Things haven't been the same since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, and local author Cassandra Burkart has written a novel to help others face troubling times.

Burkart's first book, Outright Changes In An Outrageous World, 6 Steps To Activating Lasting Change During Your Darkest Days, connects with a broad audience in order to aid those who lack purpose or direction in life.

Burkart was raised on a farm just outside Fort Saskatchewan.

She attended the University of Alberta where she received a degree in chemical engineering — confessing her motivation for being an engineer was based on wealth and status. 

"I love chemistry and I love science, but I don't enjoy doing it as a profession. It did teach me a lot about time management and prioritization, but at the end of the day chemical engineering was not a passion for me."

A few years later, Cassandra met her husband, Kelsey, when she was competing on stage during a bodybuilding competition. Kelsey was there to watch his friend compete, and when he met Cassandra, the two hit it off. They now have two children together.

In 2014, the Burkart family began to fall on dark days.

"We got really tired of the Monday to Friday job. We got really tired of living paycheck to paycheck, having a lot of debt, and feeling like we had no options in life."

The Burkarts began to consult life coaches to help turn their lives around. Reading books, listening to audio, and speaking with coaches directly is what began Cassandra's passion towards becoming a life coach herself alongside her sister.

"We focus primarily on wealth, but every pillar in a person's life is deeply connected. Whether you're looking at finances, relationships, or mental and physical health."

Cassandra and her husband created and applied a six-step process to activating change which helped to pull them out of their dark days. Seeing the process' success, Cassandra began writing her book in October of last year.

Cassandra offers insights into her own experiences over the last eight years while teaching the reader how to establish a purpose and accept personal responsibility, using COVID-19 as a case study throughout the novel.

Her book was released on July 29 via Balboa Press.

"It is a self-help book to help individuals create abundance in situations of adversity. I show individuals that regardless of the situation you find yourself in, if you choose to grow, elevate, and try to transform a situation, it can actually be a really simple process to get from where you are to where you desire to be."

Outright Changes In An Outrageous World, 6 Steps To Activating Lasting Change During Your Darkest Days is available on digital, softcover, and hardcover, and can be purchased on the Balboa Press website.