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The Dahlgren Affair Explored by Historical Fiction Author Elliot Mason

Updated on April 3, 2020
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Thanks for stopping by! My name is Monica Viera and I'm an author who interviews different artists from around the world.

Are You a Fan of Historical Fiction? Then Check Out This New Read!

Historical fiction is a niche genre in which many people have an affinity for. And although quite a few people dream of writing historical fiction, it is a feat pretty difficult to accomplish. To write historical fiction, one must capture enough truth from real events to engage readers, while leaving space for a creative and surprising story. In this interview, I sat down with Elliot Mason, author of his new book, The Arlington Orders to pick his brain on how his life path led him to writing about the Dahlgren Affair, and how he managed to pen that perfect balance between fact and fiction.

Interview with the Author, Elliot Mason

Question: What was your career before you started writing novels?

Elliot Mason: I was a collegiate track & field coach for 20 years and was also an events director. In addition, I ran a website that covered the collegiate track & field scene.

Question: Have you always had a passion for history?

EM: Yes, I have always loved studying history. I was one of those nerds who would read a history textbook for leisure when I was in middle school and high school. I also majored in history in college.

Question: Why did you choose to write a historical fiction novel?

EM: I am fascinated with how our history affects our present and future. Plus, history has such a wealth of stories and interesting people that one can easily develop a fictional story around. My books are not traditional historical fiction in that I take an historical event or situation, and then build a story on how it affects people in modern times.

Question: When did you come up with the idea to explore the lost treasure from the Dahlgren Affair?

EM: I had heard of the event during my studies in college. But the idea for the story came from watching a show on the History Channel about the Dahlgren Affair. It sparked some questions in my mind about how that incident and the eventual disappearance of the Confederate Treasury might be linked.

Question: What would you like readers to take away from the book?

EM: I want my readers to understand that many of the issues people argued about during the Civil War, are often the same ones we argue about today. The characters in my story are all chasing after the lost Confederate Treasury, but for different reasons. And they have these same arguments about things like state’s rights and federal government power, just like they did 150 years ago.

Question: Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?

EM: I relate most to my character simply known as “The Judge.” Even though he is the antagonist of the story, I wrote a lot of my own personality quirks into him. He is never satisfied and constantly feels like he is in pursuit of a goal but oftentimes has difficulty understanding why. I also wrote an incident that occurred to me into the backstory that shapes him.

Question: Are you working on another book?

EM: I have a book that is completed and should be out next year which is a suspense thriller that covers an often-discussed topic in our political and social discourse through the tracking of a serial killer. I have two other books I am working on as well, a suspense thriller about the pharmaceutical industry and another dealing with a terrorist cell and its relation to stolen Nazi loot.

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Buy The Arlington Orders Now!


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