Tampa author Brian Cosby tackles spirituality in his new thriller, ‘Jaded Faith’

Tampa author Brian Cosby tackles spirituality in his new thriller, ‘Jaded Faith’

Brian Crosby never considered himself an author. The Tampa-based Warner Southern graduate has spent the bulk of his professional life in the corporate world, most recently with a telecommunications company.

But when he found himself out of a job following a massive merger, he decided to pursue his dream. The result is Jaded Faith, a Tampa-based book featuring a gay character enmeshed in an angels vs. demons fight for human souls.

“I was raised with stories of Armageddon,” Crosby says. “Everything was about heaven and hell, and that’s why I chose the title Jaded Faith.”
Crosby and his siblings grew up in Pennsylvania with very religious parents. Like so many other gay men growing up in faith-based families, Crosby kept his homosexuality a secret for most of his life. He says he never had a positive gay role model and he hopes the main character in Jaded Faith, Michael Michener, will be a role model for young readers.

The single writer admits he loosely based Michael on himself. Except, that is, for the character’s ability to see into the world of angels and demons. The book follows Michael’s journey with his partner, Luke, and their friend Madeline, toward finding a way to save humankind from the wrath of demons after God pulls his protection from the planet.

“I really wanted to have a gay character as a strong lead because I’m so fed up with mainstream media,” Crosby says. “People say Will & Grace was a breakthrough. But I don’t think so. It’s silly. I wanted to create a strong, good looking hero who happens to be gay.”

Ironically, the book has similarities to the wildly popular Left Behind series by noted Evangelical Christian authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. But Crosby says Jaded Faith is not specifically based on the Bible, although Crosby’s Christian upbringing is definitely evident in the plot.

“When it comes to religion I consider myself open-minded,” Crosby says. “I believe in an afterlife and I believe in God. I believe in evolution, but not the Big Bang. I’m not agnostic, so I guess I’d consider myself a Christian… but without the tambourine.”

Crosby says religion was used to scare him as a child. When he misbehaved his parents told him, “You’re grounded and then you’re going to hell.” In time, it made him doubt the truth behind his parents’ faith.

“I believe the Bible is 70% man’s take on God,” Crosby says.

Setting the book in Florida made the writing a little easier. Crosby has lived in Tampa since the early 1990s and currently lives in a downtown high rise. His characters live in the same building.

“They say you’re supposed to write what you know,” Crosby says. “I know Tampa, and I also know faith and religion. I’m thankful to my parents for that. That’s what Anne Rice did. She writes what she knows, uses her surroundings as a base line and builds from that.”

Jaded Faith has been out since late fall 2008, and so far Crosby says the feedback has been positive.

“I get a lot of responses through my Web site and they’ve been pretty positive,” Crosby says. “There’s an interest in this kind of story telling out there.”

On a recent trip to Provincetown, Mass., Crosby says he was sitting with six gay men in their mid-20s on public transportation when his book was brought up. By the end of the ride, all six had purchased his book.

“I think it’s nice for people to see the gay guy as the right guy,” Crosby says. “We shouldn’t be sidekicks anymore. Gay characters can be lead characters without all of the sex scenes. This book is about the action.”

And that action will continue. Crosby says he’s already started work on the unnamed sequel.

To purchase Jaded Faith or to read an excerpt, visit BrianWCrosby.com.

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