5 People and Great Books

“You are the  average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”  -Jim Rohn

This quote is tossed around quite a bit online. Some argue that there is no evidence to support this statement, but it’s a pretty solid theory in my opinion. How can you not be affected one way or another by the most prominent people in your life?

I’d like to believe this to be true anyway, as I’d be happy to boast average amongst my inspiring peeps, but what about in our writing lives? Not everyone has a writing friend or group to elevate and keep them at the level they are striving for.

This is when the best people to surround yourself with come in the form of books.

Most authors will tell you that their best writing advice is to read, read, read and then, write. Sort of like honing your craft through osmosis, you will internalize cadence, structure and vocabulary. You’ll also gain deep insight into what moves you, and what doesn’t.

So surround yourself with the best-and by best,  I mean best to you. Which authors continuously grab you, hold you in their clutches and release you changed and grown? Which authors do you most admire and wish to write like?  Which authors write the stories similar to your own?

As Heather Sellers in ‘Chapter after Chapter’ tells us, the books of these authors can be our ‘Wise Guides’. Of course we have to find our own voices, and write our own unique stories, but regularly reading the work of our idols can inspire us to get our own writing where we want in to be.

Since I primarily write children’s fiction, my top 5 are authors of that genre. Any of their books would make excellent editions to your family library, but I’ll put in my faves:

  •  E.B. White – Stuart Little, Charlottes Web and The Trumpet of the Swan.

His unmatched talent for storytelling,  and loving descriptions of the natural world have me reaching for theses classics again and again.

  • Beverly Cleary- Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins series.

These stories have endured the test of time. The kids, and their plights, in these stories are as real and relevant today as they ever were.

  • Kit Pearson – Guests of War Trilogy, A Handful of Time, Awake and Dreaming.

Canadian Author whose books inspired me to become a writer in the first place.

  •  R.L. LaFEVERS-  Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist and Theodosia series.

These books are gripping adventures, with strong female characters and emotionally driven plots. She also offers an incredible amount of writing advice on her website.

  •  Clare Vanderpool – Moon over Manifest and Navigating Early.

When I read Moon Over Manifest, I wanted to throw in the towel, thinking I could never be this good. Instead I am using that jealousy  admiration as a catalyst to get better. She also wrote it while raising four kids. There is hope for us Mamas!

And for good measure, (I know, I know, this makes six) mostly a picture book author/illustrator:

  • Shirley Hughes – Dogger and the Alfie series.

Shirley Hughes is a master. Her portrayal of childhood sibling and family relationships are honest and always bang on.

Tell me, who are your five people?



  1. I love Shirley Hughes…
    My top 5?
    Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Astrid Lindgren
    Tomi de Paola
    Beatrix Potter
    AA Milne