Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Author Jesse Giles Christiansen: Why Pelican Bay

I’m delighted today to welcome a new author I recently met that has given me a totally new outlook on the sea. Author Jesse Giles Christiansen joins us to talk about his latest release, PELICAN BAY

Here’s a brief synopsis of the mystery, suspense novel published by Imajin Books. 

    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.

Jesse joins us now to talk about this tantalizing story.

Hello readers, thank you for stopping by. My name’s Jesse Giles Christiansen, author of PELICAN BAY, and I’m very excited to be here today!  

I think important questions that authors may often forget to ask themselves are, “Why did I write this novel?” and, “What do I want the world to know as a result of it?” I think that not knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can lead to mediocre novels. 

The first reason that I wrote PELICAN BAY was mainly cathartic. I went through tremendous emotional suffering in a relationship and thought that the most constructive way to deal with it was to write a book so that others might be able to know and learn from what I went through. In other words, I decided to make a treacherous ex-girlfriend into literature. And that is how I was born as a writer, I believe. My wiring, the simple marrow of me, is such that, from the very early age of twelve, I have turned to songwriting and fictional writing to digest those pains thrust on all of us by reality. My pains of life have been deep and unique. Perhaps we all have our own deep and unique pains, and that’s what makes us who we are. 

A dream with the ex-girlfriend is what started it all. Her name is Morgan in the novel, not entirely different from the real woman she is based on. Withdrawn, cynical, inaccessible, but somehow still a beautiful and irresistible librarian. We were standing on a South Carolina beach and staring out to sea. But there were sinister dark stones lurking beneath, things that I soon realized, after waking and starting to write PELICAN BAY, would give me a much bigger reason for writing the novel. From these dark stones would emerge the greatest character of my writing career: Captain Shelby. Captain Shelby is one of those characters born of the white amniotic fluid of the spaces between the words on the page. He takes over, and if you know something of novel writing, you LET him. 

Suddenly there was this huge second reason for writing PELICAN BAY. I needed the world to know that the greatest source of my suffering was having to have many fathers instead of the original one, and that from that suffering there is deep wisdom to be shared. I lost my father very young. But some of us have fathers andcover have still lost them. If life is about working things out, then maybe, just maybe, most of us need many parents from teachers to friends to uncles to grandfathers, and so on, to work it all out. Have I worked it all out? No. I need a lot more novels to do so, novels I hope that will each speak to the human experience and offer readers more than just solid page-turning.
Captain Shelby is that greatest of great-grandfathers that we all hope to know and learn from. The problem is that we cannot find such ancient men in reality. We need to turn to novels. And there is a price that comes with such age and wisdom. And you must read PELICAN BAY to understand that price. But having done so, I hope that you will come to love the old fisherman as much as I have. PELICAN BAY has been a list bestseller for a month running now, and I think that Captain Shelby is responsible for much of that. 

There are other unique characters with much to offer in the book. Ethan may be semi-autobiographical, and you keen readers will see that after reading this blog and picking up the book. Ethan needs facts, love, and wisdom, things that are missing, leaving a little black hole when a storm took both his parents as a child, a little black hole that perhaps only you-know-who can fill. 

His grandmother, Sidney, does a great job raising and trying to protect Ethan. She is a noble, beautifully aged, English settler, almost of yore, with an inner strength that I hope my astute readers will also net.
I am very interested in taking your questions now about PELICAN BAY, or writing in general. I look forward to speaking with you. See you in the Land Between the Lines! 

PELICAN BAY is available on Amazon as an eBook for a special sales price during my publisher, Imajin Book’s Summer Sizzles eBook Sale. It’s also available in a beautiful, sturdy paperback as well.
Jesse, thanks for joining us and sharing this behind the scenes look at PELICAN BAY. It is indeed an intriguing story that will have you pondering many things.

Now let me tell you a bit about Jesse. He 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. 

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."

For more on Jesse and his writing, visit his website, follow his blog or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Now here’s a PELICAN BAY book trailer for your enjoyment. Thanks for stopping by and remember, Jesse is interested in answering your questions.


  1. Jesse, thanks again for joining us today. You've definitely put a new spin on the sea for me. Very intriguing story. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Jesse.

    Jesse - Thanks for sharing the background behind Pelican Bay. I agree that it's important for authors to think about what exactly their goals are when they write. Then they can focus and share what they really want to share.

  3. Thanks Mason. You're the best!

  4. Yes, Margot, but sometimes those questions can be scary and tough to answer. But if you don't answer them, the costs may be greater. Do you agree? Do you write as well?


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.