Michael Allan Mallory is the author of The Lost Dragon Murder, which was a Silver Falchion Award finalist at the 2022 Killer Nashville International Writers Conference. He was an editor for Minnesota Not So Nice: Eighteen Tales of Bad Behavior, a 2021 Silver Falchion finalist for Best Short Story Anthology.
Tell us about the featured book. What is it about, and why did you choose to write this story? The Lost Dragon Murder is a detective story about a missing art treasure and those who coveted it. I love a good mystery with an intriguing premise and fun, interesting characters that seem real. I hope readers find the book fits that description. Within the core mystery is also a smattering of hard-earned life lessons and humor.
Tell us a little about your writing process. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What is the most difficult part of your artistic process? My research is all over the place. I tap into my thoughts and experiences, as well as those of friends. Lots of internet searches, naturally, as well as talking to experts when necessary. I like to have enough research done before I start writing so that I have some comfort level about what I’m doing. Things can be adjusted later. The most difficult part of writing for me is the actual writing. First drafts are always, always terrible. Many rewrites are required. It’s not until the fourth or fifth draft that I feel things are coming together. It takes a lot of effort to make something look effortless!
Are there any writers or authors who have influenced your writing? If not, who are some of your favorite writers? Every writer I read influences me in one way or another. Favorite authors come from the Golden Age of Mystery, writers like Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr, and G.K. Chesterton. Favorite contemporary writer friends who are also inspirations include William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, and Louise Penny.
When inspired you to start writing? What is your favorite place to go for inspiration and/or your favorite place to write? I believe most writers start as storytellers. I eventually decided to write down some of my ideas. Long walks in the woods or by water help me think through story ideas. My favorite places to write are my living room late at night when I’m alone or snuggled into a comfy chair at a local library.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? When I’m not writing I take long nature walks with my wife, read, work on home projects, and spend a fair amount of time as a cat valet fulfilling the needs of two demanding furballs.
Favorite place to go in Minnesota? The north woods are a favorite destination: Lake Superior, the International Wolf Center in Ely, any place with rivers or lakes and trees.