This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Rocket City Lit Fest in Huntsville, Alabama. The highlight for me was hearing Homer Hickam speak about his new book, Carrying Albert Home. You may know him from the movie, October Sky. The movie is based on his book Rocket Boys and chronicles the true story of his boyhood activities in the West Virginia coal mines and his development of rockets, which later got the attention of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
I thoroughly enjoyed his speech. I was surprised to learn some interesting things about Homer. I, along with many others I’m sure, always thought he was an engineer who became an author. We were wrong. Homer has been an author since grade school. Engineering was just a detour. The fact that he’s been extremely successful at both is an understatement.
But there was also another thing. We’re all familiar with the various genres of books including biographies, fiction, horror, memoirs, documentaries, etc., but Carrying Albert Home belongs perhaps in its own new genre, which Homer suggests might be called, “family legend.” I bought a copy of his book and had him sign it for me:
Can’t wait to read it!