This is the blog of author Homer Hickam. Skyridge North is his home in Huntsville, Alabama. Skyridge South is his home in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Homer Hickam News
The Writer's Life
Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:
Well, here it is
the Holiday Season, a busy time for all of us, but for the Hickams,
something of a relief. The Fall of 2013 was one thing after another,
most of it all good, but requiring our full attention! Before I tell you
all that happened, let me remind one and all that Linda is prepared to
fill all of your Christmas autographed Homer Hickam book orders for that
special person in your life who loves to read. See her section below
and don't wait! Of course, the Coalwood books are available - Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way (aka A Coalwood Christmas), Sky of Stone, and We are Not Afraid.
The acclaimed Josh Thurlow series set during World War II -The Keeper's Son, The Ambassador's Son, andThe Far Reaches
are available as are the stand-alone books, and so is Red Helmet
(a romantic tale of the coalfields),
The Dinosaur Hunter (a grand adventure and mystery story set in today's Montana), My Dream of Stars
(the memoir of the Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari), and the young adult sci-fi Helium-3 series set on the moon- Crater and Crescent.
Linda also has the printed version of the short e-books Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space (the story of my early years with NASA and a very special cat), and From Rocket Boys to October Sky (the story of how the memoir was written and the movie made).
Check in with Linda at LTerry@hiwaay.net and she'll help fill your orders. DON'T WAIT! Book prices can be found in some specials Linda has below and the full list is here on my website. Just click on the white gift with the green ribbon there!
I just turned in my latest novel, the third in the Helium-3 series, titled
Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company.
I've pulled out the stops on this one but it won't be
available until June so please hang on for the latest adventures of
Crater, Crescent, Maria, and all the characters in the first two novels
in the series.
We had the most marvelous time this year at the second Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival
in Beckley, WV. It was great to see the other boys - Roy Lee, Billy,
and O'Dell - plus a special treat in the appearance of Chris Owen, the
great actor who played Quentin in the movie. Next year, the main
Festival day will be Saturday, October 4.
Billy, O'Dell, Chris Owen, Princess, Roy Lee and Homer
From the moment we set foot in Beckley, we were in a whirlwind
of activities. I spoke to visiting students, ran a writer's workshop,
talked to the audiences of the movie October Sky, and, on the prime day
of the celebration, greeted the crowds and signed books all day while
visitors celebrated with music, great food, visiting vendors and other
authors, not to mention launching rockets! Linda had been stung on her
hand by a yellow jacket and had a reaction and an infection from it but
persevered anyway during our busy but wonderful time.
I next headed to the Big Apple, New York City, to talk to my fellow creators of Rocket Boys the Musical after a third popular season at Theatre West Virginia. After the recent
successful presentation at Fairmont State University, we think we're
in great shape to keep going toward that brighter sky!
Linda's 92 year old dad Walt watching football with Albert
In NY, I also took the opportunity to visit Kate Nintzel, my
wonderful new editor at Harper Collins who will guide me along as I
write book eighteen, Carrying Albert Home: A Family Epic
(the working title). Much more on this later!
Our Albert is much loved
wherever he goes!
After that, I headed to Watertown, Connecticut, to help them celebrate both Rocket Boys: A Memoir and Crater
Before I had time to scarcely turn around, I was on my way to Denver, Colorado, where I celebrated the selection of Rocket Boys by the Commerce City School System as a school-wide read.
I was most impressed by the educators and students in this high
percentage Latino district. They understand how to use education to
motivate their students be successful in the USA! I was proud to help
out and so pleased that the story of the Rocket Boys is meaningful to
these wonderful folks.
and I next drove up to Blacksburg, Virginia, to help the Virginia Tech
Corps of Cadets celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Skipper, the
game cannon I helped build in 1963. Joining us was Ben "Butch" Harper
and George Fox, my fellow cadets at that time who joined in to build a
grand brass cannon that for so many years was the pride of the Corps.
Right after this, I was honored by being selected by the governor of
Alabama to serve on the board of the United States Space & Rocket
Center, the home of Space Camp and Space Academy. I look forward to working with Dr. Deborah Barnhart and my fellow board members in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama.
Then, with a great sigh of happiness, Linda and I headed for our prodigious home Skyridge.
There, as always, we had a most marvelous time, snorkeling, scuba
diving, have meals and drinks with friends, gardening and working on the
house, getting it shipshape for the rental season. We will be back
soon, with my brother and his family in January, their first time there.
Dusk view from Skyridge deck
The most beautiful full moon rising over "The Narrows." From our deck this last trip
We wish you joy
these holidays, from our family to yours. May you take time to be with
friends and family and make time for what really matters - memories, and
the gift of your presence, not opulent presents.
Happy 2014 - Make it your best year yet!
Merry Christmas from the KnowInk Shipping Department - Linda, the Fluffies here
- a personalized, autographed book! We will mail for you, no postal line. Gift wrapping even available :)
Rocket Boys hardcover, $30, $41 with shipping.
And of course I have his sixteen other books available too. Please see Homer's website to see the selection and prices or email me. (click on the white gift book with the green ribbon, looks like below) All of his books are described in detail on his BOOKS page there too.
For your young ones, 5th grade on up, Personalized and autographed trade paperbacks of the second Helium-3, Crescent, for $12, $6 priority mail - $18 total. I do have hardcovers of the first book, Craterstill, $22 with mailing. If you want the pair, $30 total with priority mailing.
(hardback, out of print, collectible) $22.00 Shipping, $11.
I have 10 copies of the very rare, out of print hardcover collectible
My Dream of Stars $40, $6 mailing.
For the hard to buy for guys (girls too!)
