Today we're visiting with author Braxton A. Cosby on his tour with Bewitching Book Tours for The School of Ministry. He'll be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card via the raffle copter at the end of this post.
Why YA (or Middle Grade) fiction? What draws you to it?
I love YA for the simple fact that I have never lost the joy of being young and the power of youth. I love to dream of places never seen before, characters that are interesting, and action that screams frenetic. And that’s just from a television or movie perspective. I grew up watching cartoons like He-Man, Johnny Quest, GI Joe and transformers. As much as those shows carried a cool factor with them, I really fell in love with the characters and the relationships they built amongst one another. That gave them life and that life, made me connect with them. With YA, more than other genres of writing, connection between the reader and the characters (especially the main ones) is critical and that has to be built early on or you will lose the reader. The richness of the storytelling compels you to dive into the worlds. There’s a sweet elegance to Young Adult storytelling that you have to be aware of wherein the reader is constantly wanting to see something new and fresh. Whenever I write, I’m conscious of this and if my stories ever begin to sound cliché, I immediately switch gears.
What’s your favorite sweet treat?
I love chocolate, mainly dark chocolate for health reasons, but I find it almost impossible to pass up on a good brownie, covered in ice cream and hot fudge.
What would you write in a letter to your teen self?
Self, get it together. Stop wondering or worrying what other people think about you and focus on you being the best you that you can be. Imagine, dream, visualize and establish your dreams. You are unique, and that makes you powerful because what you have to offer the world cannot be duplicated in any form or fashion.
What superpower would you love to have? Why?
If I could turn invisible I would not be a very good boy I’m afraid. Not that I’d steal or break the law. But because I’d probably disappear from my family so that I could get some me time. Then there’d be the occasional sneaking into the movies to screen it before I lay down my hard earned money. After the first thirty minutes, I’d know for sure if it’s a worthy investment. I have to do something a little devious with my powers, why not?
What book is on your nightstand currently?
My Lenovo touchscreen tablet/laptop. I usually fall asleep listening to some YA audiobook or jotting down and idea for a story that comes to me in my sleep.
Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?
That’s easy, Hunger Games. Not that I discount Twilight by any means, I love what Stephanie Myer did with it from a creative standpoint. The characters, the storyline, the vision, all very cool. But there’s something about Suzanne Collins’ writing that is ridiculously amazing. She teleports you into her world within seconds of reading. Her words become a part of you and you are Katnis. She can take a seemingly simple scene and stretch it out to 3-5 pages of glorious substance that makes you sad that it comes to an end .Her dialogues are brilliant and you understand each character inside and out. TO do such a thing from a first person perspective from a writer’s standpoint is incredible.
Favorite TV show from your childhood?
The Cosby show….I know, shameless Uncle plug, but really. Who didn’t love The Cosby Show. In a day and age where reality television sells more on sex and filth, it was nice to recall how Bill had a knack for making you fall in love with simple family issues that we all live with on a day to day basis. Comedy is the best medicine for most woes. Yet, nowadays, we turn other things to medicate. Simple television, like reading, leaves an opportunity for you to use your own mind.
Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.
A desperate struggle for identity, built on perseverance, love and faith. Action packed, character driven storytelling.
You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?
I’m bringing Francis with me. He slowly became one of my favorite characters, although admittedly, Ziv is probably my alto ego. Francis is cool, slick, and tough as nails while dripping with endless ‘swag’. Plus, I have a feeling that he’d easily figure out how to live on a deserted island and still manage a decent hair style. LOL.
Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?
Tootsie roll, Irish cream. I want to love Tootsie rolls, but it’s something about the after taste that kills it for me. If I were to add one of my favorite flavors, like cream soda and Irish cream, I think that would kill the after taste and completely make it amazing. I’d also have to add some pecans to it, being from Georgia!
You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?
Marketing my books, retirement and babysitting. You can never have enough of either when you are trying to create an empire of good stories.
Who was your teenaged crush? Why?
And still is, Jessica Alba. I love her on Dark Angel. *sigh*
The School of Ministry
Braxton A Cosby
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Keith Publications
Number of pages: 367
TO CHOOSE, IS FATE!
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.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/jIuB6zXCnY4
Now, enjoy an excerpt:
It's Miss Evans!
I approach the tank and investigate it, looking for signs of movement from Miss Evans. She floats lifelessly in the water. Her hair flows, carried by the waves and her face appears angelic. I notice the softness of her eyelids and the elegant curve of her mouth as she floats. But the beautiful view is interrupted by a dramatic jolt of her body as her eyes open and a cluster of bubbles escape her mouth and nose. She stares at me and thrashes, eyes bloodshot as she slaps at the glass. I gaze back at her powerless, examining the tank for locks or levers; some way to release her from the watery prison.
I'm helpless as she continues to struggle for air. Then, an image flickers from the corner of my eye as a side door opens and Maxwell walks out, holding a staff of his own.
"Maxwell," I plead. "It's Miss Evans. Please help her!"
He shakes his head and lifts his staff in his hands, twirling it in a circle as he begins to slowly walk sideways, circling me like a predator, encasing me in a hedge of danger.
"Hold your ground. Make a choice: fight or flight," Maxwell bellows.
Miss Evans' banging on the glass behind me blends with the pounding of my heart. I lift my staff and spread my feet, turning my attention to Maxwell. As much as I'm afraid for my own safety, I find it impossible not to focus on Miss Evans. Her muffled scream comes from the tank and I look away from Maxwell to check on her. Her hands clutch her neck. Her face is bright red with a tinge of blue around her lips.
"No," I scream, stepping back away from the tank.
Raising my staff above my head, I crank back and rip it down, slamming it into the side of the tank, as I yell. The water explodes from the crack in the tank and glass shards crash to the floor below. I swing once more and this time the entire tank shatters, launching Miss Evans into the air toward me. I catch her in my arms and the force of the water propels us backward onto the floor. She coughs, gasping for air. I hold her in my arms and caress her head. Her sobbing brittles me and I'm relieved to see her skin color returning to its natural tanned shade.
We're here, an odd place, an unfamiliar place. But as I hold her delicately in my arms, it makes me feel like I'm heading back home. Not the place where I live now, but the place where I used to live, when mom and dad were still alive. The way she rests in my arms beckons me to a time when I used to hold my kitten, Priceless. She'd climb into my lap during the thunder storms. I was her comforter. Priceless would purr when I did it. And now, so many years later, I find myself feeling the same way as I hold Miss Evans. Her soft body pressing into my skin—warming me—calls me to hug her even closer with each passing second. The times when I needed someone to hold me reflect in my mind like a mirror as I stare at her. Her chest rises as her heart beat quickens, mixing evenly with her breaths. As warmth returns to her body, a subtle tremor comes over her; like a purr.
I can't resist. I have to do it. I must do it. I hug deeply, ignoring the senseless urge to pull away.
"Bravo!" praises Maxwell, exiting the room as the lights come back on.
Miss Evans resting in my arms and I comfort her, caressing her hair. She finally looks up at me and mouths, "Thank you."
About the Author:a Rafflecopter giveaway
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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