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HOMER HICKAM QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
Winter '05 Issue, February 2005

click here for this issue's photos

Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:

This newsletter is mainly to apprise you of the imminent arrival in bookstores all across the country of my new novel, The Ambassador's Son. I will also soon be on book tour. The lastest schedule is at the bottom here. The cities to be visited are: Huntsville, Atlanta, Raleigh, Manteo (NC), Pittsburgh, Nashville, Memphis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Fairhope (AL). Check the bottom of this newsletter and also the home page of www.homerhickam.com for information on stores and times. I hope to see all my fans and friends on the road, especially readers of the Josh Thurlow series.

Note: It isn't necessary to have read The Keeper's Son to enjoy TAS. I will write each of the Josh Thurlow adventures to be stand-alone although I think they might be even more enjoyable if you read as one long novel.

I would also very much appreciate your review of The Ambassador's Son on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Four or five stars would be nice, too!

Go here to order and review on-line The Ambassador's Son:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312301928/ref=ase_homhhicjr/002-4081431-9656067?v=glance&s=books

or

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=UH0yQ1WAih&isbn=0312301928&itm=11

First critical reviews have been great! Here are a couple of important ones:

Booklist:
In The Keeper's Son (2003), Hickam introduced a character he intends to make recurrent, Coast Guard Lt. Josh Thurlow, who, in that first novel, worked to keep merchant ships off the North Carolina coast safe from German U-boats during World War II. Now, in the second installment of the series, we find Lt. Thurlow stationed in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, placed there by the secretary of the navy himself, to inspect navy operations as the forces of imperial Japan are to be at least kept in check and hopefully put into retreat. A certain crisis develops, however, when a lieutenant apparently deserts, and the lieutenant happens to be an ambassador's son. To help with his pursuit of the missing officer, Thurlow enlists the aid of a PT-boat commander, John F. Kennedy. Now we are off and running on a very exciting high-seas, wartime adventure tale, which combines the color, humanity, and humor of the play and movie South Pacific and the TV series Black Sheep Squadron. Characters, including JFK, are created with sympathy and nuance, and Hickam demonstrates a great understanding of both the remoteness and the strategic importance of this corner of the world. The first novel in the series was popular, as this one will prove to be.
Brad Hooper Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly:
Following The Keeper's Son, this is the second in Hickam's superb series about the WWII adventures of U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Josh Thurlow and his daffy crew of coastal North Carolina misfits. In 1943, Josh and his men are fighting the Japanese around the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Josh, tough as a boiled owl, likes to carry an Aleut ax and drink Mount Gay rum. Still, when he's assigned a curious secret mission, he's not sure he's up for it. A Marine lieutenant, David Armistead, a cousin of President Roosevelt and Josh's friend, has deserted, and Josh is ordered to find him and bring him back for court-martial, or kill him. Josh teams up with another disgraced officer, U.S. Navy Lt. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who is awaiting his own court-martial for losing his boat, PT-109. Josh and JFK are an interesting pair-the one a rough cob, the other a Harvard blueblood-and together they get themselves into loads of trouble with Japanese soldiers, gangs of cannibals, a beautiful native girl who chops off heads and a nutty cargo cult leader. Add fierce, bloody battles and steamy tropical island romance, as well as hilarious cameos by Richard Nixon as an enterprising supply officer and James Michener as a navy historian, and the result is a funny, tightly wrapped tale of wartime action. Agents, Frank Weimann and Mickey Freiberg. 8-city author tour. (Mar.)
Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.


THE WRITING LIFE:
I'm well into the third novel of the Josh Thurlow series. The first part has Josh and Ready O'Neal on the atoll of Tarawa during the Marine invasion which turned into a terrible three-day battle. Can't wait to get them off that gritty little spit of sand and into the heart of the story which takes place in the Pacific but considerably farther north. More, much more, to come on that later.

I've also completed my screenplay set in modern-day Montana which is presently titled Deep Things. It's now making the Hollywood rounds. We'll see, as Mom says, and maybe we will find a producer interested in it. It's always a learning experience, in any case, to work in a different writing format and writing a screenplay is much, much different from a novel. I learned a lot in the process. In fact, writing is a learning experience throughout. Maybe that's why I love it so!

JOURNEYS:
Skyridge in St. John - We went down to our place in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a quick one week get-away in early February. We had it all to ourselves. Sadly, Linda came down with bronchitis so our diving, snorkeling, and hiking was somewhat curtailed. Linda spent a lot of time on deck reading and watching ships go by. We thought this luxury sailing ship especially beautiful. Photo 1.

