SU Alumnus becomes published author

Sam Snoek-Brown graduated with a degree in English from Schreiner University in 1999, and is about to be a published author—something he believes his education at Schreiner University had a helping hand in.

Sam Snoek-BrownSnoek-Brown, who has dreamed of having a novel published since middle school, said the professors at SU inspired him in many ways.

“I had amazing mentors in David Breeden, Kathleen Hudson and William Woods—each of whom taught me so much about the creative life and the academic life, and they all remain important friends and influences in my work,” he said.

Another great influence on his work is Snoek-Brown’s wife—Jennifer—who he met at Schreiner University.

“Jennifer has been probably the most important thing to happen to my writing,” he said. “She has always supported my work in terms of encouragement and feedback. Also, when I wrote the first draft of Hagridden, we were living overseas and we agreed that her job was paying us well enough that I could take time away from the classroom and focus on writing full time. Of course, when writing historical fiction, I often need research help, and while I have relied on a number of experts and librarians from a variety of places, Jennifer remains the best librarian I've ever seen an action (and of course it helps that she's close to hand!).”

Snoek-Brown first came up with the idea of “Hagridden”—a Civil War novel—in 2005, but he didn’t sit down to write the first draft until the fall of 2009, which took him a total of two weeks to complete. He then set the project aside and resumed editing the novel from 2011-14.

“’Hagridden’ is a Civil War novel, but it is not about the war. In fact, it’s set in a region where people hid from the war, out in the lonely and unforgiving coastal bayou of southwest Louisiana. But even there, the war takes its toll, as supply lines get cut off and people have to make terrifying decisions just to survive,” he said. “So, ‘Hagridden’ is about two women alone out in the bayou who are seeking out their existence by killing stray soldiers and selling their arms and uniforms back into the army through the black market. Then one day their neighbor deserts the war and comes home to hide in the bayou –but, unknown to any of them, he’s brought the war into the bayou after him, and all three of them are hunted by a ‘rougarou,’ a terrifying werewolf-like figure from Cajun folklore.”

So how does Snoek-Brown feel about returning to his alma mater to present his novel at a Monday Night Fiction event?

“I’m excited,” he said. “Schreiner introduced me to the idea of a literary community, whether it was from the amazing visiting writers who came to Kathleen Hudson's classes or spoke on stage in the auditorium, or the writing groups that I participated in with my classmates or via The Muse, or just hearing my professors talking about their respective literary communities. So to get to return to Schreiner as a publishing author, as a visiting writer, as a literary citizen, is a thrill. Particularly because so many of the people who were so important to me in my college years, my English professors and the librarians here on campus, are still here. I can't wait to see them all again.”

Snoek-Brown will discuss his novel “Hagridden” at 7 p.m. Monday, August 25, in the Scarle-Philips Room in Logan Library on the Schreiner University campus.

You can purchase “Hagridden” on Amazon at

For more information about Snoek-Brown, visit

For more information about Monday Night Fiction, contact Jeremy Roethler at

For more information about Schreiner, visit