Homer Hickam became a household name with the publication of his memoir "Rocket Boys," which was turned into the uplifting film "October Sky." He has just released his first young adult novel, "Crater," and spoke with The Christian Post about the lead character, Crater Trueblood and the role of faith in the novel.
"Crater is a bit like the boy in 'Rocket Boys,'" Hickam explained. "He's pretty naïve and doesn't realize when people are taking advantage of him. I thought he would be an interesting character to watch grow. He is raised in the church in Moon Town, where the book is set."
The setting is all-too familiar for Hickam, who grew up in a small town in West Virginia, where church and mining are "parts of your life and fundamental to life." Hickam's own father was a miner, so he was raised to respect the industry as well as the church in which he was brought up.
"Crater doesn't go around praying for help … You just know it's going to work out. The miners [in the story] pray, though, and there are some references as we go along. Crater is a Christian, at least in terms of the Company church, which is sponsored by the mining industry."
Hickam said that while he is "best known for writing memoirs," he got interested in the idea of writing for young adults when his publisher asked. "I was already somewhat interested in the genre and thought it was time."
What is next for Hickam and his young protagonist?
"Crater's adventure will continue and he's going to be involved with a lot of different characters. Some will test his faith and I hope that some of these characters will teach him various lessons that readers can benefit from."
"Crater" is available in bookstores and online now.