Sunday, September 12, 2004

Homer Hickam

A week or so ago I got a package in the mail from St. Martin's Press. Since I'm a judge in this year's Spur Awards contest for the Western Writers of America, I figured it was a Spur entry. Nope. It was the manuscript of Homer Hickam's new novel, THE AMBASSADOR'S SON, which will be published next spring. Seems the editor sent it to me asking for a blurb. Took me a while to figure out why he sent it to me, since I don't know Hickam and don't have any connection with him that I know of. But THE AMBASSADOR'S SON is a World War II novel, and I finally figured out that the editor must know I've written some World War II novels of my own. So I think, sure, I'll blurb it, whether they ever use my comments or not (a big name in WWII fiction, I ain't). But I start reading it and realize it's the second book in a series. Well, old obsessive-compulsive me can't read the second book in a series without reading the first one first, so I go out and find a copy of THE KEEPER'S SON. That's my long-winded way of explaining why I started reading THE KEEPER'S SON today. So far, it's very good. I hadn't actually read any of Hickam's work before, although I've seen and liked OCTOBER SKY, the movie made from his memoir ROCKET BOYS. Also, Livia has read his previous novel BACK TO THE MOON and liked it. I've meant to read it but never gotten around to it. By the way, OCTOBER SKY is one of my daughter's favorite films, so I thought she might be at least a little impressed when I mentioned casually, "I've got Homer Hickam's new novel in manuscript." Nope. Dream on. Hard to impress these young whippersnappers.

Another pretty good day of work on the current book. For some reason, I seem to have productive weekends and always have.

Soundtrack for tonight's post: "Welcome Interstate Managers" by Fountains of Wayne


Unknown said...

I liked ROCKET BOYS quite a bit, but for some reason I've never seen OCTOBER SKY. And don't ask me how long it took me to figure out that the movie title was an anagram of the book title.

Mystery Dawg said...


I like the song STACEY'S MOM, but the video is much better staring Rachel Hunter as Stacey's mom!

James Reasoner said...

Since we live out in the boonies, we don't have cable, so I've never seen the Stacy's Mom video. I've heard about it, though. The CD "Welcome Interstate Managers" is really good, with probably half a dozen songs better than "Stacy's Mom", even though it got all the airplay. I keep thinking I'll buy some more Fountains of Wayne CDs but haven't gotten around to it.

And Bill, I hadn't figured out that anagram business at all until you mentioned it. Pretty cool.