Reading in Arkansas and more blog tour

I’ve wrapped up my Southern tour, y’all!

And I couldn’t have asked for a better companion bookend to my opening reading in Boerne: the audience at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith was as big, as enthusiastic, as full of family and friends but also as full of community members and students, and as eager to buy the novel! It was a perfect finale to the Southern leg of this fall book tour I’m doing for Hagridden!

There were so many highlights of the Arkansas reading, so I can’t just point to one best thing. I have to point to four, in chronological order:

The first best thing was meeting up with my cousins the Bouldens, some of whom I’ve met before but some of whom I met for first time. And they are a hoot! Tom, my fellow scotch aficionado; and Bob, my fellow jazz fan; and Ben, my fellow author (you should seriously get a copy of his Hidden History of Fort Smith, Arkansas) — these guys were all amazing fun to hang out with over delicious Vietnamese food! And their mother, my great-aunt Katy, was an absolute delight, full of the wry zingers and keen observations I so love in her sister, my grandmother!


Tom Boulden, Bob Boulden, me, and Ben Boulden

Then I got to campus and reconnected with my old college friend Lindsy Lawrence, now a 19th-century lit scholar and English professor at the university in Fort Smith. She was part of my literary crowd back in our undergrad days at Schreiner University, working with the newspaper and the literary magazine and a fellow member of the English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta. It’s fantastic that she’s found such success at her current university, and by all accounts, she’s doing a killer job there, with both her colleagues and her students, and I loved seeing her in action!


The old lit-nerd crew from back in our Schreiner days! Me, my wife Jennifer, and our pal Lindsy (now Dr. Lawrence!)

She also hooked me up with poet Christian Anton Gerard, who invited me to join his Imaginative Writing class, and wow, was that a treat! The students there were both ambitious and inquisitive, and I was amazed at the variety of interests in their work, from traditional poetry and essays and novels to film, late-night television, even stand-up comedy! We had an invigorating discussion, and Christian gave me some great ideas for new approaches to my own creative writing classes. (Plus, we swapped books! I’m looking forward to reading his collection, Wilmot Here, Collect for Stella.)

And then there was the reading, which was so well attended that people were pulling out extra chairs!


And of course I took a selfie.

And I wasn’t the only one taking selfies! The faculty there had a brilliant idea of giving extra credit to students by requiring them to take a selfie with the author (that’s me!) and post it to Twitter. So keep an eye on the UAFS Read This! Twitter account to see who’s going to get their credit!

But that wasn’t even the best part; the best part was the Q&A, in which the audience asked dozens of insightful, craft-focused questions that really put me through my paces and turned the whole Q&A into a genuine discussion, and I loved that!

Overall, it was a fantastic evening.

But wait! The Southern leg of the book tour is over, but that doesn’t mean we’re finished! There’s still the blog tour, which this week has included write-ups by Al McDermid and J.J. Ulm, and a terrific interview with Lin Rice, in which we talk about the practice and pitfalls of dialect and why the idea of “home” can sometimes be so emotionally risky.

And don’t forget that while I’m leaving the South this weekend, the book tour carries on!

Next stop, Portland!

Things I’ve done in Texas

Things I’ve heard most often while on book tour in Texas (in no particular order):

  • So, no quotation marks. What’s up with that?
  • I always knew you had it in you!
  • Wait — you’re a vegetarian now? Really?
  • Please tell your lovely wife hello!
  • How much research did you do for this thing!?
  • I want to get your book, but I’m going to order the hardback.
  • What in the world does “Hagridden” mean?
  • Do you remember [some mutual friend, family member, or really embarrassing story from way back when]?
  • Oh my god, I missed your laugh!
  • Would you PLEASE do an audio book?/I have your voice stuck in my head now every time I read this thing.

Number of books I’ve sold, donated, signed, etc, either from my personal stash or via a local bookstore (but not counting online sales or giveaways):

I don’t even really know, but several dozen. (So far!)

Number of people who have sold my books for me, either by calling up friends/dragging friends to readings or by literally accosting folks in bookstores and hawking Hagridden like a medieval town cryer (I’m looking at you, Sean!):

At least half a dozen.

Number of people who have finished the book just in the last week:

At least four that I know of. As far as I know, we’re still friends. ;)

Number of times I got recognized at random, non-reading places and wound up chatting about/signing Hagridden:

No kidding? Three times! =D

What I told a friend I was meeting for lunch when he texted to say he was running late:

“That’s all right. I’m in the cemetery anyway.” (I really was! I like to visit cemeteries — people who read this blog should know that by now.)

Number of hugs I’ve given/received:

All of them.

Next stop: Arkansas!

Returning home to Schreiner University

I began the Texas leg of my book tour in my hometown of Boerne, where I graduated high school. Tonight, I wrapped up my Texas tour in Kerrville, at my undergrad alma mater, Schreiner University.

