Thursday, November 15, 2012



Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:

We can feel the quickening pace that the crisp air of Autumn brings us here on our Alabama mountain.  It is a sure sign the Holiday Season is approaching.  This will be the first Christmas for Wyatt and Curly Bill, our two kittens, now ten months old.  They will love the boxes and wrapping paper, but now we are not sure we will put up a tree this year - they are trouble!  Linda and I love this time of year and hope you do, too.  Let us join together and recall our past Christmas (and Hanukah) Holiday seasons, enjoy the present one, and anticipate all in the future!


I recently completed my next book titled Crescent, the second in the Helium-3 series that began with Crater.  The action really gets ramped up in Crescent and it isn't necessary to read the first one to enjoy the second.  Here is the book cover, presented for the first time! It will not be out until early June, though. Still, if you haven't read Crater, now's the time to do it!  Here's the exciting Book Trailer for Crater

China holds down our table and a corner of Crater!

Our dear Paco
Wyatt peruses the new book about his famous predecessor

After so many asked for it, I have also published in paperback the very popular Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space!  Just 70 pages, Paco is a short but fun read, a memoir of my early years at NASA and our special cat who saved a shuttle mission. It is available, autographed and personalized, from Linda’s bookstore for just $7, $2 shipping.  It is also available in its original best-selling Kindle Single version for just $1.99 on Amazon.  

While we're on the subject, Linda's bookstore is running a great sale of personalized, autographed Hickam books to take care of all those difficult-to-buy for people on your holiday gift list!  She has a Holiday Special with a FREE Paco with any order of Rocket Boys and other great prices on my books, Rocket Boy caps, autographed October Sky DVDs, and more.  Warning:  Rocket Boys is so popular, sometimes she runs out of books and as you know, the mail is a mess this time of year.  Get your order in soon!  More information can be found in Linda's section below. 

Homer talks to the Rocket Boys
 audience before the musical

Whoa!  Did we have a busy late summer and fall!  In early August, Linda and I had so much fun going to West Virginia to attend Theatre West Virginia's second presentation of Rocket Boys the Musical!  We're pleased to announce that Rocket Boys will be returning to Theatre West Virginia next summer, too!
Valentine, Sonny, Roy Lee, Quentin and O'Dell sing a number
Mine accident scene in the musical

While we were there, we were also privileged to speak at the Lewisburg Literary Festival along with West Virginia University and Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend Jerry West and Crum author Lee Maynard.  We had a marvelous time with the wonderful people of Lewisburg and we thank them for hosting us.

Homer holds up a T.rex

 After that, I came home and had a little hernia surgery.  Ouch.  While out dinosaur hunting in July, I noticed the problem while humping up and down mountains carrying a heavy pack.  A sock and an ace bandage solved the problem while I was there (hey, I'm serious about dino-hunting!) but then knew I had to get it solved, which I did.  The surgery was a complete success, I'm happy to say.
Searching the glorious badlands

Frog that lives behind this decoration

In September, Linda and I headed down to our home in St. John, USVI, Skyridge, to finish preparing the house for hurricane season.  NASA Al English went with us and we had a great time.  Al's a handy guy and did lots of work around the house.  We left with our storm shutters up but, happily, no hurricane came after us this year.

Beautifully patterned green turtle
On September 15, I was pleased to go to a local grass-strip airport named Moontown to speak to an assembly gathered for a fly-in.  I had a great time and enjoyed meeting George "Bud" Myers, the owner of Moontown and a fellow West Virginian.  Tragically, Bud was killed in a crash of his experimental aircraft the very next day along with Christian Schmitt, a remarkable young man by all accounts.  Linda and I attended the memorial service the next week.  Bud was saluted by everyone who was lucky to know him.  Christian received a memorial service at his school, too.  Our hearts go out to both families.

