Multi-award-winning author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who evolved from concepts on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. Protostar: Book 1 The Star-Crossed Saga and The School of Ministry: The Windgate are currently two young adult series he created. Braxton is also the CEO of the full-service entertainment company Cosby Media Productions, which has five divisions including film, television, music, print media and consultative services. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife, three children and a troop of crazy African Cichlids.
Loren Kleinman (LK): Your personal mission is to "change lifestyles." How do you relate to writing Young Adult fiction?
Braxton Cosby (BC): I think changing lives is an aspect of everything I do. Or at least that's what I'm trying to incorporate. I feel that I have been called to bring healing -- not just through my job as a physical therapist, but also in the words I write. I feel a huge responsibility has been given to me with my platform, and I want to use my books and writings as a vehicle to convey positive messaging to people of all ages. My love for young adult books and for young people in general is an inspiration. I want to tell stories that are not just unique, but are tales that become more of an experience that people part take in when they read.
LK: Can you talk about your background in physical therapy and how that influences your writing?
BC: I love what I do daily as a physical therapist. I am able to touch the lives of so many people on a daily basis. I hear their personal stories and provide encouragement and hope in the midst of circumstances that force them to adapt and survive. My writing becomes a reflection of that because I incorporate the "survival" theme in most of my stories and show characters that adapt over time, and pursue accomplishing mutual goals against insurmountable odds.
LK: You're the nephew of Bill Cosby. I mean we had to bring that up, right? What's your relationship like? How has he been supportive of your writing? And do you consider it a blessing or a curse?
BC: Uncle Bill is an amazing inspiration for me. He has accomplished so much over his career and the most important thing he has done is touch the lives of millions. I did a book tour with him in the past, and to see hundreds of people come up to him and tell him how important all the projects he's done were to them and their families is awe-inspiring. I want my books, movies and music to do the same thing. They have to mean something to me first, and then I know they will touch others. I've turned down projects based on propaganda alone. His God-given talent for storytelling has thankfully matriculated down to me. I am able to infuse detail into my world-building which brings readers out of the present. Uncle Bill also encourages me to be the best 'me' that I can be and to not be afraid to follow my own path, in spite of what the norm is. The shadow of being a Cosby is so much more than a blessing. It gives me opportunities to have conversations and meet people that I would've otherwise not been able to connect with. Now, with my company Cosby Media Productions in full swing, we are developing intellectual properties in partnership with fabulous people who share our vision.
LK: Can you talk about your upcoming release, Protostar? How did you come up with the title and the premise?
BC: Protostar is a young adult love story, wrapped in a sci-fi backdrop that tells the story of two star-crossed lovers brought together by fate and destined to be torn apart. William, a bounty hunter and prince from his home planet Fabricius, is sent to Earth on a mission to kill a star-child (a humanoid being that will inherit the powers of the Sun) named Sydney, before she tears the solar system to pieces. When he arrives on Earth, the assassination is delayed three days due to unforeseen circumstances and he decides to shadow her in hopes to find out more about his target. But, he makes the mistake of getting too close to her over time which creates an internal struggle, forcing him to choose between love and duty. There's a great mix of twists and turns, fantastic action, large set pieces, and memorable characters. We've already gone into film production, completing the screenplay and initial casting.
LK: You're a busy (I mean busy) man. Can you talk about how you manage your time with so much on your plate?
BC: I have a great team of players behind me. It starts with home. My wife helps me manage the family and we set aside time for each other and then I get to work. Then there's the business side. With Cosby Media Productions (CMP), Leon, my COO, does a wonderful job of coordinating calls and connecting us with people and businesses for productive partnerships that we feel are setting the stage for getting our projects off the ground in major ways.
LK: You were nominated by Jezebel Magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful Atlantans, not only for your looks, but for your dedication to service in the community and beyond. Can you share with us your philosophy on community service and how that also relates to the writing community?
BC: It was a great honor bestowed upon me by Jezebel Magazine. I have a lot of respect for the magazine and the growth they've accomplished here in the Southeast. I love that the "50 Most" achievement went beyond recognizing people for just their looks. I understand the importance of community service, not just to those within the same community with similar backgrounds, but with the entire community of the world. With the birth of social media, people can now be reached across distance in mere microseconds. I get so many people reaching out to me and thanking me for my timely statements, articles, quotes and tweets on social media. I'm so humbled that I can be used as a vessel to encourage others. It extends well beyond just my blog, Cosby's Corner, where I talk about everything from movies, books, film and current projects. Not to mention the health advice and information I share on the "Ask The Fat Doctors" radio show on WAOK.
LK: What's your take on the rise in author bullying on Amazon and other venues like Goodreads?
BC: I can't believe that something this petty is happening, especially in a venue as important as reading and writing. Egos and attitudes always seem to get in the way of progress. The rise of indies in both print and film/television is putting the pressure on higher-ups and the consumers are now gravitating to good content in opposition to good marketing. I love the current climate and environment we're living in right now, minus the garbage.
LK: If you could spend a day with any one of your characters in Protostar who would it be?
BC: It would be William. He's the daring, brave, good-looking, unconventional hero who is in transition. I appreciate people who are willing to not be afraid of change and accept the idea that the way they think the world needs to exist might be the wrong way of thinking. His character reflects the power of truth and of course love, which I feel is the most powerful force in the universe. Obviously, with Protostar being just the first book in the series, we will continue to see William grow and struggle to accept the things he cannot change and allow love to guide his thought processes going forward.
LK: If I give you a time machine, what time period and in what place would you travel to?
BC: The future! I love the advancements that man has made over time. Although we still have our laundry list of issues, I believe the best form of man is yet to come. We are slowly learning more and more how to appreciate other's differences and developing a tolerance for individuality. At the base of humanity, there is a need to feel loved, appreciated and accepted. Everyone deserves a chance to experience all of these. No matter what you may feel about someone and their choices, maintaining the ideal of love will always help in positioning opportunities for positive exchanges and decision-making that will further the growth of our society.