Since the publication of Rocket Boys: A Memoir in 1998 and the premiere of the movie October Sky in 1999, many of my readers and fans have wondered (1) how and why I wrote the book, and (2) how the movie was made.
Incidental to that are such questions as “What are Jake Gyllenhaal/Chris Cooper/Laura Dern, etc. really like?” and “What’s it like to have a movie made about your life?” and “Why are the book and movie different?” and “Why are they still popular after all these years?”
I’ve been a little busy since I wrote Rocket Boys with a lot more books but now I’ve gotten around to writing the answers to those questions and more in this new short book. Writing Rocket Boys was not an easy journey. In fact after I wrote it, I said, “I got a million dollars of psychotherapy I didn’t even know I needed!”
The making of October Sky wasn’t easy, either. From Rocket Boys to October Sky gives lots of behind-the-scenes stories both on-set and off. Before the first frame of film was exposed, I was involved with the writing of the screenplay. My comment when I saw the first draft – “I’m going to have to go up to West Virginia and apologize to everyone in the state!” – perhaps gives you an idea of how that went.
When you read this book, you’ll be by my side as I struggle with the complexities of how a major Hollywood motion picture is made, and learn how and why I disagreed with aspects of the film even while I admired the dedication and professionalism of the men and women making it. You’ll also be alongside the director and the producers and the actors as they create one of the most beloved movies ever.
The book has lots of candid photos taken by Linda on the various sets, too!
Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Homer Hickam Jr. on movie set.
If you think you know the story of the book Rocket Boys and the movie October Sky, you don’t!
Since the publication of the #1 best-seller Rocket Boys: A Memoir in 1998 and the premiere of the movie October Sky in 1999, Homer Hickam readers and fans have wondered how and why he wrote the book, and how the movie was made.
Be with Hickam as he struggles with the complexities of how a major Hollywood motion picture is made, and how he disagreed with aspects of the film even while he admired the dedication and professionalism of the men and women making it. Readers will also be alongside Hickam as he writes the book and with the director, producers, actors, and crew as they create one of the most beloved movies ever! Twenty one photos taken on the set are included.
Get a behind-the-camera look at the struggles and challenges of filming of a major Hollywood movie, the inner workings of how great stories come to the screen and careers are made in film, literature and more. A fun, fast paced page turner that I couldn’t put down. FROM ROCKET BOYS TO OCTOBER SKY is fantastic! – Burke Allen, Allen Media Strategies
Homer Hickam is refreshingly honest and forthright in his memoir of writing Rocket Boys and the making of the movie October Sky. Lots of funny moments, too. It was interesting to see how a major Hollywood movie is made and also how a book is written. Homer tells us how a short article he wrote for a magazine eventually became a world-wide best-seller. He also writes about the tensions and arguments on the set of October Sky between actors, directors, producers, and Homer himself. Highly recommended for film buffs, writers interested in the process of writing, and readers who like a fast, fun read and are curious about “the rest of the story” about this very loved movie and book.
– Books, Books, Books