October is always a busy time for us, but this year, it was absolutely crazy.  First up was a return to West Virginia for the 14th Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival at, this year in Beckley, October 5-7.  What fun it all was!  The people in Beckley went all out with the celebration.  I visited several schools to talk about the story of the Rocket Boys and to encourage the students to study hard and aim high in life.  The film October Sky was also shown a number of times at the Tamarack which is West Virginia's showcase of handcrafts, fine art and regional cuisine.  Three other Rocket Boys (Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy O'Dell Carroll, and Billy Rose) were also there to help me and Beckley celebrate.  The location of the actual celebration - the Beckley Exhibition Coal mine - was perfect.  Not only is there a coal mine to visit but there's also a new planetarium.  Linda sold books and I signed them all day long.  As usual, the folks who came up to me were gracious and beautiful.  Thanks to them for making our day wonderful. One of the exceptional things they did was to hold a contest to paint their fire hydrants in coal mining or rocket themes, all to raise funds for charity, have a look. A huge "Thank you!" to Scott Hill and all the volunteers in Beckley who worked so hard to make the festival a success.

Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Goff

We were off to Atlanta the following weekend for the grand wedding of our niece Kristin (daughter of Linda's sister Elaine and Randy Hewatt) and her husband Mitchell.  Nearly the entire Terry clan, about 20 of us, turned out to show our love of Kristin and support of "her day."  She was the most beautiful bride ever. Linda and I enjoyed the wedding and the reception.  They did it up right!
Linda's parents "table dancing" at the wedding reception
Our next journey was to New York City.  We went there to talk to our agent about Rocket Boys The Musical and also visit with the creators of the show, writer and actor Carl Tramon, and lyricists/composers Diana Belkowski and Dan Tramon.

The Rocket Boys Musical creative team
Producer Ann Tramon and Linda

Homer on Times Square

Linda and I stayed at the Staybridge Hotel near Times Square and enjoyed walking around the city.  Carl gave us one of his special tours, including a visit to the Actor's Equity headquarters.  We enjoyed peeking into the audition rooms where so many of Broadway's chorus line have nervously auditioned.  It was seeing and smelling real drama history!  Our visit with agent Ron Gwiazda at Abrams went very well.  We were impressed with his enthusiasm and plans for our show.  We anticipate that the musical will be performed at Theatre West Virginia for the third year.  We also hope that other performing groups will be interested.  We are especially interested in developmental theaters.  Please contact Ron (ron.gwiazda@abramsartny.com) if you are interested!  Sadly, a week later, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and the surrounding area.  Our hearts go out to all the people who remain devastated by this horrendous storm.

Homer at Ripley High School in
Jackson County, WV
I had been looking forward to a speech for the Jackson County, West Virginia, Community Foundation's Annual Community Celebration Benefit and community read of Rocket Boys and I was right to do so!  On October 26, I was feted all over this beautiful county alongside the Ohio River, met some wonderful new friends, and can't wait to go back!

The following Saturday, I headed over to the Space and Rocket Center here in Huntsville to help celebrate the winners of the "Reach for the Stars" National Rocket Contest sponsored by our friends Jack and Kathy Colpas.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the young folks who won the contest, their parents, and sponsors.

At the end of the month of October, Linda and I headed back to St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands, to settle in for a couple of wonderful weeks at our Skyridge home.  We have such lovely friends in St. John.  We always enjoy our time there, even though we work very hard on upkeep of our house.  This time, we got to attend the Halloween party at Skinny Legs, a local beach bar in Coral Bay.  Here's Linda and me at the party - I'm a Roman citizen, she's a green fairy!  Here are also some other photos of the wild and crazy citizens of our little island. 
Homer and the Joker? A Zombie??
A Roman and his fairy princess
A clever cowboy
A jellyfish costume

Homer talks to the vets about the movie October Sky
and answers questions
The St. John group of courageous vets and volunteers
We were also  honored to have October Sky shown and be asked to speak to the wounded warriors, veterans participating in a Team River Runner program in St. John that includes kayaking, snorkeling and diving. What a fine group of men, women and volunteers.
And what a wonderful organization Team River Runner is.

