Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest post: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez + giveaway

Today I welcome author Arthur J. Gonzalez. He was kind enough to write a guest post for you guys but first here is a little information about his upcoming release. Also, you will find the rafflecopter for the Tour Grand prize giveaway below the guest post.

Title: The Photo Traveler
Author: Arthur J. Gonzalez
Genre: YA Paranormal/Time Travel
Publication date: February 20th, 2013
Goodreads link: Click here!
Purchase links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Synopsis(provided by the author):
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 Hillstone, life will never be the same.

Meet the Author

My name is Arthur J Gonzalez.  I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Miami, FL.  I graduated from the University of Florida.  I am currently   releasing my debut novel, The Photo Traveler.  The premise surrounds 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images.

Author contact links:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Guest post: 

(Subject: Introduce us to your characters. How did they come to life?)

Creating dynamic, fun, relatable characters is one of the most entertaining aspects of writing for me. I become absorbed by their world and dilemmas, and secretly live vicariously through their own experiences. Here are some of the contributing factors and thoughts that went into breathing life into my characters.

When developing The Photo Traveler, I knew I wanted a main character to be someone who struggled with several internal demons; as we all have. I desired a character that would have the ability to evolve dramatically- but not forcefully- over the course of the story. A character I can develop from weak to strong.
With Gavin, I built his very foundation on this idea. Everything that he does or doesn’t do is a direct result of his struggles and constant inner battlers. We’ve all felt- to some level- the desire to be loved and accepted. We’ve all felt guilty for what has occurred around us- whether we were a direct or indirect influence to these problems. We each have our reasons as to why, and Gavin has his very own. I crafted a sequence of events that organically contributed to who he is today. If (and when) you read the story, you can’t help but connect to what Gavin is feeling. You can actually channel it and relate to it because any other alternative would have felt unnatural.

When studying at the University of Florida, I would come home and work part-time at a major hospital. I had this one co-worker that was a splitting image of Meesha. From day one she took me under her wing for no apparent reason; which was funny, because we couldn’t be any more opposite.
This particualr co-worker spoke and acted just like Meesha. She had this innate ability to make me feel good, gave me advice on life, had the most amazing and distinct humor, and still always kept me (and everyone around her) on their toes. You either loved or hated her, but you always listened and respected her.
This co-worker didn’t necessarily save my life or do anything life changing for me, but I will forever remember her. This is exactly how I envision Meesha. I think she will be a character that everyone will remember.


Liam is a lot like my late pops that passed away six years ago. And he’s a lot like him in the sense of his character, not in regards to his lack of better judgment (those who have read the story, know what I mean). He is a character with deep love for his family, and as the story unravels throughout the series, you will see that there was nothing Liam would not do for his family.
The relationship between a father and son doesn’t need to be distant and cold, in an attempt to sustain masculinity. It wasn’t this way for my pops and I. We didn’t care to show affection. I never missed a moment to say, “I love you”, and neither did he. And looking back, I am so blessed and grateful we never wasted a moment to express that love, because we will never be able to again.
I wanted to draw this relationship between Liam and Gavin. I believe Gavin needed it- actually, I know I did. :)

Bud and Estelle:
This couple was modeled after what I have assessed to be a rare commodity. They paint the picture of the type of love and integrity we rarely see nowadays; a time when divorce was a distant option and relationships were founded on the premise of real love, rather than superficial conveniences. My grandparents share this relationship, and the person by whose death inspired the idea- she and her husband shared this relationship.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily a value attributed to relationships of an older generation, but from what I have experienced, this seems to be a common theme. And by no means am I saying this is nonexistent in our current world; I only mean to say it has grown increasingly rare (from my point of view).
It’s a relationship I value tremendously. It’s one I have now, and one I aspire to have for the remainder of my life. I wanted these people to be a part of the story. Like Liam’s presence in the story, Bud and Estelle’s relationship was essential in healing Gavin’s many wounds. They served as a symbol of hope and change.


I want to thank Mr. Gonzalez for the wonderful guest post and Giselle @ Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this awesome blog tour. Now click HERE if you want to see the list of blogs on the tour.

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