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04/25/2013 – FT. PAYNE, AL – Homer Hickam, Author of “ROCKET BOYS” to Visit Fort Payne

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Fort Payne, AL – May 10th, 2013 – Homer Hickam to speak at Fort Payne High School, Lookout 2013 event celebrating Lookout Mountain region’s potential –

In conjunction with the presentation of the Lookout Alabama SELTI Writing Contest award, New York Times bestselling author Homer Hickam will make appearances at three locations in the Lookout Mountain area on May 10.

Hickam, who is best known for his memoir “Rocket Boys” that was made into a major motion picture starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Hickam, will speak at Fort Payne High School in the early afternoon before holding a public book signing at The Book Shelf from 3 to 4 p.m.

“We are very excited to have Homer Hickam visit our area and especially to have him speak to students at Fort Payne High School,” said Lookout Alabama Publisher Randy Grider. “His story is an inspiration to everyone. He grew up in a small town that relied on one industry as the backbone of the economy. He understands the challenges Fort Payne has faced with the decline of the hosiery mills.”

Following the afternoon events, Hickam will attend Lookout 2013, a dinner event at Cook Castle that will celebrate the Lookout Mountain region’s rich heritage, natural beauty and growing economic potential. The event is sponsored by Kamama, GH Metal Solutions, the Cancer Care Center of DeKalb, Mentone Realty and Pioneer Bridges and presented by Lookout Alabama magazine.

Hickam is scheduled to give a brief speech at Lookout 2013, which will also feature local tourism and economic development officials, business leaders and government officials, before a keynote address by University of Alabama Center for Economic Development Director Nisa Miranda.

Hickam was one of the judges for the writing contest, sponsored by Lookout Alabama, the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative, DeKalb Tourism and Greater Gadsden Area Tourism. The goal of the writing contest is to promote tourism through fictional short stories featuring real places. Alabama Sen. Clay Scofield, chair of the state Tourism and Marketing Committee, will present the winner of the contest, which featured stories set in the Lookout Mountain area, with a check for $500 from the Alabama Department of Tourism.

About Lookout Alabama:

Lookout Alabama is a quarterly, regional magazine whose mission is to celebrate and promote the unique culture, history and environmental treasures of the Lookout Mountain region, with a goal of facilitating job creation and economic development in the area by increasing tourism. The first issue of the magazine will be published in June. The staff of Lookout Alabama has more than 35 years of publishing experience. Publisher Randy Grider, a native of the Lookout Mountain area, started his career as a newspaper editor before taking the helm of a national trade magazine in 2000. Editor Olivia Grider has worked for newspapers, national trade publications and university publications. The Griders have earned numerous awards for newspaper and magazine journalism. They are the only husband and wife to each win the Jesse H. Neal Award – considered the Pulitzer Prize of business journalism – at different magazines.

About the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative:

SELTI is an organization that promotes tourism through literature. It offers readers short stories, poetry and book excerpts – along with companion travel guides – about real places to visit. Founder Patrick Miller’s suspense novel, “Blind Fate,” was the first in the nation to include an online tourism guide embedded in the novel with tourism links to all the real places. SELTI followed up “Blind Fate” with “This Side of Paradise: Interactive Tourism Edition,” a new version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920 debut novel that now includes tourism links to the real settings in the story. The royalties for the Fitzgerald edition are being donated by SELTI to the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, Ala., located in the Fitzgeralds’ only surviving family residence.

About Homer Hickam:

Homer Hickam is best known for his award-winning and New York Times best-selling memoir “Rocket Boys,” which was made into the movie “October Sky.” But he is also a prolific author of 14 other fiction and non-fiction books, including his popular “Josh Thurlow” World War II series and his latest, a novel titled “Crater” set on the moon in the 22nd century. More on Mr. Hickam and his books can be found at his website, http://www.homerhickam.com.

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For immediate release
April 25, 2013

Contact: Randy Grider
rgrider@lookoutalabama.com
205-534-0080

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