It was great to see the old place, which has undergone tremendous growth — new academic buildings, new housing, new community buildings — but still somehow maintains its bones. And the heart of the campus is still the old Weir Building, where I took so many of my literature and writing classes.


In fact, I hadn’t been on campus long before I found my way up to the second floor of Weir, where I dropped in on my professor, Dr. Kathleen Hudson, and got invited to sit in on her mythology course. (They were discussing Demeter and Persephone. We decided that the old woman and her young daughter-in-law in my novel were a good fit for the discussion!) Afterward, I stuck around and chatted with a couple of students about their own writing.

Then it was time for my reading and book discussion as part of Schreiner’s Monday Night Fiction series.

Which means, yes, a selfie. Or, three — it was hard to get everyone into one shot, and I still cropped out some folks! Afterward, I took another with my good friends and great professors, Dr. William Woods and Dr. Kathleen Hudson.


Chatting beforehand with my biology professor, Dr. Diana Comuzzi.

Chatting beforehand with my biology professor, Dr. Diana Comuzzi.

Just as the reading began.

Just as the reading began.

I had a grand time, and the discussion afterward was fantastic! Lots of great questions, including several I hadn’t heard before! And booksales afterward, and food, and friendship, and just an amazing time all around.


Thanks so much to Schreiner University for hosting me!






Barnes & Noble, plus more Internet buzz about Hagridden

Not much happening on the blog tour until tomorrow, gang, but there are still loads of things happening online regarding #Hagridden.

A couple days ago, I was very happy to discover that Malvern Books in Austin had done a blog post about my reading with Zoë Miller, including photos, both my and Zoë’s videos, and a special shout-out to my new reading-selfie habit. :)

Then today I discover that TimeOut Austin, in their list of Top 10 things to do in San Antonio this weekend, named my Meet & Greet and booksigning at Barnes & Noble as #9!

Because today was just a signing, rather than a reading, there wasn’t really a crowd to do a selfie with, but I did take a photo wth the event sign:



I also got a selfie with my old college friend, the comedian and scriptwriter Justin Cooper!


The table was a good set-up (thanks, Barnes & Noble!), and I had a blast visiting with people who stopped by the buy the book, including an excited young writer who wanted to know all about my process! (She called herself an “aspiring writer,” and I asked if she’d written anything yet. She said she’d written a few short stories, and I said, “Then you’re not an aspiring writer — you ARE a writer!” She seemed so happy to hear that!)


There’s also a brief mention in the Bandera County Courier newspaper about tomorrow night’s reading and salon discussion at Schreiner University, as well as a lovely article/interview on the Schreiner website!

And there’s the news from the other day that I’ll be appearing at the University of Arkansas — Fort Smith on Thursday, August 28, as the kickoff to their “Read This!” series!

Of course, the blog tour also rolls on, picking up again tomorrow with a fun interview with Nathaniel Tower, and plenty more posts all this coming week.

Oh! And by now, several of you have mentioned that you’re blazing through the novel or might even have already finished it. So when you get a chance, maybe hop over to wherever you read book reviews (Goodreads? Powell’s? Amazon? Barnes & Noble?) and drop a quick review. You can be honest. I’d just love to see some response!


Even MORE Hagridden blog tour!

Today, I gave a book talk about Hagridden at my grandparents’ retirement community and read a short story inspired by my ship-captain grandfather (the story, “The Voices Captain Brewster Heard,” will be published by WhiskeyPaper early next month).

And in the meantime, I’m still on a blog tour!

Yesterday, author Gay Degani interviewed me — we focused heavily on the research aspects of Hagridden, which was good timing since that was also the focus of my book talk today.

And today, we get an interview with my fellow Columbus Press author, Drew Farnsworth. We discuss my favorite beer and the first dirty joke I ever heard and some of my favorite authors. It’s a grand time!

And yes, there’s still more to come! Expect a handful of posts over the next few days (I’ll post another recap next week), and tomorrow I’ll post photos from today’s book talk in Boerne. And then more blog tour posts at the end of next week, as well as more pix from more readings….

It’s a hell of a ride, gang! Glad you’re all in it with me.


Event on Campus

Samuel Snoek-Brown:

Coming to Arkansas next week, gang! University of Arkansas — Fort Smith, Thursday, August 28, 7-9 pm. In the library (of course!). Hope to see a whole mess of folks there!

Originally posted on To Be An Electric Telegraph:

Cross posted from many other things!

As the kick off to our Read This! season, we have writer Sam Snoek-Brown on campus, Thursday, August 28, from 7-9pm at the Boreham Library, in Room 122. He’ll give a reading from his new novel Hagridden, about the Civil War, and then he’ll answer questions and sign books afterwards.

