Denise Mina’s crime fiction seems to be going from strength to strength. As the the only female and only Scot on the Golden Dagger shortlist, she continually raises the bar of contemporary crime fiction in the UK.
“Crime fiction is reflecting society just now the way literary novels just aren’t these days,” she said, by way of trying to explain why the genre was still proving so popular. “Real life isn’t what turns readers on, they want something extra.”
With each question asked Mina wandered off on tangents and jokes that only served to warm the audience more to her personality. It was almost as though she was talking to you personally, a rare thing for any author to achieve in a room full of fans.
Continuing on her obsession with crime, her home town of Glasgow inevitably came up. “There’s a lot of inter-personal violence in Glasgow, it’s apparently now the crime capital of Europe. But then, nobody buys crime fiction about people stealing stamps.”
There was good news for her fans too, as she revealed that her novel Garnethill is with HBO at the moment. “But then again, I live in really big house now because of all the people that have optioned it. It’s been sold about 8 times!”
When pressed how much she wanted Garnethill or any of her books to be made into films, she replied :”To be honest, I don’t know if I want it I be made; it’s my baby and I don’t want them television people to fuck it up.”
One Swedish fan in the audience who praised the translations of her novels, prompted Mina to state that “translators don’t get the credit they deserve.”
And on the merry-go-round that is almost compulsory for any successful crime writer, Mina said: “Crime writers are supposed to think about sales all the time, but the ones I enjoy most write for one person: themselves.”
Finishing up, Mina recalled the best line she ever wrote when an old university friend reintroduced herself in the audience. “Theory is nice bit it can’t stop things from existing.” It was the high point of my Thesis,” she joked.