fisherman for answers, but when he doesn’t heed the old man’s warnings to let things be, a domino chain of events leads to unsettling realities for the seaside town.
I think what makes PELICAN BAY a great read is its unique mystery, its chilling suspense, and the greatest character of my writer life, Captain Shelby, a figure that the reader wants to fear and blame, but the spaces between the lines, gluing the captain’s ancient sea-worn soul together, makes the one sympathize and look deeper … keeps one sweetly imprisoned till the end. The reader has to know what happens, not so much for the story’s sake, but for the sake of those memories that we yearn for, why we seek out good books. Because those memories we may forget came from fiction, and we can replace our undesirable memories with those. Pelican Bay’s a hauntingly beautiful world you’ll never escape from, and be happy for it.
Where can I buy a copy of your book?
The book’s available on Amazon.