CLICK HERE TO BUY Thunder from a Clear Sky

An iUniverse
Author Spotlight interview with
Star Book author Ray Mulesky

August 2006

"iUniverse has published several thousand books
since its inception in 1990.
Of these, only 97 have been designated as
Star Books-
books of critical acclaim and unusual sales success.
The newest addition to this publisher honor is
Thunder from a Clear Sky:
Stovepipe Johnson's Confederate Raid on Newburgh, Indiana

iUniverse Star author Ray Mulesky's love of history led him to write Thunder from a Clear Sky, the story of a swashbuckling Rebel icon who leads the first Confederate attack across the Mason-Dixon line during the American Civil War. "For a long time I was trying to find a way to get involved with one of my big passions in life—historic preservation," Mulesky said. "I was also very interested in writing and history. When this story fell into my lap, I decided to combine my interests into one grand project."

When he neared completion of his book, Mulesky started to think about how he could get his story into the hands of his readers. "As an unknown, first-time writer, the chances were relatively slim that a large publishing house would take a chance on me regardless of the quality of the work," he said. "Even if a publisher would be interested, it would likely take a long time, maybe even years, for me to shop the book around until I found a good fit."

Mulesky learned of a different publishing option through Mike Whicker, author of the iUniverse book Invitation to Valhalla, because they live in the same town. "[Mike] gave me the confidence to give iUniverse a try," Mulesky said. "I'm glad I did. I was very satisfied with how things were handled and with the quality of the book I could present to the public."

Throughout his publishing experience, Mulesky enjoyed working with iUniverse. "Almost every day I would say 'Wow' after my interaction with the staff. The folks at iUniverse try to treat you as an individual and are very helpful and understanding." Mulesky credits the iUniverse staff with helping him navigate the publishing process. "[They] made it all easy and cheerfully guided you through each step," Mulesky said.

Through his hard work and dedication, Mulesky's book became a success. Thunder from a Clear Sky is now an iUniverse Star title. "There was an incredible outpouring of support for this untold piece of Civil War history," he said. "I sold 98 books in three hours at my launch event and then sold almost as many the next week at a Barnes & Noble event."

Mulesky learned several valuable lessons from his experience with writing and publishing Thunder from a Clear Sky, but the most important lesson focuses on marketing the book. "Start thinking about the marketing and selling of the book as you are writing it," he said. "The earlier you get your marketing program in place the more likely it is that it will be successful. Don't make the mistake of thinking that after a book is on the shelf the rest is up to providence; it is really up to you."

Mulesky urges authors not to wait to share their story. "Life is very, very short," he said. "If you have a story that you think can be of value to others, don't wait another minute to get yourself on the path toward sharing it. None of us are promised tomorrow."