Homer Hickam

In one of author Willie Morris’s many letters to me, he recommended that I read Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, which Universal Studios brought to the big screen as October Sky.  I immediately understood why Willie liked it, as the memoir is an inspiring saga of how six West Virginia miners’ sons struggle to teach themselves to build and fly rockets, overcoming numerous obstacles to win a first-place medal at the 1960 National Science Fair.  The author followed this book with two other compelling memoirs, The Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone.  Homer is a master literary craftsman, and I enjoyed these works and his other books of both fiction and non-fiction.  I also enjoyed interviewing him and his wife (also his assistant, first reader, and editor), Linda Terry Hickam, while I worked on “October Sky Author Homer Hickam Continues to Send Spirits Soaring” for the Fredericksburg, Virginia Free Lance-Star and “Launching Dreams Long with Rockets: Homer Hickam” for the September 2001 issue of Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine.