On May 4, at 11 a.m., Skip Tucker will hold a press conference on the site of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s final battle, at Chancellorsville Battlefield in Spotsylvania, Va., to officially announce the paperback release of his novel, Pale Blue Light. His book tour coincides with the 150th anniversary of the battle that claimed Stonewall Jackson's life. The battle, a major plot point in Tucker’s novel, occurred on May 2. NewSouth Books decided to release the paperback edition nationally after strong hardcover sales.
The book sold over 2000 copies in its initial print run, surprising the publisher. “We decided to start small (modest print run and modest push, mainly in the Deep South) and let the book build momentum on its own, if it could. It has,” said publisher Suzanne La Rosa. “Without my fully paying attention, we sold 2,000 copies." Tucker was a driving force behind the sale of his book. La Rosa noted, "The author signed at bookstores and public libraries. A few of his Costco events sold out, which helped; he promoted these events superbly, including on Facebook, etc.” La Rosa was ready to reprint the hardcover of Pale Blue Light when Tucker came up with the idea of his press conference. "One of the reasons for my lengthy mountain trip is to visit the areas in which Stonewall Jackson trod and fought, looking for tidbits," says Tucker, who is penning a follow-up novel to Pale Blue Light. "There will certainly be flashbacks in the sequel."
Chancellorsville holds a three-day reenactment on the anniversary of the battle, and this year 30,000 people are expected to turn out. It is the first stop in Tucker’s national tour. He will hold book signings and make appearances at other historical sites where Stonewall Jackson fought, including Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Luray, Winchester, and Fort Republic, among others. "I intend to rough-camp along the way and follow the trail, sometimes, that Jackson took in his historic campaign through the Shenandoah Valley," Tucker said. On his return trip, Tucker will travel to Atlanta’s Georgia Capitol Museum on May 6th, and New Orleans’ Confederate Memorial Hall on May 9th.