Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homer and Linda Hickam Spring 2012 Newsletter


Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers,

A wary reader considers Homer's new novel.
"Well, I loved his other books so OK..."
Linda and I are always happy to see spring come to north Alabama. It is a beautiful time of blooming dogwoods, redbud, daffodils, tulips, and phlox.  We didn't have much of a winter here (which could mean lots of bugs this summer) but still spring was welcome.  Although there is always a great deal of work to be done, we like to take a moment and just savor life and all its beauty.  We hope you will do the same.


We're pleased to announce the publication of Crater, my long-anticipated young adult novel!  Publication day is April 10, when it should be in all of the book stores including Sam's Club, of which we are proud! It is the story of an orphan boy named Crater in a mining town on the moon 120 years in the future.  Although uncertain of himself, and a bit shy, Crater is given the task by the owner of the mine to join a convoy of biofuel cell-powered trucks to cross a thousand miles of the Lunar wayback and then go into space to recover a secret artifact.  Along the way, Crater encounters subhuman warriors sent from Earth who are determined to kill him.  When he isn't dodging knives and darts from electric guns, Crater is also trying to figure out his romantic feelings for Maria, his fellow convoy scout. Helping him in every way is his gillie, a sentient clump of slime mold, and Pegasus, a warhorse imported from Earth.  Can you imagine what a horse could do in the low gravity of the moon. . . or how and why one would be there?  Crater has gotten great reviews and I hope you'll consider getting a copy not only for yourselves but your children and grandchildren.  If they can read Harry Potter, they can read Crater.  There's nothing offensive in it, just a great adventure for all ages.  The publisher is, after all, Thomas Nelson which is known for great books with fine content.

For more on Crater on our website and where it can be purchased online plus ebooks and audiobooks, please go here.

The exciting Book Trailer, like a movie trailer, for Crater is here, please have a look.

Our little Curly Bill is VERY proud of the Helium -3 series and is helping with the second book.
Ok, after seeing THAT, Crater WOULD make a great movie wouldn’t it?  Already, whole classrooms are picking Crater to read together, and the publisher has developed a wonderful fun and educational website to support this book and the other two in the series. Go here to have a look at the website. I recommend you show this site to teachers and home school parents who are interested in teaching about the moon and spaceflight to their students.  It's an excellent resource and very fun with games and videos of the landing on the moon that will bring back great memories for those of us around when the magnificent Apollo program happened. 
Where were YOU when we landed on the moon? :)

Rocket Man Tim Pickens with HIS autographed book.
A surprise T-shirt Linda made for me. What a great wife!
For those folks interested in autographed and personalized  first edition copies of Crater, Linda now has her own little on-line bookstore called KnowInk!  See her section below with details on how to order, and remember, when you're stuck for a gift, there's always a signed Homer Hickam book. Click on the gift box at the top of www.homerhickam.com for the list of all fourteen of my books available to be personalized and autographed for that special gift.

As a reminder, in our special newsletter sent out only a few weeks ago, we told you about my memoir Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space, a brand new Kindle Single ebook.  I'm happy to say you've kept Paco in the top 30 Kindle Singles ever since!  I'm so glad you enjoyed my true story of our special cat whose meow saved a NASA mission!  This mini-memoir also told about my early years at NASA. 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:

By the way, if you don't have a Kindle or another kind of compatible e-reader, you can still read Paco by downloading the free Kindle app on your computer, and can even print it out then.  Go here, then to the Amazon link above to order.

Lots of things to tell you but I'm working on the second Crater/Helium-3 novel with a short deadline.  We'll cover everything in our next newsletter with some exciting news on Rocket Boys The Musica!  One thing is that it will be performed again at Theatre West Virginia, August 1- 16 so start making plans to attend. I don't think they are set up by e-tix yet but by calling you may be able to reserve tickets. Also news to know ahead of time is that Coalwood has decided not to have their festival this year. They love to see everyone, but just don’t have enough people to handle it. But nearby Beckley, WV has stepped up and they have a yearly chili cook off going at the same time and would like to have a Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival with it. October 5, Friday will be the date so plan on further news about that.  We will attend, of course, and so will the other Rocket Boys!   Linda and I are also heading to Italy with the Rocket City Glass Girls in June.  We'll be sure to give you a full report about that!

Your writer and friend,

Homer Hickam


Hi everyone, yes, very, very busy here with mailing out your orders – keep them coming – and helping Homer promote his new books, as well as our usual office mail and TAXES, ouch, hate that. I am the bookkeeper too. Anything that helps Homer write, I am that person. Keeps me sitting a lot more than I want to, but it is always interesting.


