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The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez‏

THE PHOTO TRAVELER is young adult author Arthur J. Gonzalez's first novel. Arthur was born and raised in Miami surrounded by his loud Cuban family. He graduated from the University of Florida, where he acquired his coffee obsession and his chocolate hoarding antics. He's the proud father of one baby girl, Sookie--his miniature schnoodle dog. Arthur is a self-professed goofball who spends 98% of his life laughing. He's now working on his second novel.


Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father. Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.” Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it. He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images.

But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want! His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials.

Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love. For Gavin, life will never be the same.

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
THE PHOTO TRAVELER was created after one of the most important people in my life lost his grandmother. He was looking at an old black and white photo of his grandmother in Havana, Cuba and said, “I would do anything to jump into this photo.”

In that moment the idea came to me.

I thought, Oh my god. What if we could?

Imagine having the ability to time travel to and revisit old memories or moments in time!?

I immediately developed the story line with that very premise, living the experience vicariously through Gavin.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
The initial draft took me one month to complete. But over the following 7 months, the story would evolve into the monster it is now.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
I love creating the characters. Getting inside their heads and really developing a unique individual.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
I’m so impatient. When I start a story I want to finish it right away. On top of that, I’ll usually be writing several stories at the same time, and I’ll want to complete them all right then and there … but yea, that’s just impossible.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? 
I would go with Walt Disney. He is my inspiration. The man was a brilliant visionary and flawless storyteller.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
HA! Hmm … I have a tub of hummus that’s been in there for over a month.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
They can sign up for exclusive information, giveaways, and cover reveals on my website at: www.arthurjgonzalez.com.

But as far as what I am writing …

I’m working on the sequel to The Photo Traveler, titled The Peace Hunter. I cannot express how excited I am about this book! This story takes off in directions I, myself, could not believe!

My children’s novel, Monty and the Monsters, will hopefully be ready by end of summer/end of year. The story is about a newborn human boy, Monty, who’s taken from his world and raised by monsters (in a hysterical monster world I created, called Gloomsbury). Monty is raised by monsters his entire life, carrying the burden of feeling different, but never knowing he is actually a human. His life is filled with isolation and loneliness, constantly being the target of heavy bullying.

On Monty’s 15th birthday, he is informed of the truth of his origin and given the opportunity to venture to his human world; where there, Monty will have to decide if he will stay in the world he was stripped of, or stay with the monster parents he has grown to love, in a world that has always shunned him.

The story is about love, blended family, acceptance, bullying, and finding your way.

The second novel is part one in a still untitled YA series surrounding the end of the world. This story, though, takes place ten years after the fact, where five 5 teens wake to an earth that has evolved into a completely different planet than they remember.

They are forced to resuscitate their kind and reestablish civilization. But they soon realize why their world ended and discover that earth is still at its mercy.

And then I’m also working on an adult Fiction series surrounding Greek Mythology, The Olympian Chronicles: Hades. Think True Blood with Greek Gods, rather than vampires and werewolves. It’s an edgy, sexy, and modern take on Greek Mythology, with a 21st century twist. What would our favorite tales look like if they took place in today’s world?

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