If you'd like to rent Skyridge for yourself and your family, get in touch with Windspree, our property manager and have an amazing vacation! 25% off if you go NOW until December 21 and it is still low season rates! Mention you heard it from us!

Now, we're home with our Huntsville friends and our cats.  We're looking forward to the Holidays and hope you are, too!!!

Your writer and friend,

Homer Hickam


It's THAT time of year, gift giving – so make it easy on yourself, give Homer’s personalized, autographed books to those hard-to-think-of-a gift-for people on your list!  GET WITH IT NOW, limited supplies!
Rocket Boys is still the favorite, autographed and personalized by Homer, with special authenticity embossed seal (we have seen forged signatures) is $30, with $11 priority shipping, so a total of $41. Be sure to add the information about who the inscription is for.  

 Rocket Boy caps  $14 alone, $5 priority shipping box, or can fit in any book box if you are ordering books.  

October Sky DVD, autographed, $16, $2 shipping if alone, or free shipping if ordering books, same box.

As Homer pointed out, his short memoir Paco is now in paperback, just $7 plus $2 shipping, or free shipping if any other book is ordered.  It is not a children’s book, but I would say it is appropriate for as young as 7th grade.   


Crater, a young adult (rated 5th grade to infinity) is $18 plus $6 shipping and perfect for youngsters and Science Fiction lovers of all ages on your list.

Paco/Rocket Boys Holiday Special:   Rocket Boys, hardcover version, with a FREE copy of Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space, BOTH autographed and personalized, is available for $40 with priority shipping included. Normally these books together would be $50, so a savings of $10!  This is a special for November/December only and only this combination of books.  But wait, there's more!  If you order now, other Homer Hickam books can be included in the same mailing box with no extra cost, up to six book. Full list of Homer's books is below.


Suggested for the men on your list, I have The Ambassadors SonThe Far Reaches, and The Dinosaur Hunter.  They are on special for $20 each and 1st editions! $11 shipping for one or all three and are autographed and can be inscribed to anyone you name.

Other Homer Hickam Books I have available other than the above mentioned: 
The Coalwood Trilogy Set (Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone)  SPECIAL, $65 (all but Rocket Boys are first editions.  The hardcovers of The Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone are no longer in print, so very rare and collectible)!

SPECIAL The Coalwood Way, first edition hardcover (only the paperback is still in print so this is very rare) $20

Sky of Stone first edition hardcover (only the paperback is still in print so this is very rare) $20
My Dream of Stars (co-written with Anousheh Ansari, hardback, rare) $30
Red Helmet (hardback 1st, rare only a few, ask) $30
Torpedo Junction (oversize paperback WWII non-fiction) $25 Hardcover is collectible, not available
We Are Not Afraid (paperback, inspirational) $15
Back To The Moon (hardcover collectible, extremely rare, may be available, ask)

Shipping and Handling, $11 for one or up to 6. All shipments are USPS Priority.

So how to order?  It's simple, but don't wait!  Just write your check or money order to Linda Hickam and mail it here (sorry no credit cards on specials)
Linda Hickam
2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr
Suite #100  #210
Huntsville, AL 35802
(I am sorry, I will not be able to do out of USA orders from now until after Christmas)
Confused? Please Email Lterry@hiwaay.net


Curly Bill is fluffy trouble, but a love

Wyatt is always helpful

Love our kitties, they are great company and all are doing fine, you saw some of them helping me already and here are some more photos.
China camps out on one of our suitcases

Summer is never any trouble
April is happier, getting to go outside

I'm staying busy with the Rocket City Glass Girls fused glass art with Christmas sales and shows.  We ship! Ask to join us on Facebook, RocketCityGlassGirls, to see our work, or get a piece of your own.  

My home glass studio, main is elsewhere.

