Gatekeeper Interviews Dr. Laurence B. Brown, Author of The Eighth Scroll

Today’s guest interview is from The Gatekeeper Post.  They’ve kindly interviewed Dr. Laurence B. Brown, author of The Eighth Scroll.

His novel has been compared to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.  In 68 CE, precious scrolls are hidden during an uprising of Essene Jews against the Romans, and 19 centuries later, archaeologist Frank Tones comes across the diary of their librarian, Jacob.  One of the scrolls described in the diary, “The Gospel of the Teacher of Righteousness,” could be the lost gospel of James or Jesus himself.  However, before the truth is discovered, Tones finds his friend and colleague dead.  The mysteries they unravel will shake religious foundations.

Without further ado, here’s the interview with Dr. Laurence Brown.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up as a swaying sea sponge in a sparkling tide pool on the rocky coast of Waikiki. But then I budded off and seeded the ocean’s currents with my creative genius and . . .seriously, I grew up in San Francisco – the liberal capital of America – a few locks away from the infamous ‘tune in, turn on, drop out’ Haight-Ashbury district during the sixties and seventies, in the middle of the hippies’ rock-and-roll, anti-establishment, free love and drug culture revolution. But that culture never touched me, as you can probably tell from the first sentence of my answer to this question, which is completely lucid, copacetic and . . . and . . . and where was I? Oh, yeah. San Francisco. Led Zeppelin, the rock operas Hair and Jesus Christ, Superstar, flowers in the hair and cold Corn Flakes in the morning in Golden Gate Park. Missed it all, as you can tell.

Somehow, I survived, clean. Headed off to Cornell University in 1977, on to Brown Medical School, dot, dot, dot, and here I am!

You’re a doctor, so what lead you to your passion of writing?

The pay. I mean, doctors are starving and writers are just raking in the dough, aren’t they? What? They’re not? Oh. Well, too late now. The problem is, once you catch the writing bug, you’re hooked. I plain and simply love it. I love seeing the characters come alive in my imagination and then on the page. There is a point where everything just begins to flow, and it’s the greatest feeling in the world when the plot begins to carry itself and the characters expand beyond the parameters you originally constructed for them. As the story develops, it’s like watching the greatest movie in the world, in your mind’s eye, because most things happen precisely the way you want them to.

Are you concerned that people will call The Eighth Scroll another Da Vinci Code knock-off?

Sure. Unfortunately, it’s all a matter of timing. Living overseas, I didn’t know I was writing The Eighth Scroll at the same time that Dan Brown was rising in popularity in America. As you see from the book reviews, many critics compare The Eighth Scroll favorably to The DaVinci Code. Some even consider The Eighth Scroll to be the better of the two books. But since Dan Brown’s book came out first, my work may always be seen as having been written in his shadow. Had the timing been different, it might have been the other way around. Such is life.

Where can we get a copy of your book?

You can find The Eighth Scroll for sale on Amazon.

About the Author:

A graduate of Cornell University, Brown University Medical School and George Washington University Hospital residency program, Laurence B. Brown is an ophthalmic surgeon, a retired Air Force officer, the medical
director and chief ophthalmologist of a major eye center in the Middle East. The author of four books of comparative religion, he is also an
ordained interfaith minister. His most recently discovered passion is writing fiction, of which The Eighth Scroll is the first of three completed novels.

For the past two decades, he has divided his time between America, England, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Brown’s immediate family consists of his wife, three daughters and an ever changing assortment of hamsters and parrots.

Don’t forget to stop by Read Handed for today’s poet spotlight.


  1. Looks like a fascinating book! Thanks for the giveaway and interview.

  2. Laurence Brown says

    WHAT A GREAT BOOK! IT’S SO FANTASTIC, I’VE READ IT FIVE TIMES! On the other hand, I’m the author, so I might be a little biased. But my mother like it too — does that count?

  3. Jeff Rivera says

    you’ll love his book. It’s great!
    Jeff Rivera´s last blog post ..Nonprofit Hiring is Up- Three Things You Need to Know

  4. i’m interested…thanks for the chance to read this book 🙂

  5. I would love to read this especially since some consider it better than Dan Brown’s book!

  6. The Eighth Scroll sounds fascinating. It is certainly going on my wish list asap!

  7. The thing I liked about the da Vinci Code was that it really made me think, and question age-old accepted truths. This books sounds like it would affect me the same way.

  8. Patricia Boyle says

    This book reminds me of “Library of the Dead” by Glenn Cooper. I love this type of story.

  9. Interesting interview. Answers made me laugh. Yes, I agree. Sometimes you do your own thing somewhere and unbeknownst to you, someone might be doing a ‘similar’ and definitely one would be judged to have imitated the other. It’s a question of timing. In research, as you know, we call it Publish or Perish (POP).
    Nana Fredua-Agyeman´s last blog post ..16 The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas

  10. Sounds like a book worth checking out. Thanks for the interview.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review- Things We Didn’t See Coming by Steven Amsterdam