Homer Hickam

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Homer Hickam

Goodreads Author

in Coalwood, WV, The United States



Member Since
June 2013


Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is the author of many best-sellers including his latest, Carrying Albert Home. An eclectic writer, he wrote the "Coalwood Series," which includes the # 1 New York Times best-selling memoir Rocket Boys, the popular World War II-era "Josh Thurlow" series, the juvenile sci-fi "Crater" series, the adult thriller The Dinosaur Hunter, the romantic Red Helmet, and many others. His first book, Torpedo Junction, a military history of the U-boat battles along the American coasts during WWII, has recently been optioned for a major motion picture. Among his many writing awards, he has received the University of Alabama's Clarence Cason Award and the Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award for his memoirs an ...more

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Homer Hickam Of all the things I've done in my life, I'm happiest when I write. Because of my memoir Rocket Boys and especially the movie October Sky, a lot of…moreOf all the things I've done in my life, I'm happiest when I write. Because of my memoir Rocket Boys and especially the movie October Sky, a lot of people think I'm principally an engineer or a scientist. This is frustrating. What they don't know is that I've been a successful writer nearly all my life and that Rocket Boys/October Sky only happened because I was already known for my writing, especially my first book, Torpedo Junction. I explained all that in my Kindle Single (also a paperback) "From Rocket Boys to October Sky." Writing has always been a passion. My grade school teachers copied my short stories and shared them with the Jr. High School students & teachers. They told me I'd someday make my living as a writer and they were right. It's just that I had a passion also to build rockets & for that I needed to learn engineering. But I minored in English and my engineering professors agreed with my grade school teachers. I was going to be a better writer than an engineer! I wrote about that, a little, in "Sky of Stone." Anyway, being a writer has given me a great deal of freedom, a steady income over the years, and, in the case of Rocket Boys/October Sky, an amazing amount of fan mail telling me that those works have inspired many people to go forth and do great things.(less)
Homer Hickam When my teacher in the 3rd grade read a short story I'd written, she told me someday I'd make my living as a writer. I thought, "Why wait? I could use…moreWhen my teacher in the 3rd grade read a short story I'd written, she told me someday I'd make my living as a writer. I thought, "Why wait? I could use the money now!" I started my own newspaper which was successful until I wrote a funny story about my mother who, unamused, took away my First Amendment rights until I reached college where I wrote a weekly column for the college newspaper.

I studied engineering in college and after graduation, spent six years in the Army, including a tour in Vietnam. When I returned from the war, I took jobs as an engineer to support myself while I worked on my writing career. For the most part, I wrote for scuba diving magazines, gaining respect as a writer about diving on shipwrecks. The research I did for several articles led to my first book, a military history best-seller titled Torpedo Junction which came out in 1989 and has recently been optioned for a motion picture.

After writing a short article for a magazine about growing up in West Virginia and building rockets, I was approached by an agent who thought I should write a memoir based on that part of my life. I did. It was titled Rocket Boys and the film October Sky was based on it. After the great success of both the book and the movie, I permanently retired from engineering and became a full-time writer which I am to this day. For more, please go here: www.homerhickam.com(less)
Average rating: 4.06 · 25,026 ratings · 3,232 reviews · 36 distinct worksSimilar authors
Rocket Boys (Coalwood #1)

4.20 avg rating — 15,013 ratings — published 1998 — 48 editions
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Carrying Albert Home: The S...

3.85 avg rating — 3,483 ratings — published 2015 — 34 editions
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The Coalwood Way: A Memoir ...

4.13 avg rating — 1,314 ratings — published 2000 — 13 editions
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Sky of Stone  (Coalwood, #3)

4.27 avg rating — 854 ratings — published 2001 — 16 editions
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Crater (Helium-3, #1)

3.45 avg rating — 761 ratings — published 2012 — 9 editions
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The Keeper's Son

3.89 avg rating — 606 ratings — published 2003 — 16 editions
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The Dinosaur Hunter

3.38 avg rating — 509 ratings — published 2010 — 10 editions
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From Rocket Boys to October...

4.12 avg rating — 435 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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Back to the Moon

3.78 avg rating — 375 ratings — published 1999 — 13 editions
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Red Helmet

3.74 avg rating — 335 ratings10 editions
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More books by Homer Hickam…

Back to the Moon: A Novel - My crystal ball account of the future which is now today

I wrote Back to the Moon: A Novel in 1998 and it was published by Delacorte/Random House in 1999. http://homerhickam.com/project/back-to-the-moon/

This is a portion of the final chapter. Although SSTO hasn't happened, I think there's at least some similarity to what is happening today. Moondog is very similar to Falcon Heavy. Big Dog could be the BFR. Jack Medaris could be that fellow from PayP... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on March 28, 2019 10:22
The Keeper's Son The Ambassador's Son The Far Reaches
(3 books)
3.80 avg rating — 1,088 ratings

Crater Crescent Crater Trueblood and the Lu...
(3 books)
3.54 avg rating — 1,077 ratings

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Homer Hickam is now friends with Lauren Boczek
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
"One of the best books I've read in a while. Endearing and quirky. I never wanted it to end.
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
"I think the most bizarre book I have ever read And without a friend telling me 'its a must read'I would have missed all this fun. You will have no idea where its going but it gets there and its a hoot!!"
Albert moet naar huis by Homer Hickam
"Elsie en Homer Hickam hebben een alligator, zeg niet zomaar krokodil tegen een alligator, gekregen als huwelijksgeschenkt, maar de alligator, Albert, wordt alsmaar groter, neemt het bad in beslag en wanneer Homer een ultimatum oplegt: ik eruit of..." Read more of this review »
" Clare wrote: "Thanks very much. Fascinating to see the NASA documents you created.
I've read a few books about Antarctic bases and will be interested
...more "
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
" I've enjoyed every book club I've Skyped with and I've done a bunch of them for Albert. Folks tell me it's a book that's fun to discuss. For one thing ...more "
" That's great, Kristen. This was my answer to a Twitter question about coal mining. "
" I'm fighting this fight for all writers caught up in these predatory Hollywood contracts. I may not win but it won't be for the lack of trying. If I h ...more "
" Tom wrote: "I just started listening to From Rocket Boys to October Sky, which is very affordable from Audible.com. This short book provides a very in ...more "
More of Homer's books…
“I had discovered that learning something, no matter how complex, wasn't hard when I had a reason to want to know it.”
Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys

“Not much comes easy in this world, Sonny. If it does, it's best to be suspicious of it. It's probably not worth much.”
Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys

“All I’ve done is give you a book,” she said. “You have to have the courage to learn what’s inside it.”
Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys

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message 2: by John

John Thanks for the recommendation. I picked it up on Amazon at a great price and am starting it today.

message 1: by Homer

Homer Hickam John wrote: "Homer,

Saw this in the Alabama Dept of Archives and History newsletter: April Museum Make & Take:
Paper Rockets!
Saturn5 Did you know that the Saturn V rocket that propelled Americans to the moon..."

Thanks, John. If I didn't have so many writing deadlines, maybe I would but I fear my rocket building days are well behind me. Writing has always been my true passion, in any case. Have you read "From Rocket Boys to October Sky" which tells how I came to write Rocket Boys and the movie was made? I think you'd like it, I swan. http://www.homerhickam.com

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