Front page news on The Bookseller on Friday was the announcement of a deal to publish an exciting new book written by members of the Detection Club. Howdunit, which I've compiled and edited, is about the art and craft of crime writing and it will be published by HarperCollins in June next year.
The contributors will include almost all the current members of the Detection Club, including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Mick Herron, James Runcie, Peter James, Sophie Hannah, Peter Robinson, Felix Francis, Elly Griffiths, Peter Lovesey, Mark Billingham, and Len Deighton, to whom the book is dedicated - given that this year, Len celebrates 50 years as an enthusiastic member of the Club. They will offer a marvellous range of insights into the writing life, including personal reminiscences, practical tips for aspiring writers, and an insight into the realities of being a writer - there are terrific pieces, for instance, about "imposter syndrome" and "improvisation techniques" as well as thoughts on social media, writing for radio, and the experience of having your work adapted for TV and film.
And that's not all. The book will also include shorter pieces by a number of illustrious Detection Club members of the past, from G.K. Chesterton onwards. So readers will have a chance to compare the approaches of luminaries of the Golden Age, for instance, with those of their present day successors. It will, I think, be quite a book. I've been working hard on it for much of this year - since Club members decided at our AGM in February that they wanted to put together a book to raise funds for the Club.
And that's another remarkable and highly gratifying feature of this book - the lovely people who are contributing to it are donating all the proceeds to Club funds, to ensure that as it celebrates its 90th anniversary next year, it continues to thrive for the foreseeable future. I'm enormously grateful to each and every one of them for their wholehearted support, as well as for the wonderful pieces they are contributing.
More about this book before long. But in the meantime, there's still work to be done...