Dig Baton Rouge

DIG Meets: Local Author, Season Vining

Entering into the self-publishing world is a daunting task. For local author Season Vining, it was a step she was willing to take for her recent novel King Me – especially if it meant allowing her to have more creative freedom. On Saturday at the Citiplace Barnes & Noble, Season will be signing copies of all six of her novels and give people witness to the next exciting chapter in her writing career. DIG recently caught up with Season to discuss her new novel, her writing process, and her decision to self publish King Me.

Season Vining

Congratulations on your new novel! How did King Me come together?
King Me is a story that is ten years in the making. I originally had the idea in 2008, and immediately started writing and researching. I hit a kink in research and put the story on hold. During that time, I wrote six books but would always have KING ME in my head. So, ten years later, I opened the document and finished writing which only took six weeks.

Can you tell us a little more about your new novel?
King Me is a romantic suspense tale set in New Orleans. It centers around Delaney — a transplant from Chicago — who is researching Voodoo culture for her dissertation. Delaney’s only connection is a man named Valentine King. He’s a friend of a friend with family roots deep into Voodoo. Together they discover a secret group inside of the Voodoo community and are immediately entangled in a world that they desperately need to escape. King Me is a bit different than the rest of my work in that it takes place in New Orleans, and since the city is so unique, the setting almost becomes another character in the book. 

Why did you decide to release your latest through self-publishing? 
All of my other books are traditionally published and I was being encouraged by my author friends to try self-publishing. The number of “hybrid” authors out there is growing and it is the best way to ensure longevity, diversity, creative freedom, and marketing reach in the book world. 

Has self-publishing been more rewarding and freeing for you creatively? Do you plan on continuing to self-publish for your future work?
Learning to self-publish was intimidating at first. Luckily, I had a few friends who acted as mentors during the process and answered questions about anything I got stuck on. It was certainly a lot more work on my end, but the benefits are being able to have much more creative freedom (I’m a graphic designer and was able to design my own cover) and keeping a larger portion of royalties.

Which one of your novels do you find best defines your work and why? 
Chaos and Control definitely shows the diversity in my writing. It’s about a small town girl who is wild and a guy who has OCD. She’s the chaos and he’s the control. The entire book was inspired by a viral video I saw in my Facebook feed one day. It’s a spoken word poem titled “OCD” by Neil Hilborn. I’ve watched it a hundred times and still get chills every single time. So, while the book is told from my heroine’s point of view, at the end of each chapter you get a poem from the hero. It’s a quick and intense look into his mind.

What’s a typical writing session like for you?
Having a full-time job, doing freelance work, being engaged and a toddler mom, it’s difficult to find time to sit down and write. Somehow, I make it happen. Usually, it’s just me and my laptop at the end of the day, no music or television to distract me. 

What are you currently reading?
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to get into the writing world?
Work on your craft first. Join a writing group or find a critique partner. Attend writers conferences. Never assume you know all there is about writing because you can always learn more. Be open to critique and appreciate the value that comes from it. Once you’ve written the best book you can write, then you’ve got to decide which route you want to take — traditional or self-published? From there, the journeys are very different!

Be sure to check out Season Vining at her book signing, this Saturday, June, 1, at the Barnes & Noble in Citiplace from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. For more information on the event, follow the link here!

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