Angelina glass sculpture and one of our booth setups

Some new pendants, they are $20

Happy Holidays, indeed!   Linda

Saturday, July 28, 2012



Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers,
A bit of our gardens

It's hot, humid, and a little buggy in northern Alabama but the leaves are green, our flower gardens are pretty, the pond is happily gurgling, and Linda and I are well.  Sadly, we lost our beloved Mango furchild kitty in July and are still working through that grief but our other cats are healthy and fine.  We remain hopeful for good times ahead.  Certainly, there are busy times before us.  Some of it is for fun, some of it is for business, but each is a part of the whole that makes us who we are.  Thank you so much for wanting to know what we're up to and for supporting my books and various projects.


Most readers will know that Crater, my first young adult novel, was published in April.  It was received quite well, enough that I immediately got to work on the second in what will be a trilogy.  I just turned in that manuscript and I think you're going to like it.  Untitled as of now, the second in the series may be considered a more powerful work than Crater and explores such themes as fighting for human independence, protecting the weak or those who are different, taking responsibility for one's actions, fighting for love, and survival in extreme situations. It will be published in spring 2013.

 If you haven’t seen it, the exciting Book Trailer for the first book,  Crater  CLICK HERE

Thomas Nelson, the most excellent publisher of Crater, has also created a great resource for teachers who are teaching about the moon and spaceflight:  http://www.helium3novels.com  It's an excellent site for anyone and actually a lot of fun!  Click and explore the moon!
A reminder for those interested in autographed and personalized first edition copies of Crater or any of my books, Linda has an on-line bookstore called Knowink.  She has a discount coupon code for our readers too! See her section below with details on specials and coupons.  Please keep us in mind when you're stuck for a gift, there's always available a very special personalized and signed Homer Hickam book!  Click on the gift box on www.homerhickam.com for the list of all fifteen of my books available and how to make that happen.  But remember to use the coupon code from below on those prices through September when you email Linda or send your check! Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist  . . .

We also had a lot of fun with our "Moon Dust Girl" contest based on a song in Crater.  The contest required entrants to take the lyrics of the song that Crater, the main character in the novel, sings at the Earthrise Bar & Grill in Moontown and make it into a real song and record it.  The winner of the contest is Ancient of Dayz. Ancient of Dayz can be found online at www.ancientofdayz.net.   Listen to their most excellent tune with graphics here:

More on the song is in this press release:

The choice was a difficult one.  Some of the other really great entries can be listened to here:

Also, don't forget my first Kindle Single titled Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space. This short memoir told about my early years at NASA and has gotten rave reviews from those folks curious as to what really happened to the Rocket Boy of October Sky. For those who haven’t read it yet, it's only $1.99 and you can get it instantly on your e-reader from Amazon here

NASA Al, Homer, NASA Tony and NASA Jeff

Pretty hawksbill
Linda was too busy with the RocketCityGlassGirls (more on that below) to travel, so NASA Al, NASA Jeff, NASA Tony, and I, four present and retired NASA engineers, went to St. John/Skyridge to work on the house a little and get some snorkeling in.  Talk about a nerdfest!  Actually, all three are interesting fellows with lots of interests and we had a great time.  It was the first time there for Jeff and Tony but they quickly got into the island way of life and had some great experiences in the water and on the land. Turtles were saved, rum was consumed, tales were expanded upon. . . and most wonderfully, we fixed the famous infamous electronic gate (for now - I'm sure it's plotting some nefarious scheme to unleash on us when we least expect it).
Homer points to the new electronic arm

We got to stay at home for the remainder of May which was pretty wonderful.  The weather was nice and Linda and I enjoyed our daily jogs while I worked on Crater2.  During that time, we were very watchful of our marvelous Mango whose damaged heart was failing.  We had him on some new meds that were controlling the situation but every day we had him was a blessing.
Sweet Mango not feeling so good

