People are interested in crime fiction when they're quite distanced from crime. People in Darfur are not reading murder mysteries.— Denise Mina
The most helpful Denise Mina quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual
To have a very strong opinion all the time is corrosive to a person's intellect.
It becomes your default position.
In the 'Garnethill' trilogy, people always forget that Maureen O'Donnell's dad was a journalist and she did art history at uni and her brother did law, but no-one ever thinks they're middle-class - they're just working class because they speak with accents.
Crime is a very hard genre to feminise.
If you have a female protagonist she is going to be looking after her mum when she gets older; she is going to be worried about her brother and sister; she will be making a living while bringing up kids.
I think graphic novels are closer to prose than film, which is a really different form.
I respond very well to rules. If there are certain parameters it's much easier to do something really good. Especially when readers know what those are. They know what to expect and then you have to wrong-foot them. That is the trick of crime fiction. And readers come to crime and graphic novels wanting to be entertained, or disgusted.
I hate it when I'm reading a comic, and the dialogue looks like stickers stuck on top to explain what's going on. For me the best is when your eye goes in a certain point and moves through the composition and then springs out on the dialogue, or gets confused in the image and then goes to the dialogue for an explanation.
I'd read so much right-wing crime fiction where they find the evidence and shoot the bad guy - I thought there must be another approach.
I think the negative traits are what makes us love other human beings, the foibles and the flaws.
Crime fiction is the fiction of social history. Societies get the crimes they deserve.
If you went for a job interview in a Glasgow law firm, they used to ask you what school you went to. And that was a way of finding out what religion you were.
Even if people do wrong, we're social animals, so what can we do about stopping them doing the same things in future? Saying people are 'bad' or 'evil' is just an unwillingness to engage; an unwillingness to try to empathise. That sanctimonious attitude doesn't help anyone
There's a real emphasis on being witty in Scotland, even in crime novels.
A man who thinks he has a higher purpose can do terrible things, even to those he professes to love.
Journalism is a Darwinian process.
I just got an honorary degree from Glasgow University, and I had to wear around very painful shoes so that I didn't laugh all the way through the ceremony because I felt like an outlaw.
I came from this very traditional background and I benefited hugely from feminism. I felt privileged going to university and doing a PhD. Most people of my background don't get to do that.
None of us know what is going to sell or what people want to read.
In prose, leaps of logic can be made while the protagonist thinks about things and arrives at conclusions. Even with voiceover, there's no real way of having an inner voice without it taking over the entire story.
Usually when I'm trying to establish character, I try and find out where they live.
I'm terrified to get married. I'm not getting married till my gay friends can.
I love Mikhail Bulgakov. He is very original and takes the story to unexpected places. I didn't realise political writing could be so funny.
My upbringing was middle-class but my parents' families were both working-class so I had this odd combination of working-class background but in a privileged position.
In my heart Im just a lucky waitress.
I have two children. They are more fun than anything in the world, and it's more immediate fun than the hard slog of writing.
Because I write a book a year, I always want to do one other project every year that's stimulating in a different way. It means you can be working but not using up your prose juice, you know?
I grew up in London under Thatcher and that really was disgusting. A feeding frenzy.
I always wanted to work at Take A Break magazine, you know, just to inject a little bit of politics into their stories. I applied for a job there after I'd done my law degree and didn't even get an interview. I only wrote Garnethill because I didn't get that job!
Most of the people who write to me are really clever, really engaged.
They just want to say that they have read my book and liked it.
There's always these giant baffling books, like 'The Da Vinci Code.
' People say it's not as well written as 'Midnight's Children.' Why aren't people reading 'Midnight's Children?' Nobody knows why these phenomenons happen but they're great.