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Veronica's Nap
Veronica’s Nap

How One Author is Redefining Publishing Success

By Mark B. Oliver | August 15, 2012

One author, Sharon Bially, is redefining ‘success’ with the publication of her novel Veronica’s Nap, on her blog.

A Narrow Street in Aix-en-Provence

Sharon Bially grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts and as a young girl spent time in France during a school exchange program.   She quickly developed a friendship with her French counterpart and was fascinated by the cultural differences.   Picking up French easily, she travelled back and forth over the next several years until, while studying at Tufts University, she spent her junior year in France.

After graduating, she returned to Europe and spent many years in Paris and Provenance, before finally returning to New England in 2001 .   She and her husband have lived in Natick, Massachusetts ever since.   Ironically it was her husband, who is French, that persuaded her that they should move to New England; a decision neither regret.

Sharon, is a publicist and writer and has become somewhat disillusioned with the publishing industry.   Her latest novel, Veronica’s Nap, is her fourth and despite widespread enthusiasm while she was writing it, it failed to find a publisher.   Sharon however was undaunted and is now serializing the novel, a few pages at a time on her website.   In addition to publishing her novel on the site, Sharon blogs on the same site in a format designed to spark book club-style conversation.   What led her to publish her novel in this way?

“I’m fascinated by how social media has transformed the way stories from news to fiction reach – and are endorsed by – the public.   For authors like myself who want above all to share their stories, blog technology offers cost-effective opportunities to publish, build an audience and hold ongoing conversations with readers.   It offers all writers the potential to generate a revenue stream from their work.   Increasingly, writers must also be entrepreneurs.”

Aerial View of Aix-en-Provence

The novel is about a young mother living in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France, who becomes stuck in the habit of procrastinating and indulging in naps while a nanny watches her two-year-old twins.   Set amid rising anti-Semitic sentiment in France at the onset of the first Iraq war, the book follows Veronica as she tries to break out of the dangerous yet seductive rut she’s slipped into.

As Sharon lived in Aix-en-Provence, to what extent is the novel autobiographical? Sharon smiles.

“I’m the complete opposite of Veronica in many ways, in that I’m continually busy, with my children, my full time job.   I wanted to take the opportunity to explore what that must be like, to be able to let go.   The setting is very much based on my personal recollections and experiences though, as I lived in Aix-en-Provence for many years.”

Sharon has received an overwhelming positive reaction to both her blog and Veronica’s Nap, and has received over 1,300 visitors in the three weeks since launch.

“To me building a community of interested people and being able to exchange ideas with them inspired by the fiction I’ve written is extremely satisfying: a good measure of success I’d say.”


The Veronica’s Nap Website

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