gmhTODAY 24 gmhTODAY Feb March 2019 - Page 56

Growing Up in the Shadow of the Extreme Written By Kelly Barbazette W hile Carly Gelsinger was teaching her students at Gavilan College how to write their memoir, she was quietly remembering and crafting her own story. Raised in a remote, small town near the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Gelsinger, 31, grew up under the shadow of an extremely fundamental Pentecostal church. However, she didn’t realize she could carve a book out of her experiences until she began recounting her time in the church with friends and family. “The more I told the stories, the 56 more I realized there were stories to be told,” she said. In her newly released memoir “Once You Go In,” Gelsinger describes her journey from the time she joined the church’s youth group at the tender age of 13 to when she left the church about a decade later. She began writing her manuscript five years ago shortly after moving to Gilroy with her husband, Josiah, when their youngest daughter was an infant. She realized there weren’t many books about Pentecostal faith and set about telling her story. She completed her first draft within GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN february/march 2019 a year and the spent the next few years fine-tuning it while teaching memoir writing, starting a writing business, and adding to her family. She has been married for ten years and has a new baby as well as two girls, ages 6 and 2. She said the lengthy writing process helped her make sense of what hap- pened to her. “(My book) is definitely for people who have been in cults and have been burned by church, but my goal for it was to have a wider appeal and what I hear from readers is it does that. So, I’m happy to hear that.” She shares with her students