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Elliot Mason: History is Always Relevant to Our Future.

As Elliot Mason and I both sit quarantined separately in our homes in Southern California, one of the locations in the country with the highest amount of COVID cases, it’s hard not to think about how this year will go down in the history books.

As we ponder how we might look back on this strange and difficult time, his new book The Arlington Orders, is timely as it explores how history is always relevant to our future.

Can you tell me about yourself and how you came to be a writer?

I’ve always been interested in writing. When I was in high school people used to compliment me on my writing, but I ignored it. My writing was always private because I was embarrassed, but later on in college people started taking notice of it. I did go into other fields though. I was in athletics for a long time as a college coach. At the time, writing was always something I did on the side. I wrote for a lot of trade magazines and I wrote a lot of blogs.

After being a college coach for about twenty years at that point, I decided to make a career change. I’ve always had a love for history and at the suggestion of family who thought I should write a book; I took that idea and ran with it. I started jotting down scenes and I did a ton of research and that led to my publishing the book in March of this year.

Let’s dive into that more. The book you published is a historical fiction/ thriller mystery novel called The Arlington Orders. Can you tell me about the book?

The impetus for the book, from a historical context, is from a real-life event called the Dahlgren affair. It was named after a young union colonel, Dahlgren, who gathered troops to attack the Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia, and free prisoners, which took place during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Dahlgren was killed by confederate troops and when they searched his body, they found a set of orders on him. The orders said he was to kill President Jefferson Davis a