DA: A Muslim, ordained interfaith minster. How did you decide to become a Muslim?
LB: Actually, I was Atheist, and trying hard to become Christian. But as hard as I tried, I just couldn't accept Christian creed. It's a personal choice, but I always believed God to be one, not three. Furthermore, I always believed Jesus to be a man, not a son of God or God incarnate. I just never bought those beliefs. When I learned the Bible spoke of a final prophet to follow Jesus, I went looking for him. That led me to Muhammad and Islam.
DA: what do you think about the " supposedly 2012 end"?
LB: Actually, I try not to. For thousands of years people have predicted the end of the world tomorrow.But tomorrow always came, and I'm expecting the same to be true for a good many years to come.
DA: The Eighth Scroll (which I have not read yet) had a totally different plot than The Returned. How did you come up with this idea for The Returned?
LB: I got this idea from Avatar. Basically, I looked at the mystical attachment the blue people had for the forest in Avatar, and I thought, "What a load of rubbish!" The reality of forest existence is very different indeed. So I set about writing a novel, set in the Amazon, that brings out the psychological stresses of city-dwellers having to fight for their lives in the jungle. Intertwined in that drama, I worked in more realistic descriptors of native people and how they really live.
DA: As an author, I love to read. Who are some authors who influenced you?
LB: Some days, my literary inspiration doesn't go much higher than the Garfield comic strip. I developed my own style from a lifetime of reading and watching movies. I am a very visual person, and that is strongly reflected in my writing. Many people notice my scenes read as if they are actually seeing them play in the movie of their minds.
DA: I am a man of absurd humor, always looking for a laugh. Can you give my readers some absurd words?
LB: "Gogonookatunie?" I'm not sure I understand the question, or even that I answered it. Anyway, what is more funny than reality? Someone once said that life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think. The problem is, I think I feel, which according to this formula means I openly laugh at tragedy. On the other hand, if I feel a thought coming on, that means I hate a good joke. See what I mean? Reality is funny as . . . wait a minute. Hell can't possibly be funny, so I can't say that. So it's funny. Unless you feel, in which case it's a tragedy, which I think is funny as something other than Hell.With me so far?
DA: Lastly what's next for Dr. Laurence Brown. Upcoming events, new books, etc.?
LB: Ever wash fish tacos down with castor oil and cranberry juice cocktails? You might not like to think too deeply about what's next for me. I'm typing fast, believe me. But to tell the truth, my next book is about . . . urp. Hm. Can we talk about this later?