by Len Wanner

In this 10,000-word interview, Len Wanner talks to Denise Mina, international bestselling author of the Garnethill trilogy, the Paddy Meehan novels and the Alex Morrow police series.

Denise Mina on:

  • Inspiration - “Patricia Cornwall really inspired me. I read her books and thought: ‘These are crap.’ They’re so … right-wing, they’re proto-fascist. She keeps talking about criminals being another breed, and they’re always killed at the end without trial.”
  • Crime fiction – “It’s not being read the way traditional literature is being read. I quite like the fact that it’s a bit of a dirty secret. It’s the sort of thing people read for fun and not for self-improvement, and I think that makes it precious.”
  • Fame – “Now that I’ve been on telly people have started saying: ‘I’ve always been a fan of hers.’ The reviews of the TV series are like: ‘I read this book three years ago. I read that book 12 years ago – before it was even published.’ … It’s ludicrous to me.”
  • Glasgow - “I don’t want to try and prettify Glasgow, because I really love it… I think Glasgow is a big, chaotic city with a lot of poverty in it, but it should be alright to represent that.”
  • Readers - “… this woman comes running up and says: ‘Paddy Meehan – I know her. She eats in here… You know, there’s a woman who comes in here, and me and my sister are always saying she’s Paddy Meehan.’ Then she got embarrassed and went away, but that meant the world to me. That is the connection I want: to represent unrepresented experiences of people who you wouldn’t look at twice but who have a really vivid inner life.”

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