Kirkus Reviews Review of “Become the Fire”: “An Innovative New Conception of Successful Motivation” by Elisa Schmitz

Kirkus Reviews Review of “Become the Fire”: “An Innovative New Conception of Successful Motivation”

I am feeling especially “strong, fierce, brave and full of fire” today, according to my T-shirt in the photo below. This week has been a doozy – from health battles to a massive 100-year-old oak tree falling on our 100-year-old house. Seriously!

But I'm wrapping it up on a high note by sharing my favorite become the fire moment of the week: the review of my book by Kirkus Reviews.

As an author, you invest a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your writing, then you hope and pray for good reviews of your work by professional reviewers with great reputations. Kirkus Reviews is at the top of that list.

Started in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus, a publishing industry visionary, the company prides itself on the highest standards of integrity when reviewing books of all kinds by its team of professional book reviewers. According to Kirkus, “Everything that Kirkus Reviews stands for – integrity, honesty and accessible reviews written with an insider’s eye – started with Virginia Kirkus.”

What I Thought of My Kirkus Review

Between you and me, waiting for the Kirkus review of my book, Become the Fire, was kind of like waiting to learn your grade on an important term paper, or the final exam of your favorite class. You put your whole heart into it, then you really want to know what your professor thought, or if they felt all that effort you put into it. So, when the review finally arrived, I was equal parts excited and terrified to read it.

I'm relieved to say that I am pleased with the outcome. It wasn’t sugar-coated, though, which made a few lines a bit tough to read. But the positive feedback and the constructive criticism alike are both helpful to me as a writer. And overall, I believe the review was a pretty strong endorsement of the book and me as its author.

The Actual Review of “Become the Fire” by Kirkus Reviews

Because Kirkus only allows excerpts of its reviews to be published outside of its website, here’s an excerpt from its review of Become the Fire:

“An innovative new conception of successful motivation.

“In her nonfiction debut, Schmitz encourages her readers to achieve their personal and entrepreneurial goals by fully embracing the risks and rewards of chasing their dreams, a process she refers to as 'becoming the fire.' Central to her program is staying true to oneself while also exploring avenues for change and adaptation …

“One’s genuine nature can be found by working through preferences and passions, testing alternate pathways and rejecting others, and eventually zeroing in on abiding desires. Drawing on her own experiences in the corporate world … and the stories of other people, she furthers the discussion beyond the usual motivational talk about 'fake it ’til you make it,' stressing that it ultimately isn’t sufficient …

“Schmitz writes with an infectiously upbeat tone, never elevating herself above her readers. She herself has made many of the personal and professional mistakes against which she’s cautioning her readers; her discussion of the ways she rose above those mistakes forms an integral part of the overall narrative. Her broad-scale observations about developing personal motivation are always refreshingly direct.”

You can read the full review on the Kirkus website. Thank you, Kirkus Reviews, for the amazing feedback on “Become the Fire.” I am honored and grateful!

Order your copy of Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success.

You can visit Elisa's author website at, and learn more about her book on achieving career and life success at

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Elisa Schmitz
Thank you, Kirkus Reviews, for the feedback on BecomeTheFire . I appreciate all you do to shine a light on books you believe are worth reading!
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Great post, I believe website owners should learn a lot from this site it’s really user friendly. So much superb info on here.
Julio Caro
Thanks For Sharing....
Congratulations on a great book review!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Kirkus is THE name in book reviews and this is a great one! Congrats, Elisa!
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you so much, Ann Marie Patitucci ! This means a lot coming from you, a fellow author I admire greatly! XOXO

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