About the book
A tiny church struggling to keep its doors open, a pair of girls only wanting to belong, two determined enthusiasts on a mission to change the world, and a young cynic who doesn’t believe it can be changed—what future lies ahead for them all?
The past is full of change and disappointment for the five teenage members of the Matthews and Hall families—the present seems to mock them with its inability to offer what they long for most. Is there any way to move beyond their past and their present and chart a future that will bring all they desire?
Will they find the answers to life’s haunting questions? Is there one solution which can prove the key to all their struggles?
And how will Mr. Meadows’s Desperate Experiment affect their hopes and dreams?
Date of Release: July 26th, 2021
About the Author
Chelsea Burden is a homeschool graduate, a first-generation Anabaptist, and a passionate word-lover who enjoys dabbling in etymology (not entomology!) and routinely adds bona fide words to spellcheck.
She loves books, people, and Jesus—and a lot of other things too, including chickadees, hymns, snowflakes, and having a good time with friends. She lives in Canada and spends her days writing and doing whatever else comes to hand in her three-generational home.
She appreciates hearing from readers, whether through reviews, on the Sheep Among Wolves blog (www.sawpublishing.com) or by email (email@example.com).
Behind the Scenes of A Desperate Experiment: Four Things I Learned While Writing
I am so excited for the opportunity to guest post on Abigail’s blog about some things I learned while writing A Desperate Experiment and the Fellowship of Light series! Thanks Abi for being willing to share this post! It’s really amazing to be at this point of releasing my debut novella to the world.
I’d have to say that the journey to writing A Desperate Experiment has been a long, and at times challenging one, but it’s also been very rewarding and taught me many valuable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my writing career, and in many cases, my life.
Here are four key lessons that I’ve learned during the long and sometimes frustrating journey to publishing my first novella.
1. Always Trust God’s Timing
Yes, this may sound a little cliché, but I don’t mean it that way at all. In fact, unquestionably it has to be one of the biggest lessons I truly learned while writing the first three books of my Fellowship of Light series.
When I first wrote Finding Blessing in 2016 (coming November, 2021!), I was anxious to hurry up and actually FINISH and PUBLISH my first book. I couldn’t have imagined that it would be fully five years before that book was ready to meet the world. I saw the many delays and frustrations I encountered as “roadblocks”—something I needed to get past and overcome to reach my goal. Now, in hindsight, I see them as God’s restraining hand on my shoulder as He told me, “Not yet—I’m not ready—you’re not ready just yet.” So yes, those years were frustrating, but I now see how they were absolutely necessary, and how—when God’s timing was right—the doors opened and I was able to write better and faster than I ever would have imagined. I wish that I had had that wisdom (or the wise friends!) to tell me that the obstacles I was facing might just have been God working out His perfect timing. I think it would have saved me a lot of pain to know that He was going to make a way when His moment finally arrived.
2. Accept Yourself and Your Story
This was a very hard lesson for me to actually take home. I wanted everyone to like me and my book. I wanted to meet with approval. I wanted to write a “perfect” book. (Or, dare I say, “THE perfect book”?!) And when I met with criticism—when I found readers who didn’t like my style, or my genre, or my dialogue, or whatever it might be—I was devastated. Some days, I still am.
I’ll never forget the day last fall when I made a realization and a choice. No longer am I going to try to write the perfect book that everyone will love. Instead, I’m going to be true to myself, my message, my characters, and write the book that will best represent what I and they stand for. It was a very freeing step, and something I wish I would’ve been able to do much sooner. Yes, it still hurts when someone doesn’t like my book, but I recognize that their opinion has nothing to do with my acceptance of myself and my story OR with what God thinks about it.
3. Know and Hold Onto Your Story’s True Message
Eight years ago, I said I was never going to publish any of the stories about a family now called Matthews. There were several reasons for that, but the biggest was that something I was no longer comfortable identifying with formed the whole premise of the story . . . or so I thought.
I would have been absolutely astounded if anyone could have told me how the story would completely change its premise and major elements of background and plot, not once but TWICE, and yet still be really the same story about the same characters with same tone and core values as the original! What I’ve discovered in that long journey is: the things you truly love about your story, and the messages you actually believe in, are often NOT what you think the story is about.
So don’t lose sight of what you really value about your story, even in moments when you think you might have to change everything you thought the story was about.
The themes of friendship, belonging, faith and sacrifice that were at the heart of the original concept are still what excite me about the book today . . . the story is the same even though everything about it has changed!
4. Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Journey
And perhaps the simplest yet most poignant lesson of all: Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. It’s easy to get focused on the destination: “I want to publish a book!” and totally miss celebrating the milestones along the way. This is definitely something I struggle with present tense as I get bogged down in the details of planning something I’ve never really done before.
But here’s the thing: You don’t get to live the journey twice. You can only publish your first book once, and the experiences that attend your life will always be changing. Don’t miss out on the journey because you’re so eager to reach the destination.
A Desperate Experiment is Here!
I am so excited to be able to share with you not only the journey that has brought me here, but the book that has been the product of so much learning and growing! This series has been on my heart for a long time, and it is just so amazing to be able to say that A Desperate Experiment is finally available! Click here to order paperback or kindle versions.
And don’t forget to check out the other stops of the launch tour to see what early readers are saying about A Desperate Experiment!
Launch Tour Stops
Book Review by Esther Jackson | Neath the Hackberry Reading Club
Book Review by Katja Labonté | Old Fashioned Book Love
Book Review by Kylie Hunt | The Film Director’s Wife
Behind the Scenes: 4 Things I Learned While Writing shared by Abigail Harris | Read Review Rejoice