Publishing 101: Writing an Author’s Note

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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I have never written an author’s note to add to my book for readers to find after the story, but as I have mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying on a few new ideas with Fowl Summer Nights, so a personal letter to readers sounds like a great idea.

I discovered the idea of author’s notes in the article Fine-tuning Your Author’s Note by Victoria Grossack on Writing World. I think it’s an interesting idea, so here’s the draft of my first letter to readers:

The idea for Fowl Summer Nights came from my own experience buying livestock from the online classified site Kijiji. It was surprising how easy it was to get addicted to checking the site daily to see what new animals were offered for sale. I bought several batches of chickens and ducks advertised on the website.

When we began our homestead in March of 2011, we had no animals. By the end of the summer we had one miniature donkey, two sheep, two goats, ten ducks, five turkeys and around forty chickens. It was too easy to get up in the morning, check Kijiji and scheme of how to get another animal.

5x5 BylerThreeDogsThe reason I chose chickens for Mildred’s obsession is because the cute birds start off as little packages of fluff and soon outgrow their space. Chickens have a mind of their own. They don’t care if you don’t want them eating your strawberries, sunning themselves on the deck or roosting on the gate. They do whatever they want.

One interesting fact about Fowl Summer Nights readers unfamiliar with chickens might not realise is that several breed names are hidden within the story. Mildred lives on Shamo Drive in Welsummer. The nearby community is Sebright, and her widowed neighbour is Mrs. Vorwerk. The co-worker who toasted her at her retirement party was Catalana. She gave birth to her son at 327 Dorking Road, and the lady at the bank who called Mr. Mills was Miss Wyandotte. The inspector for the county was Frederick Faverolles.

Shamo, Welsummer, Sebright, Catalana, Dorking, Wyandotte, Faverolles and Vorwerk are all chicken breeds.

My goal with Fowl Summer Nights was to write an over the top, cheeky story. Of course it is unbelievable, but I hope the unique characters allowed you to suspend reality long enough to enjoy it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my novella.

Sincerely, Diane Lynn McGyver

This completes this step in the Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge.

Next Post Publishing 101: Book Trailer


7 thoughts on “Publishing 101: Writing an Author’s Note

  1. I love this idea of including author note, depending on the type of book written. For your book this is perfect given the names you have used and their meaning behind it. Great note, I hope you include it!


    • Thanks, Debby. I have decided to include the author’s note. I think all my books from here on in will contain them. I wish I had known about them when I had done my anthology. I could have written a note after each short story. Maybe if I ever revise it I’ll do that.


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