Coming up: I'm really looking forward to a couple of special trips. First, on April 9, I'll be heading to Blacksburg, Virginia, to hike the Caldwell March with the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. This is a 17-mile hike over hill and dale. I think I'd better start doing a lot of walking in preparation! Linda and I are also heading to the Amalfi Coast in Italy during May for her birthday. That should be quite a lot of fun. We intend to also visit Pompeii. And the summer is going to include perhaps several trips to Montana to continue my beloved dinosaur-hunting including the digging up of the H-Rex, my little girl T-Rex discovered last year. Can't wait!

Happy Reading! Hope you enjoy The Ambassador's Son!

Your writer,
Homer Hickam


FROM LINDA:
I'll make this short too. All four kitties are fine. Batman still loves my lap at night and his memory foam cushion in the office sun during the day, Photo 2. China celebrated her first birthday on Homer's, February 19, so she's a kitten no longer. She has a new trick of bringing in area rugs from our screened porch through the cat door. She has to pull hard to do this and then she carries the rug around like she killed it or something. Who knows what is going through her fluffy little brain? Photo 3.

The "Lunch with a Leader" eBay benefit auction of lunch with Homer in Huntsville was fun and someone won the bid for $1250.00! We will soon have another "lunch" benefit for our volunteer work with homeless cats. Friends of Ferals, our tiny rescue organization here in Huntsville, needs money so badly to spay and neuter and to find homes for these loving but unfortunate kitties.

We had a fun outing in January... a wonderful romantic evening concert with Jim Brickman, piano player, songwriter, singer and all-round nice guy. Photo 4. Homer and I loved meeting him and he was pleased to hear that Homer writes often to his music and that we own many of his CDs. Hear his music here and be sure and see him live someday if you can. http://www.jimbrickman.com.

I am looking forward to our trips together, especially Italy. For work trips I usually stay home to take care of the office and the cats. We travel so much, that home is a vacation sometime!

A couple great letters, then the book tour is at the bottom:

* Mr. Hickam, In five decades of reading books across almost every genre and subject, I can't recall ever reading a novel that I enjoyed more than The Keeper's Son. I came across the book quite by accident, and feel perhaps almost as fortunate as Dosie finding Captain Kreb's cross on the beach. Thank you for writing such a book. I look forward to The Ambassador's
Son, and plan to track down a copy of Torpedo Junction as well.
Best regards, JH

* Homer, I've spent 58 of my 66 years enamored with aviation history, technology, and minutia. The Keepers Son is a fascinating story. Your characters are vivid, sympathetic, and neatly integrated into their historical setting. The Battle of the Atlantic was certainly a terrible example of tunnel vision on the part of the military. I must confess to having grievously slighted my household projects while involved with the book. Finally I gave up reading on an allocated hour basis, sought seclusion, and read the last few chapters straight through. Will be looking forward to The Ambassador's Son.

Our bookshelf has begun to sag at the letter "H". After the Rocket Boys book and the October Sky video, came The Coalwood Way (so far read twice), then Sky of Stone. You presented such vivid verbal pictures of Coalwood that I had planned to make a visit during your festival last fall, but came down sick two days before and was forced to cancel. Hopefully next year... Very truly yours, BB

****************************************************************************
The Ambassador's Son Book Tour

Huntsville, AL
Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00pm
Barnes & Noble
2750 Carl T. Jones Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35802
Maggie Clark at 256-885-0501

Atlanta, GA
Thurs, March 17 at 7:00pm
Chapter Eleven
2345 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30305
Emery Pinter at 404-237-7199

Raleigh, NC
Friday, March 18 at 7:00pm
Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27607
Renee Martin at 919-828-1588

Manteo, NC
Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 pm
Manteo Booksellers
P.O. Box 1520
Manteo, NC 27954
Steve Brumfield at 252-473-1221

Pittsburgh, PA
Wed, March 23 at 7:00pm
Joseph Beth
2705 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Beth Boyce at 412-381-9386

Cincinnati, OH
Thurs, March 24 at 7:oopm
Barnes & Noble
9455 Civic Center Blvd.
West Chester, OH 45069 (Cincinnati)
Linda Keller at 513-755-2258

Nashville, TN
Tues, March 29 at 6:00pm
Davis Kidd Booksellers
4007 Hillsboro Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Ginger Knight at 615-783-0218 X310

Memphis (Germantown) TN
Wed, March 30 at 7:00pm
Borders
6685 Poplar Avenue
Germantown, TN 38138
Jeff Jacob at 615-376-9393
Store 901-754-0770

Dayton, OH
Sunday, April 3 at 1:30pm
Books & Co
350 E. Stroop Road
Dayton, OH 45429
Sharon Kelly Roth at 937-297-6365

Cleveland, OH
Wed, April 13 at 7:00pm
Borders Books
3466 Mayfield Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
216-291-8605
Troy Kahler at 330-652-6318

Fairhope, AL
Wed, April 20 at 6:00pm
Page & Palette
32 S. Section Street
Fairhope, AL 36532
Karin Wilson at 251-928-5295
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