A long-planned trip to Italy happened in early June.  We went with our dear friends, the Rocket City Glass Girls and hubbies (Carol and Al plus Pat and David).  The other two couples went first to Venice, then Linda and I flew into Rome, rented a car, and drove up the coast to our villa in Tuscany to meet the others.  We had a great time.  Every day, we either caught the train to places such as Florence and Pisa, or drove to other small towns in Tuscany.  We toured, shopped, laughed, ate, and drank, then toured, shopped, laughed, ate, and drank some more.  The villa where we stayed was a delight as well and we enjoyed our mornings and evenings there. Carol, Pat and Linda found Casa Bini on TripAdviser here and we recommend it highly! Go, click here for the reviews! 
Our gang is all here
Dinner in our Tuscan Villa!
Homer at an Italian bookshop!

When we returned, Mango was about the same and we had hope the new meds were going to keep him going for a considerable time.  But then, he went into extreme congestive heart failure and we knew we were losing him.  Every night, I carried him to the bed so that he could sleep on or beside Linda, as he always loved to do.  Finally, he just couldn't go on anymore.  His breathing was labored, he stopped eating, and he gave us signs that he was preparing to go.  Our dear friends, Dr. Michelle and Roberta of Doorstep Veterinary Clinic, came and helped Mango cross that rainbow bridge.  Our hearts are broken but we are glad he isn’t in pain anymore.  Now, there is a silence in the house that not even our now seven month old kittens, who are into everything, can fill.  We know that gradually we will accept Mango being gone but right now, it's hard to look at the places where he once liked to sit, and not feel a lump in our throats.  He loved everyone and took such joy in that.  He will be forever missed.

Mango hits the mouse and paints on a program called Paint for Cats.

Homer with our Trex metatarsal.
 Another long-planned trip was our annual journey to Montana to look for the wily dinosaurs of the Cretaceous.  We enjoyed the hospitality of our great friends Frank and Naomi in Bozeman.  Since I'm on the National Advisory Board of the Museum of the Rockies, I first attended a board meeting.  After that, we drove to Jordan, county seat of Garfield County, to prepare to go out into the field.  Every day for the next five days, Frank, Linda, and I went into the badlands to prospect for dinosaur bones and we were pretty successful, finding Tyrannosaur, Hadrosaur, and Triceratops bones.  We hiked many miles and up and down each day in 100 – 104 degrees, but it was a dry heat (uh huh, right).  Only two rattlesnakes in the grass made us do the jump-up-high-and-sideways snake dance, and we smartly had our snake gaiters on.  Linda found a beautiful T.rex metatarsal and Frank and I found some very nice specimens.  Of course, all this reminds me to remind you that if you haven't read it yet, I think you'll find my novel The Dinosaur Hunter to be a very good, exciting read.  In honor of our hunt, Linda has a special on it, a hardcover first edition, only $30, autographed, personalized and priority mailed to you for that price.  Please see her section below.  It will not only inform you as to how dinosaurs are found and dug up, but it is also a fast-paced mystery/adventure tale of contemporary Montana. I think you will enjoy it.
Beautiful, but desolate country.

Capping off our Montana adventure, we attended a book club meeting at the ranch of our dear friends Mary and Wayland plus their wonderful kids, Maggie and Angus.  The book chosen was my Sky of Stone and I had a great time discussing it with the super nice women in Mary's club.  It's always fun to discuss anything with smart people! We celebrated National Daiquiri Day too.
Maggie, age 8, of Montana drew this great combo drawing of Homer's books Crater and The Dinosaur Hunter!
As I write this, my next journey will be to West Virginia to make two speeches, one for the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments on July 30, the other for the Lewisburg Literary Festival on August 3.  Between those, Linda and I will get to attend the first few shows of Rocket Boys The Musical, performed by Theatre West Virginia.  If you haven't seen the show, trust me, it's great.  If you have seen the show, come and see it again as it will be a little different and even better.  We have changed some things in it and I think you'll find it even more fast-paced and fun! It runs August 1 – 16 and tickets can be gotten  at http://www.theatrewestvirginia.com/ For more information about the musical, see http://www.rocketboysthemusical.com/

Your writer and friend,

Homer Hickam


Mango was more my sweet boy and I am heartbroken, not a day yet without tears.  We so wish we could have kept him with us longer, and he fought so hard to stay with us, but his big ole heart just couldn’t pump anymore. We now work ever harder to save the abandoned kitties, as he was, (nine years a feral!) through our volunteer work with tiny hardworking Forgotten Felines. We so appreciate those of you who have so kindly sent sweet condolences, cards and made donations in Mango's name at Forgotten Felines.  We are also still extremely grateful to those who helped with the awful situation in adjoining Limestone County where forty friendly cats were rescued from a drug house.  Our two kittens came from there.  To continue to help our efforts, or to adopt a sweetie if local to Huntsville, Alabama area, please go to http://forgottenfelinesff.petfinder.com

The aforementioned kittens, Wyatt and Curly Bill (aka The Adorables), are into everything and at seven months pretty big boys!  Quite cute and cuddly, they truly are fun and you never know what they will do next, like get in the shower with you! The old girls, China and Summer (aka the Fluffies), are not so fond of being chased by them but a little more tolerant.  April is enjoying being a garage and outdoor cat - sigh. She is so different when no other cat is around, actually sweet to us, asking to be petted and quite cheerful!  As it turns cold we will build her a warm place there and a cat door, and see if she will learn to use it. It is her choice and we will do our best to see that she is safe. All of us are so much happier when she's happy.
Curly Bill



As Homer said, we had an amazing time in Italy with my Glass Girls. Now we are getting ready for a couple more  art shows. If you want to order some of our glass by mail, the best place to see it is on our Facebook site, just ask to join my Group RocketCityGlassGirls.  Then you can message me about anything you see there and I will tell you availability and price. If local, we love doing “home shows” and there are great hostess gifts!
Roman Legionnaire confronts the Glass Girls!

and sales

I love them, don’t you?! Email or write me using coupon code DINOBONE and receive $2 off each book through September!

If you want autographed, personalized copies of any Hickam books, here I am. Normal prices are below. . .you have to remember to use the coupon code to get the $2 off.  Of course the hot “must have” book is CraterCrater, autographed and personalized by Homer, with special authenticity embossed seal (because we have seen forged signatures) is $18, with $6 priority shipping, so a total of $24. Be sure to add the information about who it is to be inscribed to and let know if it is an occasion such as a birthday. For more than one book, shipping is increased to $11, but up to six books can fit in that box.

In honor of our successful Dino bone hunt, as Homer said, I am offering a special on The Dinosaur Hunter, a hardcover first edition, only $30 with shipping, autographed, personalized and priority mailed to you. If you order another book, you may deduct $5 shipping, so this book is $25, and use the coupon code for each other book, as I can put it in the $11 box priority box with the others – up to six books will fit for that price. Confused? Email me.

So how to order?  It's simple. Email me if you are confused about price and I’ll help with that. LTerry@Hiwaay(nospam).net - PLEASE remove no spam.  Then just write your check or money order to Linda Hickam and mail it here:

Linda Hickam
2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr
Suite #100
Huntsville, AL 35802

Yes, those numbers are correct in the address.  Confusing, sorry, but that's the way it has to be. Again, be sure to add the information about who it is to be inscribed to and let know if it is an occasion such as a birthday, needed by a special date, etc.

For those who want to use credit cards, email me at LTerry@Hiwaay(nospam).net - PLEASE remove no spam - and I'll tell you how to pay with your credit card.  Forgive me for this added step but I'm not quite set up yet for you to enter your credit card number on-line without using my square. We'll get there, I swan! 

Stay cool!