Monday, October 28, 2013

Interview with Braxton Cosby

What was I like as a teenager? Is Ziv anything like you were as a teen? 

I was a simple teenager by most standards. I was a student athlete, playing basketball, football and running track. I didn’t really get involved with the “In” crowd, running with a small group of friends that I really trusted. I never wrote and struggled with reading material that was mandatory. I’d say that William is what I would have and still strive to be like, especially in relationships. He has a very honest persona about him, and even a bit naïve as he struggles to adjust to Earth life. He is accountable for his actions and makes decisions without wavering. He is athletic and tall, and he values doing the “Right Thing”; something I hold dear to as well. 

What about my childhood experiences as a writer?

I always loved to create and experience story-telling. I could remember listening to Disney record/picture books when I was younger. You’d listen to the narrator as you flipped the pages when you heard a “ding” sound. Then, I fell in love with Chose Your Own Adventure books. I always cheated and flipped ahead to see what the better choice was before making it. Then I decided to create my very first comic book. It was a similar to the X-Men series, with a few original characters that possessed their own super powers. I still have it to this day and may even create a graphic novel out of it one day. 

How do I describe myself as a writer?

I’m very descriptive in my writing. I love to capture the essence of the story and paint a picture to the reader so that they see what I am trying to convey, yet provide a little freedom for their own imagination to wander around in the setting. I really try to write as I see the scene unfolding, very similar to a screenplay or storyboard for a movie. That’s the one thing that people who read The Windgate are saying in their reviews. It’s my unique blend of descriptors and attention to detail that makes me different.
It took me three months to finish the manuscript, then another two to edit and clean up the nine-thousand or so words that weighed it down.

What am I working on now?

Actually, I have a Sci-fi romance novel being re-published by Winter Goose Publishing in February 2014, as well as the sequel to The School of Ministry. I also have a few other stories in mind on my compute (the vault). But I will only release them once it has run its course. I have a witch story with a twist, and a story based on werewolves and vampires that it is VERY different from anything you’ve read thus far. 

Am I ever compared to my uncle Bill Cosby?

Not concerning the entertainment industry. He stands alone in a class all by himself. He created his own brand of comedy and acting that is very unique. I would say that when you are a relative of a famous person or any recognizable persona, people always make assumptions and draw their own comparisons about you. But, his accomplishments are extremely inspirational to me because they always drive me. His contribution to not just entertainment, but to the entire world galvanizes me to create the best product that I possibly can so that I can make a significant impact as well.

What writers in the industry do I inspire you the most today? Why is that?

Well, of course J.K. Rowlings and James Patterson, due their tremendous success. But I have a real admiration for the works that Suzanne Collins and Charlaine Harris have put out with The Hunger Games and Sookie Stackhouse Novels. These authors have really dared to create unique set pieces and rich characters that spring from the page and illuminate in the reader’s minds, during times that these stories were not very popular. Their bravery to create inspired me to give birth to my stories.

What makes me different from other writers today?

I would say that it is my ability to project visual imagery on mental landscape. I’ve always loved and have been fascinated by storytelling. I’m a huge movie fan and I appreciate the ability of the director to set the tone of the story from the outset. Movies that draw people in from the beginning really appeal to me. That’s why I started out Protostar the way I did (you’ll see next year).  The Windgate is more character driven, especially since it is written from the first person. So it was important to build from the start with Ziv’s characters and his lack of self-esteem. But as I continue to watch movies over the years, something changed within me. I found myself being drawn to tales that had an epic feel to them. The stories that offered something more than just action or suspense, and created vibrant, real characters were the ones that appreciated the most. I would look at movies in a whole new perspective and say, it was good, but if it did this or that it would have been awesome.  When I began to write, I really wanted to construct an imaginative playground where I would finally have the opportunity to incorporate all these great ideas.

What do I want your future fans to know about me?

Know that I am dedicated to the journey of re-creating myself over and over. I am leaving my mundane and boring old personality behind and stepping out of my comfort zone, with the intent to be used by God for a higher calling: a calling to explore every bit of potential that is stored up within me. We all have so much to offer this world, but I feel that more often than not, we get caught up in the unwritten rules of life and begin to stop dreaming. But more than that, I really want to inspire other people out there to pray for guidance on what their calling is so that they can have a clear vision of what God has in store. I am a stunning testimony of what can happen when you quiet your mind and listen to that little voice in your head.

What do I feel are the essential elements of a great story?

