In conversation with... Denise Mina

Hi Denise! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Conviction! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: A woman is listening to a true crime podcast and realises that she knows the accused. Her husband walks out on her and she decides to go and solve the crime on the podcast.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: No! I did have the last scene in my head though because the book is all about story forms and there was one story scene that I’ve always loved and wanted to incorporate but the murderer changes several times. I never start knowing what I’m doing. It's what makes it so exciting!

What kind of research, if any, did you have to carry out while you were writing this novel? In general, is research something you enjoy or a means to an end?

A: I adore research but can get too carried away. The book is a road trip around Europe and I still keep finding time tables for Italian trains in pockets and bus time tables. Research is delicious but I find that if I work out what the question is first and look for an answer I can cut the time I spend on it right down.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the roles of Anna and Fin?

A: Anna: Ann Hathaway. Fin: Robert Patterson. Fin is difficult to cast because everyone is so beefy now.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: Anna finds a wreck dive film on line. I found a dive film of a deep cave dive in which the diver died, it wasn’t hard to find, but I really wish I hadn’t watched it. He had gone down the worlds deepest underwater cave to retrieve the body of a friend and died. It was awful.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: So so much! Another two books! I finally had to ask my editor never to send it to me again because I couldn’t stop writing it. I got a bit lost in the world.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: A fictional story set around a true crime. In Glasgow in the 1990s nine sex workers were murdered in the street and there were rumours about it being a serial killer. Leona goes to an adoption agency to find her birth family and finds that her birth mother was one of those women.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: Milkman by Anna Burns.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: Honestly, I love it. It’s a break, it's funny, as long as you don’t take it too seriously and come off when you're getting annoyed.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Enjoy doing it. It so easy to lose sight of that and get caught up in events, sales figures, promotion, side hustles etc. Enjoy your time at the desk. Its all that matters

Thank you for your time!

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