The Dinosaur Hunter
Hardcover is now available, collectible out of print, a perfect "BOY gift!" $25, $11 shipping. Trade $16.00 Shipping, $6 so only $22.00
I have the Josh Thurlow Trilogy
also, WWII buffs will love it. The trilogy includes Keeper's Son and because that book is rare, the price is $85 for the 3, $11 shipping.
Ambassadors Son and Far Reaches are sold alone also for $25 each but not Keepers, too rare.
Six books will fit in one $11 mailing box. Confused? Write me!
Homer is an often requested and talented speaker. However he cannot
travel and speak and get a book or more written a year without it being
well worth his while. Honorariums go towards maintaining our five
college scholarships. Thank you for your understanding.
Please contact Greater Talent Network
to find out his availability.
Eagle Scout Congratulations
This is a prodigious award and Homer could not be prouder of the young men who achieve this major landmark in their lives, but he has been put on some lists where he is receiving up to 50 requests a week! PLEASE, we require a SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE for return congratulation letters. Send the requests and envelope to:
Click here, the book so many of you have asked for - the true story of the memoir Rocket Boys and the movie October Sky!
Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:
Since the publication of
Rocket Boys: A Memoir
in 1998 and the premiere of the movie October Skyin 1999, many of my readers and fans have wondered (1) how and why I wrote the book, and (2) how the movie was made.
Incidental to that are such questions as "What are Jake Gyllenhaal/Chis Cooper/Laura Dern, etc. really like?" and "What's it like to have a movie made about your life?" and "Why are the book and movie different?" and "Why are they still popular after all these years?"
I've been a little busy since I wrote Rocket Boys with a lot more books but now I've gotten around to writing the answers to those questions and a lot more in my new Kindle Single
(l-r Chad Lindberg (O'Dell), Will Lee Scott (Roy Lee), Jake Gyllenhaal (Homer), Chris Owen (Quentin))
Writing Rocket Boys was not an easy journey. In fact after I wrote it, I said, "I got a million dollars of psychotherapy I didn't even know I needed!"
The making of October Sky wasn't easy, either. From Rocket Boys to October Sky gives lots of behind-the-scenes stories both on-set and off. Before the first frame of film was exposed, I was involved with the writing of the screenplay. My comment when I saw the first draft - "I'm going to have to go up to West Virginia and apologize to everyone in the state!" - perhaps gives you an idea of how that went.
When you read this book, you'll be by my side as I struggle with the complexities of how a major Hollywood motion picture is made, and learn how and why I disagreed with aspects of the film even while I admired the dedication and professionalism of the men and women making it. You'll also be alongside the director and the producers and the actors as they create one of the most beloved movies ever.
The book has lots of candid photos taken by Linda on the various sets, too!
To read From Rocket Boys to October Sky, you'll need either a Kindle reader, an e-reader (iPad, Android, etc.), or a computer with the Kindle Application software. To download that software, go here
Hope you enjoy the read. Please spread the word to friends and family! And forward this email too, at bottom is how.
KnowInk Shipping Department
Many of you have been so kind to say you enjoy my reports and photos of our cats, the furchildren, so here is part of the shipping department of KnowInk, my little virtual bookstore for Homer's autographed books. Our rescues, Wyatt on the left and his mom Molly on the right, help in every aspect of getting your books to you in a timely manner, but they are especially good at packing, as you see. Brother Curly Bill, and China, Summer, and April are all spoiled and well, thank you!
Please start thinking about Christmas, and order your Autographed Books for that hard-to-find-a gift-for person NOW!
We have worked hard this summer but also enjoyed our trips to our home in St John, USVI (NO hurricanes, NO hurricanes!) See it here:
A webcam link at the top there shows some of the beautiful ocean view off the deck. You can even rent it, we feel sorry for it to sit there with no one enjoying it. We will have it open again about Thanksgiving, after hurricane season, which is NOT rented yet and is still low season prices - wouldn't THAT be wonderful? Contact mefor more information and special deals!
Also our dinosaur hunting trip to Montana was fun. This time we went to a new area that wasn't as kind to us as usual for significant finds, although that may not be true, as the paleontologists are still digging out "Homer's Slide," a big bone jutting out of a cliff. I only nearly died once, sliding down one of those cliffs and had to use the H word. . . HELP! Homer was out of range, but handsome Paleontologist Mark Goodman came up to rescue me, as I was hanging just by my hiking pole from sliding the rest of the way down, and I must admit I had just a "little" bit of a crush on him the rest of the trip, sorry my darling Homer.
Always keep an adventure in your life! Linda
Autographed Books - Sale
In celebration of completion of turn-in of Homer's third Helium-3 novel, I am selling personalized and autographed trade paperbacks of the second,Crescent, for $12, $6 priority mail - $18 total. I do have hardcovers of Crater still, $22 with mailing. If you want the pair, $30 total with priority mailing.
And of course I have his fifteen other books available too. Please see Homer's website (click on the white gift book with the green ribbon) to see the selection and prices or email me. Rocket Boyshardcover is $30, $11 mailing. All of his books are described in detail on his BOOKS page there too.
Other FALL specials! Think Christmas NOW!
The Dinosaur Hunter
Trade $16.00 Shipping, $6 so only $22.00
Red Helmet (hardback, out of print), collectible $20.00 Shipping, $6 so only $26.00
Homer is an often requested and talented speaker. However he cannot travel and speak and get a book or more written a year without it being well worth his while. Honorariums go towards maintaining our five college scholarships. Thank you for your understanding. Please contact Greater Talent Network
to find out his availability.
Eagle Scout Congratulations
This is a prodigious award and Homer could not be prouder of the young men who achieve this major landmark in their lives, buthe has been put on some lists where he is receiving up to 50 requests a week! PLEASE, we require aSELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE for return congratulation letters. Send the requests and envelope to: