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Sunday, May 26, 2013

SPRING 2013 NEWSLETTER FROM HOMER AND LINDA HICKAM


Note: When you see a word or words highlighted in blue like this, if you click on it, you'll be taken to another site for more information.

Spring 2013


The only person who can tell you that you can't reach your goals is yourself. And you'll be wrong. - Homer Hickam


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Dear Prodigious Readers,

We're hurtling toward summer and I've got a novel that would be perfect for summer-time or anytime reading - Crescent, the next in my Helium-3 series of novels set on the moon! Hope you enjoy news about Crescent and all our other adventures and happenings.  Be sure to write us to let us know your opinion of the newsletter or anything else you'd like to share with Linda and me. We love to hear from friends and fans. Just go here and click on CONTACT US or please put a comment at the bottom of this newsletter.


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•  THE WRITING LIFE:



Well, why not snack a little while reading Crescent?

The riveting new Helium-3 novel! Already getting lots of positive buzz from reviewers, Crescent  is Book 2 in the Helium-3 series that began with Crater. Crescent, however, is more than a sequel. It definitely stands on its own merits and you don't need to read Crater first to pick it up and get into it.  There is also a great audio book available for those of you who like to listen to good books! 

Quote from Homer on Crescent: "Crescent" is one of the most interesting characters I've ever written about. A warrior trained to kill, she's thrust into a society of "normal" humans. The action in Crescent never slows. Hang on for a great ride across and above the dusty moon! For book clubs and teachers, there's also a Reading Group Guide included in the novel.


Crescent Trailer: The book trailer for Crescent is not quite ready.  In the meantime, here's a couple of outtakes. First, a jumpcar piloted by Maria Medaris blasts off after an enemy warpod flies by.  And then the warpod chases Maria!  

Outtake showing Crater and Crescent inside a Lunar lava tube.


Check back at this newsletter address or homerhickam.com or my Homer Hickam Official Facebook page for the final version of our prodigious and exciting Crescent trailer!


A jumpcar as described in Crescent.
Maria and Crater are both jumpcar pilots!


To learn more about Crescent,
please go to http://www.homerhickam.com/books/crescent.shtml 


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Interviews with characters in Crescent: So you'll know a little more about her, here is an interview that Crescent recently gave. However, if you've ordered the book or plan on ordering it, be aware there's some small spoilers here.

Photo of the crowhopper who calls herself Crescent

An interview with Crescent [CRESCENT by Homer Hickam] by Missy "Scoop" Wilkerson, junior reporter for the Moontown Scrapes, the daily paper for the productive people of Moontown, please go here.

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And here is another interview, this one with Maria who some of you may recall from Crater. Again, be aware there are some slight spoilers.

Photo of businesswoman Maria Medaris
by Stoptha Prezzez, reporter for the Armstrong City Bootprints
Interview with Maria Medaris [CRESCENT by Homer Hickam] by Stoptha Prezzes, reporter for the Armstrong City Bootprints, the Moon's #1 Newspaper, please go here.

•  And for our newsletter readers, here I am revealing how and why I came to write the Helium-3 series
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A lad at Space Camp enjoys Crater!
• If you missed it, click here to watch the thrilling book trailer for Crater

TEACHERS! Don't forget. Thomas Nelson, the most excellent publisher of Crater, has also created a great resource for teachers who are teaching about the moon and spaceflight. Click here to go to the site. You and your students will have fun traversing the moon together! 

Bargain hunters! For a VERY short time, Amazon is practically giving the ebook of Crater away at just $3.49. Jump in quick or you'll miss this special!  Go here.

• My next Helium-3 book will be taking off in 2014!


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• A reminder for those interested in autographed and personalized first edition copies of Crescent or any of my books, Linda has an on-line bookstore called KnowInk.  See her section below with details on how to order. When you're stuck for a gift, there's always a signed Homer Hickam book! Click on the gift box on www.homerhickam.com for the list of all of my books available.

Homer and Linda holding (L to R) Maxx, Paco, & Flopsy. Paco was first cat to meow in space. Maxx meowed to an astronaut on the International Space Station. Flopsy was no trouble. We miss our angel kitties but glad we can share their stories.

• Don't forget my first Kindle Single titled Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space.



This short memoir tells about my early years at NASA and my magical cat of that era. 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 by clicking here.  Or Linda has copies I can autograph for only $7.00 plus shipping.

More books to come!
We're excited about all the writing projects coming our way





















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This is different.  Here's an informal tour of my office I made recently. Enjoy the mess! The word I forget is 'collage.' 
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JOURNEYS:

•  Significant Birthday: This will probably astonish you but I turned the big seven zero on February 19, 2013. For that somewhat dubious milestone, I decided I wanted to be at our Skyridge home in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.



Party here for Homer!
Our infamous Skyridge gate watching.

Our lovely Skyridge view in Paradise
• We had a wonderful time and I even let Linda and our friends Al plus Dave (Wives Carol (Al) and Pat (Dave) unfortunately were not able to come) throw me a birthday party. We had island friends come to it and a great time was had by all.  My favorite gift was a ukulele!  No, I don't know how to play a ukulele but how hard could it be? ;-)  Anyway, I'm working to learn it and am up to three chords so far.  Look out, Tiny Tim, wherever you are!

Homer with his new ukulele!


















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Clarence Cason Award: In March, Linda and I drove down to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa so that I could gratefully accept the Clarence Cason Award for nonfiction.  I was put in for this award by the marvelous writer and UA professor Rick Bragg  and public television personality (and recently retired UA professor) Don Noble.  I was touched and honored to receive this award which is sort of like Alabama's Pulitzer Prize.  I gave two talks while there, one for the students which was standing room only!  Not only did I get the journalism and English majors but the engineers!  My remarks were well received and the Q&A was great.  The next day, I received the Cason Award (Go here to read about it) and talked to professors and local business people and then signed lots of books.  Although I am a born and bred forever West Virginian, Alabama has been my home since 1969 and I consider myself very much part of the state.  Receiving the Cason Award was a special honor. 



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Writer's Conference!  In April, Linda and I plus some experienced writers who volunteered their time pulled off the first Monte Sano Writer's Conference in Huntsville, Alabama. 

Wyatt helped Linda put together the packages, too! Go here to see Wyatt being helpful!  It went really well with over one hundred attendees!  Ami McConnell, my Thomas Nelson editor, was so gracious to come to the conference to give us the benefit of her wisdom and insider knowledge of the publishing industry.  She was a big hit!  After a panel on writing and publishing, our authors and I went into various workshops to help new and experienced writers understand the publishing world, writing in a particular genre, and getting published!  The reports back from all our attendees was so positive, I'm pretty certain we'll do this again!


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Visit to a castle in Alabama! In May, we were invited to DeKalb County, Alabama, to celebrate with them the many tourism possibilities in this beautiful place. 


I spoke at Fort Payne High School, signed books at the Book Shelf bookstore, and then spoke to a gathering at Cook Castle, the home of Jeff Cook, singer in the famous country group Alabama! Here's a story about it.  We were treated royally all day and Linda and I had a delightful time. 


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Challenger Middle School "Rocket Boys" Visit:  In May, we were once more privileged to journey over to Challenger Middle School in our hometown of Huntsville, Alabama to visit the 8th grade class that annually reads Rocket Boys!  Here are a few photos we took. We love you, Challenger!
A mural showing Mom painting her famous Myrtle Beach picture

One of many excellent exhibits made to celebrate the book and the 1950's!

A student mural of coal miners going to work!

I was met at the door to the school by two Dorothy Plunks and a Valentine!

Quote from Rocket Boys!

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Rare home movie of the Hickam family and others: Speaking of Rocket Boys, which means also thinking of my family and Coalwood, West Virginia, I recently found a long-lost 8 mm. movie of my parents, Uncle Clarence and Aunt Francis, Uncle Lorand and Aunt Bennie, Captain Laird, Mrs. Laird, and me (Sonny) and brother Jim taken probably around 1949.  If you'd like to see it, go here.

Rare footage of a Big Creek Missile Agency (Rocket Boys) launch
In the same trove we found the family footage, we also found a very rare film of one of the Big Creek Missile Agency's zincoshine rockets launched from Cape Coalwood.  Go here to see this prodigious footage!


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Another language for Rocket Boys! The Rocket Boys have arrived in France!
Photo taken in Paris

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Kiera Wilmot is going to the Space Academy!  Recently, you may have heard about the high school student in Florida who was arrested by the police, expelled from her school, and charged with a felonies for a science experiment gone awry. Kiera Wilmot is her name and, within seconds, this young woman found her life turned upside down. I was immediately struck with the similarity with her predicament and that of the Rocket Boys (http://www.homerhickam.com/books/rb.shtml) when the police showed up at Big Creek High School determined to prove us guilty of starting a forest fire with one of our rockets. After looking into the matter, I concluded that Kiera had been the victim of a "zero-tolerance" rule that had punished her far more severely than she deserved. She had never been in any trouble before the incident, was an honor student, and seemed to have a bright future which was now in doubt. For that reason, and to balance things a little, I decided to give her a scholarship to the Advanced Space Academy at the famous Space Camp located in Huntsville, Alabama. Happily Kiera accepted my offer. When I found out that Kiera had a twin, Kayla, I decided to raise funds for her to also attend and pay for their transportation from Florida.
Kiera and Kayla, true Rocket Girls!
•  Here's the link for that successful crowd sourcing campaign. As it turned out, her mother, a hard-working single mom, wanted to accompany her daughters so she was included. A lot of people immediately stepped up and I'm happy to report that Kiera, Kayla, and their mom will be coming to Huntsville the first week in July and the twins are fully enrolled in the Space Academy! Thank you all for your support of this prodigious family, especially including CrowdTilt which waived its usual fee. We expect great things from Kiera and Kayla in the future!


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Rocket Boys Festival 2013: You might want to be making plans now for the
Rocket Boys Festival in Beckley WV, October 4, 5 and 6, 2013. Saturday the 5th is the biggest day with Homer and the other Rocket Boys attending and signing at their Exhibition Mine. Go here to see all the wonderful things to do that weekend including trips to Coalwood and a Chili Festival!


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Rocket Boys the Musical NewsRocket Boys the Musical will be again playing at Theatre West Virginia http://www.theatrewestvirginia.com/ August 15 – 25, 2013, so make plans for that also!


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That's it for now.  Have a great summer!

Your writer and friend,

Homer Hickam


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FROM LINDA:

Hi everyone, Busy Busy! Homer has some writing surprises he can’t tell you about quite yet, but YOU, his readers will be happy about them, I promise! I too just celebrated a birthday and headed to Red Mountain Hiking Resort, Utah with girlfriends, a very special place. Missed our kitties though.


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Our cats: They are all fine, the “kittens” all grown up now and still playful and getting into things.  Here's some photos of our "fur" family.

April does everything HER way!

Curly Bill likes to hide in the closet when things get too noisy!

Wyatt gets a sun halo. A Siamese, we call him our "Mizer!"

Lovely, sweet Molly, mom of Curly Bill and Wyatt!

Summer relaxing on Homer's desk


Curly Bill and Molly keep an eye on their "bird"
 in case it tries to get away.

Poor China gets worn out playing with the
rambunctious Curly Bill and Wyatt!

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Autographed book orders. Soon we head to St John for a vacation, so please be patient for autographed book orders to my little bookstore. I should be able to get everything out during the third week in June.  Crescent is being published first in “trade paperback" rather than hardcover. This is the "new normal" to keep costs down in the rapidly-changing publishing world. So we will be selling personalized and autographed trade paperbacks of Crescent for $12, $6 priority mail - $18 total. I do have hardcovers of Crater still, and if you want the pair, I can do that for $11 mailing, $24 for both, so $35 total. And of course I have the other books, please see www.homerhickam.com, click on the gift book to see the selection and prices. Rocket Boys is $30, $11 mailing.


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Red Helmet, a Romantic Mystery
set in the modern West Virginia coalfields!
Don't forget the exciting mystery
 The Dinosaur Hunter set in Montana!
























•  So how to order?  Just write your check or money order to Linda Hickam and mail it here. For credit cards, email Lterry@hiwaay.net

Linda Hickam
2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr
Suite #100 
#210
Huntsville, AL 35802

Happy summer, play safe, but have adventures! Linda 

5 comments:

  1. Virginia BaysdenJune 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I enjoyed the tour of your office. I never expected to see Howdy Doodie and the Wright plane model in one spot so that brought a smile to my face. I liked your furniture and wondered what the name of the cabinet is where Howdy and the plane rside. I could use one like that.

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  2. Homer and Linda:
    Thanks for all of the news! I look forward to reading CRESCENT in the days ahead. I also have reservations for Beckley to attend the October Sky Festival and see (and meet) Homer and the Rocket Boys. Have a wonderful summer. --Mark

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  3. Hi--love your cats! They are adorable. Mr. Hickam your story inspired me to finally take the time to begin writing
    screenplays. I finished one, and now I'm on my second one.
    Will it make me rich or famouss--not likely. But the craft of writing, creating a work on paper is very stimulating and rewarding all by itself. Exercising your creative powers is healthy and exciting. I just more schoolkids would read your book Rocket Boys and realize what an inspiring story you've written. Coalwood's people offer many great life lessons to us all.

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  4. Love your newsletters and hearing all your news! Have also just downloaded Paco, thanks for the link. Take care both.

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