If you want autographed, personalized copies of any Hickam books, here I am with my little bookstore KnowInk!  Of course the hot “must have” book is Crater, especially when autographed and personalized by Homer, with the special authenticity embossed seal (we have seen forged signatures). Cost 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 us know if it is an occasion such as a birthday. :) For more than one book, shipping is increased to $11 but I can put up to six books in the box for that price and that could be any book. Just email me if confused. LTerry@Hiwaay(nospam).net - PLEASE remove no spam.
April says, "Buy my daddy's book, or I flat keel you."
 Crater/Rocket Boys April Special:  My April Special!  Crater AND Rocket Boys (trade version), BOTH autographed and personalized for $32, shipping included. Normally $42, so a savings of $10! April only and only this combination of books.

Crater/Paco Special:  OK, this one's complicated, so stick with me as I explain.  To celebrate the first time Homer has two new books out at the same time, I am offering a special discount on autographed copies of Crater for those folks who have also read Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space.  I am going to subtract the full price of Paco from your order of Crater! Just let us know your Order number for Paco and you'll get the price of Paco, $2, off of Crater!  So Paco is free and Crater autographed is only $16 plus mailing.  It's easy to do.  Go to Amazon.com, click on "Your Account," then click on "Your Orders," then "Your Digital Orders." and let me know your order number for Paco.

So how to order?  It's simple.  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!

Knowink's very capable mailing and packing department.
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.  We'll get there, I swan! 


Mango in April
The cats, well that IS a story!  First, prayers for my most special darling orange tabby boy Mango, as he is having bad heart problems again.  We have been stabilizing him with shots of lasix but his problems are very serious.  We just love on him as much as he will tolerate. But he is a strong boy and has a will to live and love, so we keep hope he will stay with us a long time more.

Some of the 40 Limestone abandoned kitties.
On Valentine's Day, Homer and I, working for Forgotten Felines,  went out to an deserted and ramshackle druggie’s house to evaluate a report of abandoned pet cats. We found what eventually turned out to be nearly forty friendly cats living in squalor in a frigid, junk-strewn open house with no food or water. Many were Siamese and Manxes but most were silver tabbies. Since we'd brought food, we were able to feed them all though there was little we could about their awful living conditions.   

Mom Molly and her three kittens.
We also found four tiny kittens on a filthy sheet. Immediately we put them and the mom in a carrier in our warm car.  We also took along a blind male kitty. The momcat, soon to be named Molly, was sweet and so thankful for a warm and safe place for her babies. When we took her and the kittens to the vet that night, she was negative for disease (hooray!) but all needed eye meds and antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. Sadly, the blind cat was very sick and he and the weakest kitten died. 
Faced with a desperate situation, we enlisted our friends at Forgotten Felines and much of the Huntsville/Madison County pet rescue folks.  Soon, we had a ChipIn fund going to donate for the care of all of these cats, all of whom were eventually rounded up and put into foster care for adoption.  Our kittens found good homes (well, two kittens stayed with us!) and the mom cat found a great home too. The full story is here and additional donations are gratefully accepted. Our new kittens were named by Homer for outlaws, which is fitting, as at eleven weeks they are getting pretty rowdy. Formerly nicknamed The Adorables, we are now calling them The Wrecking Crew! The blackish one is Curly Bill and the Siamese is Wyatt. The other cats are starting to tolerate them, at least!
It is hard to get good kitchen help, but we did.
Summer and China enjoy eating the wheat grass Linda grows for them.

Bonefish mobile $38.
Besides all of Homer's stuff, I'm staying really busy with my Rocket City Glass Girls fused glass art, getting ready for our big April art show, where we are proud to be asked to be their Featured Artists. Please ask to join us on Facebook, RocketCityGlassGirls, to see our work, and anything you see there could be yours, as we can ship after our show April 27!  We have plates, wonderful jewelry, mobiles and windchimes and much much more. We are HOT about warm glass!
Some dichroic glass pendants on leather, $36
Shade plants ready for Linda to plant around our little goldfish pond.

Happy spring indeed!



  1. So excited for the release of Crater! And someday, I'll have to break down and buy a Kindle so I can read Paco.

    Love the cat pictures!

  2. Linda, Norm T from NJ I just emailed yu back, thanks for helping me with my trip to Coalwood. Does Homer still scuba dive? I just started and have gone on several island dives already. Would love to go with him in St John.
    I look forward to chatting with you/him in the future.Funny, for my borthday 2 weeks ago, my kids took me to the Intrtepid air & space museum in NYC and we went on the Concorde exhibit. I see you flew home on that from France. Wish I had the opportunity. All the best to you and Homer.