Carrie Schmidt is one of my favorite people. Her heart for books, authors, and the reading community is like no one else I know. She seems to do nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe bookish EVERYTHING. The woman wears more hats than shoes on a millipede. I don’t know HOW she juggles it all. But I’m getting ahead of myself. FIRST, let’s get you introduced properly.

Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie started the popular blog in 2015 and since then has had the honor of co-founding the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours. In addition to these endeavors, she is a regular contributor to Seekerville and has written for magazines such as RT Book Reviews and Christian Market. Carrie now lives in Georgia with her husband, though her roots range from East Tennessee to Central Kentucky and northern Illinois.

You can connect with Carrie on, Facebook @meezcarriereads or @meezcarriewrites, and everywhere else social at @meezcarrie.

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Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Carrie with rapid-fire.


CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

CS: Milk. Always milk.

CC: Print or E-book?

CS: Yes. LOL. I love having print copies around me, so I can hug them occasionally. But with the amount of reading I do, I pretty much read exclusively on Kindle these days because I can enlarge the font to an obnoxious size to reduce eye strain 🙂 

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

CS: Dogs. There’s nothing quite like the unconditional love of a dog.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

CS: The last time I was a morning person was as a little girl when I would wake my parents very sweetly pre-dawn with “I waaaaaked uhhhhh-uhhhhp” lol. I’m definitely a night owl!

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

CS: WINTER. But, I should clarify – I mean the northern Illinois kind of winter that I grew up with. The winters we had in Kentucky and now in Georgia really don’t count lol.

CC: How did I not know you grew up in Illinois. I guess since first met you when you were in Kentucky, I just assumed you were a Kentucky girl. Well, let’s see what else I don’t know.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

CS: One of my favorite Bible verses is Micah 7:8 – “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (NIV). This became one of ‘my’ verses after a season of deep depression and panic attacks in my 20’s and early 30’s. It’s a sweet reminder to me that, even though we may go through times of darkness and/or brokenness, the enemy doesn’t get a vote in our worth or the power of the Savior who is our Advocate. That promise that the Lord will be my light is so tender to me.

CC: Amen. That is such an encouragement and one I need to highlight in my Bible.

What do you like to do when you AREN’T reading or writing?

CS: I love puzzles (word or jigsaw) and I occasionally get the urge to pick up cross-stitching again.

CC: I love puzzles too, but the cross-stitching impresses me. It looks so neat, but I’m not sure I”ve got the patience for it.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? (And I’m laughing as I ask this because I know the answer even before you give it.)

CS: Confession: I don’t want to be a writer. I love reading too much lol. But I DO want to help writers. Everything I do – from my blog to CFRR to JustRead Tours to the Art of Writing Conference and this book – has come from a heart of wanting to give back to the authors who have so many times “stood between my heart & Satan’s knife” (to quote Andrew Peterson’s All the Poets I Have Known song). I love fiction in nearly all its forms, and I love being able to connect authors and readers, in many ways as the go-between for the two groups. That’s why I accepted the invitation to write my section of Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers. It also gave me another way to honor my sweet Dad who went home to Jesus almost a year ago. He always told me I would write a book someday, and now I have.

CC: We appreciate you so much, Carrie! Both on the reader and author side of things. AND I ADORE that your Dad told you that you’d write a book someday. He must be getting a real kick out of watching you from Heaven.

Let’s talk about Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers.Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers: Winning the Hearts of Agents, Publishers, Editors, and Readers by [Linda Fulkerson, Hope Bolinger, Rowena Kuo, Carrie Schmidt]

Remember when Dorothy finally reached the Emerald City only to be halted by the Gatekeeper, blocking her hopes of seeing the Great and Powerful Wizard?

The path to publication is like that. Agents, and Editors, and Publishers, oh, my! Each one is a barrier between you and a publishing contract.

But what if you understood what agents, editors, publishers, and readers really want?

If you’re struggling to get past the publishing gatekeepers, this book will give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how to win the heart of each type of publishing professional. In fact, Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers won’t just give you a peek—it will give you a guided tour. In this book, four publishing professionals—an agent, a publisher, an editor, and an influencer—share what it takes to unlock each “gate” within the publishing industry.

Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers is a must-have resource for all aspiring authors, and it offers insights to help multi-published authors as well.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books Depository  BookbubGoodreads

CC: You have a real heart for the publishing industry, authors, and books, and I know that is why you agreed to be a part of this great writing resource. Tell our readers what perspective you brought to this collection. How is it different from other writing resources out there?

CS: My perspective is a bit different than the other authors of this book, because I’m talking about what happens after you’ve made it past all the other industry gatekeepers. You have a published (or soon-to-be) book and now you need to get it read. How do you find readers? How do you keep them once you’ve found them? I think the book overall is different from other writing resources because it is written from four separate professional perspectives, each of us bringing our own years of expertise to our distinct sections. It’s like going to a writing conference and taking four different classes without having to change rooms.
CC: I love that and so much cheaper than a writing conference!
What is the most important thing that you hope writers walk away with after reading your section of the book? 
CS: My ‘most important thing’ is really three things lol. First, I pray that they are encouraged that their story matters – the one they’re writing & the one they’re living. Second, I hope they walk away with a new perspective and appreciation for readers & influencers and the voluntary-but-vital role each plays in promoting an author’s books. And finally I want them to close the book feeling less overwhelmed about how to find & keep readers.
CC: I love all those things, especially the last one, and I think this book really has given writers a way to feel lest overwhelmed.
There were a couple of places where you talked about surveying readers. Was there anything that you found surprising when conducting your surveys? Or were your thoughts confirmed? 

CS: Mostly my thoughts were confirmed … BUT I was surprised when I surveyed readers about what most influences them to try a new-to-them author. However, the surprise wasn’t what does influence them. It was what doesn’t. Two things that I honestly thought would show up, didn’t. You’ll have to read the book to find out what they were 😉

CC: Ha! Ha! I see what you did there, but it is absolutely worth picking up the book to find out!
Thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your wisdom and experiences. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
If you could travel anywhere without worry about cost, where would you travel?

CS: I would love to travel to Scotland some day…. but it would need to be in a private jet or something because flying terrifies me. So I’d want a big plane with just me & my travel companions (and the pilots, of course lol) and a big recliner or bed where I could just take some kind of pill and not wake up until I got there. Hence the need to not worry about cost 🙂

CC: Ha ha! It sounds like you’ll need a good dose of bravery should the opportunity arise!


Reader, what would be YOUR mascot?

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