The Photo Traveler
(The Photo Traveler Series Book One)
by Arthur J. Gonzalez
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
Date of Publication: Feb 20, 2013
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.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
To photo travel, of course! ;) Okay, okay! I would actually choose to teleport. If I could, I’d take us to do this interview in Paris of Greece.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’ve had people all over the world tell me how much they’ve enjoyed The Photo Traveler, and how it’s become their favorite book. It was something I could only dream of hearing.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. You will become infatuated by Gavin’s epic journey!
I loooooovvvee Mexican and Mediterranean food. AND CHOCOLATE!
What book are reading now?
YA novel, The 5th Wave
What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love California weather. When the sun is out, accompanied by a light breeze, and zero humidity.
What was your favorite children's book?
I really loved the ‘Frog and Toad are Friends’ book.
Beach or Pool?
Hm, that’s a tough one. Buuuuut, I was raised on beautiful Miami beaches, so I’ll always love the beach.
What is one book everyone should read?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
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.
My young adult superhero series, tentatively titled LADY ELEMENT (a series meant to break passed the typical male superhero mold, by focusing on a female main character, Charlee, who has developed her abilities to summon the elements. She is on the hunt for her scientist parents whom she discovers have been kidnapped by an underground governmental program, designed to create new strands of diseases for population control. Charlee suffers from body dysmorphia, has a hunky gay best friend, and in a matter of words…is quite fierce.).
The third 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?
WOW!! You are a little busy! Can't wait to read some of those. They sound great! Thanks for being here today and sharing a little about yourself and what you have planned for the future. :)
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.
Ever since I could remember, I believed there had to be something more to life than the one I’d been thrown into as a child. Even though I sometimes told myself I had to be crazy because just the idea seemed so hard to imagine—given how things had gone so far, anyway.
I would ask myself if it was wrong for me to feel this way. If I was being naïve to think there was something greater out there. Something that really belonged to me. But what do you if you feel an unknown force pulsating through your blood, constantly reminding you of it? Are you just supposed to ignore it?
I suppose that most of the time that’s what they teach us to do. You know, “Forget it. Take the easy way out.” Sure. Never the right one.
That’s what they kept telling me. “You’re kidding yourself if you think you can have a better life.¬ Learn to live with what you’ve got.” Things like that.
Maybe that’s why I started taking photos as soon as I got my hands on my first camera. It was a way I could distance myself from the life I was being forced to live. It let me create images of the world around me, finding life in the most ordinary moments…like when the sun makes a lonely tree sweat and it in turn gives water to a struggling, thirsty grasshopper below. Those things were real. Not the crappy life I’d always been trapped in.
And then, just a few weeks ago, my life took a turn for the unexpected. And now all I have to say to you is—believe in your gut instinct. Intuition is what kept me alive. It’s what made me believe. At the end of the day, it was all I really had that was mine. And you can find what’s really yours, too.