I loved David Attenborough’s ‘Zoo Quest’ television series as a teenager, but my mother explained that ‘people like us’ did not do that sort of thing. But ‘people like us’ did not go in for further education or University or consider entering the professions, as they were regarded in those days. However, I decided that I wanted to be a dentist. Dentists had frightened me and hurt me, but I thought I could do better. Maybe I could be the friendly dentist, the painless dentist, even the nice dentist. So I studied and studied at school, because I was not the brightest star in the sky when it came to academic studies. And eventually I found myself at dental school. And there for five years I learnt about teeth, filled teeth, scraped teeth, polished teeth, crowned teeth, extracted teeth – and then replaced teeth with false teeth. Teeth,teeth,teeth! My student days were during the ‘Swinging Sixties’, and to some extent I swung. But they were also days when I felt challenged by the college God Squad, who fascinated me. They claimed their lives had been radically changed by the God of the Bible, and I set out to prove them wrong. So how come I became a born-again Christian, whose life has been changed by the God of the Bible? After qualifying (which one senior tutor described as letting a monkey loose with a pistol), I worked for five years in a country practice in Dorset, before returning to my native Norfolk. My city practice grew at a phenomenal rate, and after fifteen years I sold it and worked solely in a small market town in rural Norfolk. It was delightful, and I loved my patients. Yes, even those who shared false teeth together, or vomited their false teeth out of a bus window in the centre of Norwich. Great people! So read my blogs as I reflect on life, my days as a dental student and later as a dentist, or read about the curious people and comical happenings of those days in my book A Dentist’s Story, Published by Grosvenor House Publishing (2014), or read of how fulfilling life can be when lived in relationship with the God we read about in the Bible, in There Must Be More To Life Than This, published by New Wine Press (2012).
What five words describe you?
'Young, handsome, intelligent, wise and modest'. However, as a believer I am beholden to speak the truth, and so I must opt for 'British, elderly, energetic, creative and fun.'
What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?
I think that like most authors, I am continually working on the marketing of my books, always looking for opportunities to inform people that there are books which they will find both helpful and enjoyable, and which have my name on the cover. However, most of us are also in the process of writing one, and probably in structuring the following one - which is true of me just now. My next book to be published is 'PATIENTS FROM HEAVEN - and Other Places', which follows on from 'A Dentist's Story' which was my last book published. PATIENTS FROM HEAVEN is about patients who endeared themselves to me and my staff, by being special, interesting, generous, and sometimes quirky. And the OTHER PLACES? - India, China, Uruguay, Scotland, and even the USA. And there were just a few who might have hailed from hell. But that is bad theology!
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from
your most recent book?
An actor playing the lead role in the film version of one of my books? My books are autobiographical - is Daniel Craig good looking enough?
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have
been and why?
Which book would I like to have authored? I guess the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, as I could then have settled back with the income it produced, and write the sort of books I feel called to write, where something of the reality of the God who has changed my life is brought before a reading public, but in a very easily readable form.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about writing is stopping, when on a roll. I need to get to bed earlier.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
If I get writer's block - it must be time for a holiday. And whilst away, often walking hills and by rivers, guess what happens? - Yes, I just have to sit down and write.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My dream location for writing would have an abundance of sunshine, a dearth of people, and some beautiful surroundings. Parts of New Zealand, and a ranch in Argentina come to mind immediately.
When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?
My characters are real people, as my writing is largely autobiographical and anecdotal. But we can see people, either as dull, boring and two dimensional, or as colourful and brimming with personality. I choose the latter.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you
Have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I can hardly bring myself to read reviews. If they are good, I am both elated and relieved. But if they are bad - and it happens - I tumble, and will not read my own books, or write anymore, for quite some time. I am far too sensitive.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would you be?
If I could not be an author? Well, I was very happy as a dentist. I enjoyed my work, especially the planning and consulting and explaining - and I loved my patients. Most were from heaven!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
My advice to my younger self would be to write earlier in life. I won my first essay competition at around ten years of age, and I wrote a satirical column in our hospital Gazette whilst a student. And then I did little until late middle age. They were not wasted years at all, but time management on a life scale as well as day by day makes for efficiency in all we do - and fulfilment.
Where can we buy your work?
Of course, you will want to buy my latest book. It will make you laugh. It will make you chuckle. BUT it will also inspire you. So go to www.amazon.com (if you are in North America) and look for A DENTIST'S STORY by Barrie Lawrence. Putting the title, plus 'Lawrence' into their search will take you straight there.
How can we keep up with you? Blog, Facebook, etc……