Samuel Snoek-Brown writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. He also works as production editor for Jersey Devil Press. His work has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Ampersand Review, Fiction Circus, Eunoia Review, Red Fez, SOL: English Writing in Mexico, and others. He’s the author of the flash fiction chapbook Box Cutters, and of the novel “Hagridden,” for which he received a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship.

For more information on “Hargridden,” published August 19, please see

For upcoming Read This! events please see the Read This! Facebook page or Follow us on Twitter at…

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Reading in “Hot Portland” (aka Austin, TX)

Last night I had the privilege to read with Zoë Miller at the excellent indie bookstore Malvern Books in Austin, TX, a town that I always loved when I lived here in Texas and that I like to refer to now as “Hot Portland.” (I call Portland “Wet Austin.”)


It was a great time, with lots of old friends and new friends come out to hear us read! And Malvern Books was an amazing host (they even filmed the readings!).


My literary partner for the evening, Zoë Miller, reading from her work in the much-lauded summer issue of Fields magazine.


Another blurry selfie.


Hagridden blog tour extravaganza!

So, in addition to the incredibly generous folks hosting me for readings and book signings this week and next, a whole gaggle of kind bloggers out there are hosting me online as well.

That’s right: I’m on a blog tour.

(Let the links begin!)

I began on Hagridden‘s release day with an interview with author Ally Malinenko (whom you might remember from my interview of her several weeks back). We had a great conversation, and she asked some intense questions! I, of course, was longwinded in my replies, but I hope you find out some interesting things about Hagridden.

The next day we got the double-whammy of a blog post by author David S. Atkinson as well as his review of Hagridden at InDigest.

And today, while not formally part of the blog tour, my television interview on McMinnville, Oregon’s Arts Alive program is now available on YouTube!

And there’s more to come! Expect a handful of posts over the next few days (I’ll post another recap this weekend), and tomorrow I’ll post photos from tonight’s reading with Zoë Miller at Malvern Books in Austin. And then more blog tour posts all next week, as well as more pix from more readings….

And on we go!


So much love!

To everyone who came out to the first Hagridden release party in Boerne, TX:

Thank you all!

Old friends, new friends, family, teachers, community members — even a few aspiring young writers! I was so thrilled to see you all, and I had a grand time!

The library did a wonderful job setting up and promoting the event:

That book on the right is a guestbook my mother made for people to sign and leave me messages -- I love it!

That book on the right is a guestbook my mother made for people to sign and leave me messages — I love it!

Barnes & Noble handled book sales and helped me donate a portion of the sales to the library!

Barnes & Noble handled book sales and helped me donate a portion of the sales to the library!

This was my bookday & my birthday! So my mother fed everyone cake. =D

This was my bookday & my birthday! So my mother fed everyone cake. =D

The reading itself went wonderfully, and I was so happy to see so many people there! Robin Stauber, the librarian who organized the event, said this was a bigger crowd than even Western writer Elmer Kelton brought in!

Reading selfie!

Reading selfie!

Afterward, lots of people bought books and lined up for signings, and I loved meeting every one of you!

But the biggest thrill of the night was seeing some of my favorite teachers, all three of whom are mentioned in the acknowledgements in Hagridden! These women, and so many other teachers, are such huge influences in my life, and I was honored that they came out to see me. =D


My middle school English teacher, Billie C. Hoffmann!


My high school English teacher, Dani Vollmer!


My college English professor, Kathleen Hudson!

This evening, I’ll be at Malvern Books in Austin, so expect more photos soon. And I’ll be turning up elsewhere in the Hill Country all week. But if you’re not in the area, you can always order Hagridden online!

Today, Hagridden belongs to you

It’s finally here for everyone. Today, Hagridden joins the world.

Hagridden cover

And because Hagridden is officially out, that means you can officially have a copy. Maybe you’re already getting one from your JEN event donation (thanks!) or because you won the Goodreads giveaway (congrats!).

Or maybe you’re joining us for the release party in Boerne, TX. (If so, I’ll see you in the library at 6!)

But if you’re planning to order a copy today, you can buy one at Powell’s in Portland, either in the store or online!

You can also order one via Barnes & Noble!

And it’s at Amazon, in paperback or ebook.

Or you could always pop into your local independent bookstore and ask them to order a whole mess of copies!

You can find a full list of ways to buy the novel — and links to storefronts — on the book’s website.

However you get your book, make sure you add it on Goodreads. And when you get a chance, add an honest review there and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Powell’s? Seriously, be honest — I’d like to know what folks think.

In the meantime, happy birthday to Hagridden! Pour a whiskey and let’s party!

I did a search for images of a werewolf birthday, for the rougarou in Hagridden, and I have no idea what this is, but it's eerily perfect. Links to an playlist.

I did a search for images of a werewolf birthday, for the rougarou in Hagridden, and I have no idea what this is, but it’s eerily perfect. Links to an playlist.