Homer Hickam burst onto the national scene in 1999 when his memoir Rocket Boys (aka October Sky) reached #1 on the New York Times best-selling list. The story of his life growing up in the little mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, and especially his high school years when he built high-flying rockets, the memoir has gone on to become a classic. Rocket Boys is studied in hundreds of schools and colleges across the country as an important literary work, has been translated into eight languages, and picked by more American cities for their annual Community Reads than any other book. In short, Homer Hickam’s memoir, which was also adapted into the popular movie October Sky starring Jake Gyllenhaal as young Homer, has become an absolute phenomenon.
Hickam recently coauthored, My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer, the memoir of Anousheh Ansari, the first Muslim woman to travel into space. His latest work is the novel The Dinosaur Hunter (2010), a mystery about dinosaur bones and the people who covet them. He is also the author of a popular series of novels that feature Josh Thurlow, a Coast Guard officer during World War II. The series began with The Keeper’s Son (2003), then continued with The Ambassador’s Son (2005) and The Far Reaches (2007).
Homer is a legendary story-teller in the tradition of the people of the Appalachian Mountains where he was raised. He tells gentle, humorous stories of the people of Coalwood and his days as the original Rocket Boy. His appreciative audiences are laughing one moment and holding back tears the next. It is for this reason he was chosen to give the keynote address for the miners lost in the 2006 Sago mine tragedy. This address, broadcast worldwide, struck a chord with national and international audiences. Astonished at the sheer poetry of Homer’s heartfelt paean to the fallen miners, as well as working men and women everywhere, he was honored with global standing ovations.
In these tough times, Hickam is also available to provide an inspirational and motivational message to your company, organization or group that will stir their souls and leave them certain they can overcome any obstacle just as Homer and the Rocket Boys did.
Hickam is more than a rocket scientist and best-selling author. He is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran and he is also one of the nation’s top scuba instructors–he taught David Letterman how to dive! As a NASA engineer during the 1980’s and 1990’s, he worked on programs including the Hubble Space Telescope and trained astronauts for Spacelab and Space Station missions. Today he is an avid amateur paleontologist, and recently found a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex in Montana. And, of course, he continues to write popular fiction and nonfiction.
We invite you to join Homer in an evening of fun and purpose. In these times of national uncertainty, his is a triumphant and welcome message of hope and success through adversity.