"I was very aware of office politics because I was so baffled by them. So much so goes unsaid. No one says 'you're a cheeky so-and-so,' no one says 'you're so moody,' nobody ever confronts anyone else about anything. But I'm very crass, and I'm very confrontational, and I have a temper. I had to be hyper-vigilant in every office I worked in."
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."Denise Mina on John F. Kennedy
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress but I repeat myself."Denise Mina on Mark Twain
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."Denise Mina on Plato
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."Denise Mina on Milton Friedman
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."Denise Mina on Joseph Stalin
"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."
"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."
"Comics don't work if the story is all in the text and the images are illustrative. It's hard to have enough faith in the artists to allow them to do their job."
"We don't really go in for big family dinners, but Scottish people are famously confrontational. It's a cultural thing, so maybe we don't need to have them to clear the air. Also, traditional family food isn't as nice here so there's no payoff for traveling hundreds of miles."
"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."