Salazar is a first-time author who identifies as an amateur writer, but when her novel was launched at the National Library, Port-of-Spain last Thursday, the reviews were solid and there was a flood of praise for her writing style and wild imagination.
“As a young writer Vanessa’s determination and discipline was admirable and this drove her to this point where she is launching a book,” said poet Kasi Sengor. “She has a great imagination and when you read this story it really comes alive.”
Sengor praised Salazar for staying focused and for dedication to the craft. He encouraged her to pursue her passions and to keep telling stories.
Selima and the Merfolk follows the story of Selima whose mother unexpectedly dies, and she is forced to live with her estranged father in Las Cuevas Bay. Being the newcomer whom no one knew existed, she spends most of her time exploring by herself. While in the forest, she stumbles upon an extraordinary secret that has been hidden for hundreds of years … there is a mystical river, inhabited by “merfolk”.
Selima is befriended by a beautiful mermaid named Draya. Her life becomes challenging when she and the mermaid’s fianc?, Amarus, fall in love. From then on, Amarus guides Selima in a plan to bribe the Sea King, who is the only one who can grant him legs.
“This story was told to me by my grandfather, his tales of the ‘merfolk’ always fascinated me and I’m just happy to share it with everyone,” Salazar told the gathering at her book launch. “And I’m really happy for all the support.”
Salazar opened up about her early years as a young and curious writer with an eagerness to learn. She pointed out that the project to have the book completed, edited and published took four years.
Salazar who hails from Las Cuevas Bay signed books after the launch and also interacted with students who were in the audience. She presented several students with copies of the book after they participated in a raffle.
British Gas and Mario’s Pizza have teamed up with Salazar to support her book launch and efforts to have her book reach students across the country.