The Copy Cat

Coming March 2020

Reading – the best and least expensive writing course you can take


I have been thinking about reading – a lot.

This is probably because I just finished reading my 85th book of 2016.

Lest you think this is a brag, indulge me for a minute.

Author Stephen King famously touts the impact that reading has upon writing ability in his amazing book On Writing.




He is famously quoted as saying:


If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.


As a relative newbie to the writing world, I have taken as many classes as I can access and afford.

Sadly, sometimes taking courses is out of the question.

But reading good books never is.

I read voraciously, across all genres, making up for the lost time when my previous career only allowed me the luxury of reading 10-20 novels a year.

I read in my genres, Middle Grade and Young Adult, but I read picture books, adult literature, nonfiction.




I try hard to mix in classics.

Mostly what I focus on is excellence. If you’re not sure where to begin, begin with those books that have been winning awards.

Those awards are typically a sign of excellence in writing and illustration, and the more you read really good writing, the better your own writing will become. In fact, it can’t help but get better.


reading 2


In the last two and half years I’ve read almost 300 books. That’s countless hours of learning about voice, plot, structure, character development, concept, imagery.

Assuming that it took me at least 3 hours to get through these 300 books (um it didn’t. I see you Old Curiousity Shop, The Goldfinch, and The Luminaries) I’d have racked up close to 1000 hours of learnings that have bettered my writing.

I take my reading time VERY seriously and read a minimum of 50 pages a day, often more. I am famous for reading for long stretches of times in the bathtub (okay, I’m only famous for doing this at my house) and once dipped Sean Michael’s wonderful book Us Conductors in the water when I was enthralled with a particularly beautiful passage.

The most amazing thing about reading is that it is free. All you need is a library card. Librarians are standing by, waiting to give you wonderful suggestions about what to read next, what to read if you liked such-and-such, what to read when you want to laugh, cry, learn something new.

Read, read, read. Your writing will thank you. And so will your readers!

Want to know what I’m reading? Follow me on Goodreads:


Author of Children's Literature