Q&A: Homer Hickam
Homer Hickam isn't just a writer. He's a soldier, a coal miner, and - oh, yeah - a NASA engineer. You may have seen the major motion picture October Sky based on his book Rocket Boys. In his book Crater, he returns to the things he knows best - mining and space - as he tells the story of a sixteen year old helium3 miner on the moon, his not-entirely-by-choice companion, Maria, and their insubordinate (and sentient) clump of slime mold.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WRITING CRATER?
As always, I write to entertain and interest my readers by creating believable characters and putting them in unique situations.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF WRITING THE STORY?
Crater is firmly in the Young Adult category and that's not a genre I've written in before. To me, that mostly meant writing about a young adult, in this case a boy named Crater, who lives on the moon.
There was a challenge in making Crater seem real and alive, considering the literally outlandish geography on which he resides, and I worked hard at it. I hope I did it well.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE STORY WHERE YOU DREW ELEMENTS FROM REAL LIFE?
Crater is probably much like me when I was a teenager. A trusting, likable fellow who is uncertain of what is right and true.
The organization of Moontown is very close to that of Coalwood, the mining town where I was raised.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS GET OUT OF YOUR WORK?
I hope they're entertained and intrigued enough to want to read the next in the series!
WHY DO YOU THINK STORY SUCH A POWERFUL WAY TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH?
I come from a people who are renowned storytellers. Coal miners like to tell stories to illustrate the truth as they see it. It is natural for me to continue that tradition in my books.