Sami Eastwood published her first book at 17, when she was a freshman at Chaminade.
Three years later, she’s completing final edits on a sequel and has already started working on a third novel in her science fiction series. She’s also the co-founder of a boutique publishing house, helps her parents grow their business in her spare time and is a year away from finishing her bachelor’s degree.
If that’s not impressive enough, Eastwood decided to double major in English and History.
Eastwood is an online undergraduate student at Chaminade, taking classes, completing assignments and communicating with professors and her peers remotely. While she lives in Oregon, she said she counts her professors as close and valuable mentors who have helped her grow as a writer and a learner.
“Every term I’m learning new things that contribute to sparking my creativity,” Eastwood said.
She said she decided to pursue her degree at Chaminade after taking a few classes at a large public university that she said wasn’t a right fit. Chaminade’s Marianist tradition of helping others and building a better world was an especially important element to her and her family, Eastwood said.
“I decided on an English major because I want to write books for a living and it’s good to know the rules of any trade you go into and how to analyze other works of fiction and nonfiction,” Eastwood said. “I chose history as well because I’ve always been fascinated by it, especially American history.”
In fact, Eastwood said she’s also interested in pursuing a future career in museums.
Her first love, though, is writing. And she has no plans to give that up. “My goal is to stay as closely connected to both worlds as possible,” Eastwood said. “The literary world of writing books along with the historical world, and I’m hoping my degrees can help me with that process.”
To publish her first book, Eastwood worked closely with another online undergraduate student at Chaminade–English major Jodi Clark. The two are good friends (and Oregon residents) and have found the university’s online program has allowed them to pursue their passions.
Clark even served as Eastwood’s editor for her first book, “Blackstone Asylum.”
The book is set 100 years in the future in a world in which superpowers are common and misunderstood. The novel’s heroine, Andrea Rosales, was born with the ability to heal. It’s that power that makes her a target for a villain who kidnaps paranormal children to turn them into weapons.
Eastwood said all she’s learned at Chaminade has given her a multitude of new story ideas and techniques for tackling them. “I learn endless amounts of information from both my English and history classes,” she said. “Even the smallest fact can blossom into (yet another) story idea.”