This is the first episode of Story Behind the Story, a monthly interview show featuring conversations with authors about their creative process. In it, host Clara Sherley-Appel talks to Gilroy author Carly Gelsinger about her new book, Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith, and the difficulty of making private trauma public for your art.
When Carly Gelsinger was thirteen, she joined Pine Canyon Assemblies of God, a radical evangelical church in rural Monterey County. For years, she was “on fire for God,” speaking in tongues, slaying demons, and following her angry and abusive pastor’s every word. Only when her life literally burned to the ground did she start to make the choices that would lead her to leave the church several years later. In Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith, Gelsinger tells the story of the lengths she was willing to go to in order to belong with surprising candor and vulnerability.