Jesse wrote to me some time ago telling me about his new book. I had a quick read of it and I wanted very much to interview him. So, I asked if he’d like to be interviewed and he agreed. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Jesse Giles Christiansen …
Aneeta: Jesse, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Jesse: My pleasure. Great to be here!
Aneeta: Let’s start with a little about you. Tell me, please, where were you born, where did you grow up, what do you do for a living and where do you live now?
Jesse: I was born in Miami, FL and grew up playing on Miami Beach. I’m much like Ethan in my new novel, PELICAN BAY: one had to literally drag me from the beach as a child, and even as an adult, this is still a major problem! I’d love to say I make my full living as an author (almost there). I teach philosophy part-time at a nearby college, and I’m also a musician.
Aneeta: I understand from reading the stuff on your website (http://www.jessegileschristiansen.com/books/ ) that you received a B. A. in English Literature from Florida State University. What I’d like to know is why did you choose to study English Literature?
Jesse: I think that English literature sort of chose to study me. Perhaps as an artist, even more back then, I went mainly with my heart when making career decisions and my college major was no exception. But even before that, I was an avid reader of classic literature, excelling more at language arts in high school than at anything else. Originally, I was going to be an English high school teacher, and then decided to go to graduate school to be a college professor.
Aneeta: I see your goal is to write at least 50 novels. That’s a lot! Why 50, though? And, what happens after 50?
Jesse: That is an excellent question! Fifty seems like a good solid number. One doesn’t want to write too many to allow time for super literary quality. By the same token, I want to write for the rest of my days, so bringing out at least 1-2 books a year seems like a good pace for keeping and expanding my readership. Funny, I have this “book in the closet” about what happens when I reach the fifty-first novel. Maybe I’ll let it loose if I get there!
Aneeta: Let’s focus now, on the ones you’ve already published. Please tell me their names and what they’re about.
Jesse: Thanks for asking! The only other book I have is a self-published novel entitled, ABOUT: JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTIC. It is the first novel I ever wrote, a unique literary escape based on a summer I spent working in Alaska on fishing boats and in canneries. The book is a page-turner with Native American Mysticism and other literary plots and surprises. Check it out.
Aneeta: As you know, this website is for storyteller. What advice would you give people who would like to venture into the world of storytelling and publishing?
Jesse: Don’t just create words, create inescapable worlds. Don’t just write characters, let them write you. Don’t just convey stories, but discover great stories and let them convey you. The book is always the boss. Planning a book chokes it. Know the options, but see them as faceless until they come off the page. Publishing? Find a small publisher with marketing savvy and wisdom and social media presence. Don’t wait to be discovered, make a start, build a name and social platform, and the rest will come. The 21st century is not about submission, but about submission to lifelong discipline. Decide right now whether you’re a “hobby author” or a “career author.” That is some of the best advice I’ve ever received from bestseller, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, acquisitions editor/owner of my publishing house, Imajin Books.
Aneeta: Jesse, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Jesse: Escape into the uniquely haunting, beautifully Gothic world of PELICAN BAY, and you’ll leave with new memories of wisdom, the sea, and lost and found love, memories that you’ll quickly forget were originally wrought of fiction.
This is the link for PELICAN BAY’S trailer: http://ow.ly/n8EWn
Aneeta: Thank you, once again, Jesse.
Jesse: My pleasure! See you in the Land Between The Lines.
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