I love pacing and big finishes. I want to deliver a story that has good pacing, allowing the reader to get a “jolt” of action here and there that moves the story forward, and then slow it down so that there are opportunities for character development. I hate to give everything all at once. I fear that readers will have a let-down and lose interest if the story moves too fast or slow. I’m a huge fan of “Big Finishes”. I want the reader or audience (movie plug) to experience a climactic ending so that they remember the story. It was imperative to me that The Windgate has all these elements. I had the ending completed in my head mid-way through writing the book.

What is it about this genre that captures your imagination?

Young people, young love, young ideas, and young innocence. Did you hear young anywhere in there? Lol. I love working with young people and I understand the challenges that they go through, but I appreciate their potential. Everything they want is at their fingertips, but they have to be determined to obtain it. There is so much opportunity to create fresh stories and characters that reflect our society today.

About The Windgate:

It started off as just a Young Adult book of a young boy that faces hardship in his life early on and was in need of a breakthrough. But as I started to write the book, I realized that it had to be a series because of the wealth of intrigue a plot like this story has. You have a prodigal son enemy, two love interests, a enigmatic leader of a secret society and of course, demons. The story arc began to evolve over time as well, with the introduction of angels being the focus of the next book, along with the natural order of hate and villainy of our world. That’s when things changed for me a bit as a writer. I leapt for joy once I finished the novel and went back for initially edits, knowing that what was in store for all the characters would be truly mesmerizing to readers if I could get them hooked on book one, and ultimately invested in Ziv. The feel for the book matured a bit, walking the thin line between YA and New Adult, which was fine for me because I want everyone to be able to pick this book up and enjoy it. The spiritual elements of eth book, having it’s Christian roots, is there, but it’s less about religion and more about self-empowerment through a spiritual connection. The gifts of each character are pivotal for overcoming evil, but there are also the temptations of the talents they have as well, which can be manipulated and used for evil. That way, all walks of life can appreciate and enjoy the story of Ziv, with the various elements mixing in along the way.
The Windgate itself – without me giving anything away – represents that place where all of us must go someday for strength beyond what is visible to the naked eye. The battle there is less about Ziv and more about the  culmination of what the reader assumes is going on throughout the novel.

The School of Ministry
The Windgate
Book 1
Braxton A Cosby

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Keith Publications

ISBN: 978-1-62882-002-7

Number of pages: 367
Word Count: 114K

Book Description:


A young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness. He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels...demons!

Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak. Ziv learns that he is a "Conduit," which allows him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself.

When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, until he comes face to face with pure evil itself--Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Miami, Cosby earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate in physical therapy. He also is certified by the American Physical Therapists and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist.

And now he’s getting you in shape. “I feel that God has given me a calling to help people,” said Cosby. It was through his own injury that taught Cosby about “getting people back to their prior level of function.” He said he want to motivate “people to stay on the course” so they can meet their own individual goals.

Cosby is a personal trainer, nutritionist and physical therapist and is using his talents and knowledge to help bring attention to the health issues and disparities such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

He was the featured keynote speaker at the 2012 Atlanta CARES STEMFest for Children and Young Adults event. He also was a presenter for Mercer College School of Medicine and the  Louisiana Medical Society’s Focus on  Exercise  and  Fitness. He has partnered with Emory University as a clinical instructor and worked with a major rehabilitation company in geriatrics.

The host of a weekly radio show – Ask the Fat Doctors, Cosby also is an award-winning author and has been seen on CBS, Fox and Atlanta Live. He’s teamed up with retired offensive lineman and NFL analyst Jamie Dukes to create a workout video for men called Chachersize (C_4).

Ask the Fat Doctors is where Cosby, Dukes and radio personality Tee Foxx where they cover a variety of topics from current events to obesity to disease prevention. Cosby also shares tips on how to lose pounds.

Cosby’s goal is to share information on how to create healthy habits and how they can counteract serious health ailments. His articles can be found in “OMTimes Magazine” and “Skinny Limits”. Cosby also posted regular workout tips on his YouTube page.

As the nephew of actor and comedian Bill Cosby, Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has charted his own path, but embodies his uncle’s creativity and vision for a healthier America. “Of course” he was an influence, the younger Cosby said. “He taught me how to develop a passion for what you do.”

And Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has a passion for fitness


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Jamie Gibson said...

Love the interviews and meeting new authors!! Excited to read these amazing books!!

Tamara Eaton said...

The School of Ministry is a hero's journey that will appeal to both YA and adults. :) Good luck with it Braxton!