What if your daughter, who died five years earlier, sent you a private message on Facebook?
That is the question Spanish novelist, Teresa Buzo Salas, seeks to answer in her new psychological thriller, Daughters of the Hours.
The novel is published by Editorial Gregal, a Spanish publishing house located near Barcelona. Written in first person, the novel describes the psychological hell a father named Virgil endures as he seeks understanding after the untimely death of his 15-year-old daughter from cancer. Divorced, unemployed and depressed, he spends his days contemplating suicide.”
“We have all experienced loss in our lives,” Teresa said. “Virgil’s grief is so profound that he begins a slow descent into madness. In the depths of his despair, he gets a Facebook message, purportedly from his daughter, that sends him on a nightmarish journey through Morocco and Ghana looking for answers. I named the father Virgil because his journey is not unlike the protagonist in Dante’s Inferno.”
Teresa grew up in Badajoz, Spain. She received her B.A. in tourism management from the University of Seville (Spain) and in 2007, she moved to Georgia, where she received her M.A. in Spanish (2012) from Georgia Southern University (GSU). She and her husband, Dr. Jose Manuel Hidalgo, live in Statesboro and both teach in the Department of Foreign Languages at GSU.
Teresa has written four novels and numerous short stories but this is her first published novel. Her pieces have been selected as winners on nine occasions, and nineteen finalists in different competitions. In addition to her other writings, Teresa is a regular contributor to La Voz Latina.
“I have always loved to write,” she said. “It is true I have received some awards but I have also received many, many rejection slips. I feel very lucky to have found a publisher for this novel. There are many good writers who don’t get published. I think success in writing is more about discipline than ability.”
Many authors today choose to self-publish their works but Teresa prefers the traditional method.
“If a publisher has nothing invested in your work, they don’t promote it,” she said. “Gregal has worked very hard to put my novel in the hands of influential critics and I have received some good reviews as a result. Also, they paired me with a very talented editor, Natalia Cervera, who is famous for translating the medieval fantasy novel, The Game of Thrones, into Spanish.”
Last month, Teresa shared parts of her novel as well as advice on writing with a group of about 50 friends, students, and faculty members at a public reading on the Georgia Southern campus.
“I read a section from my novel and talked about the writing process,” Teresa said. “At home, I normally write from mid-afternoon to early evening with soft music playing in the background. I have to fully visualize my characters– what they look like, what clothes they wear, how they act… before I can give a good image to the reader.”
In her spare time, Teresa enjoys traveling and experimenting with new recipes.
Daughters of the Hours is available for purchase at the Georgia Southern Bookstore, 91 Georgia Ave, Statesboro, GA 30458, 912-478-5181 or online at amazon.com–