Pump Up Your Book Chats with Dean DeLuke

Dean DeLuke 3 Dr. Dean DeLuke is a graduate of St. Michael’s College, Columbia University (DMD) and Union Graduate College (MBA). He completed residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and also participated in a fellowship in maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England.

He currently divides his time between the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery and a variety of business consulting activities with Millennium Business Communications, LLC, a boutique marketing, communications and business consulting firm. An active volunteer, he has served on the Boards of the St. Clare’s Hospital Foundation, the Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York, and the Albany Academy for Girls. He has also performed medical missionary work with Health Volunteers Overseas.

He has a long history of involvement with thoroughbred horses—from farm hand on the Assunta Louis Farm in the 1970s to partner with Dogwood Stable at present.

His latest book is Shedrow, a medical thriller with a unique twist.

You can visit his website at www.shedrow1.com or connect with him at Facebook at www.facebook.com/deandeluke.

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Thank you for this interview, Dean.  Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later?  Do you remember your first published piece?

I always had an interest in writing, dating back to my high school and college years, but my first published piece came in a peer-reviewed medical journal many years later. My interest in creative writing was rekindled after meeting novelists Robert Dugoni, Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen. Palmer and Gerritsen, both best-selling authors, also had careers as physicians, and Dugoni was a practicing attorney for many years before he published his first best-seller. So I did my best to study the craft and learn from three of the best, participating in several writing workshops sponsored by SEAK, Inc. and featuring Palmer, Gerritsen and Dugoni.

What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?

The most rewarding moment is seeing the final work, cover jacket and all, finally approved and in its ultimate form. The frustrations along the way can be many: the occasional writers block, the many marketing challenges, and the whole road from final draft to publication.

Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life?  Do you have support?

I am married, and my wife Theresa actually read the first draft of each chapter as it was written. I had a weekly goal in terms of word count, and just tried to find the time wherever and whenever I could.

Shedrow Can you tell us about your latest book and why you wrote it?

Shedrow is a blend of racetrack thriller with medical thriller. The story centers around a multimillion dollar stallion that dies under very mysterious conditions on a supposedly secure farm in Kentucky—something that did actually occur in the 90s, by the way. When a surgeon who was part-owner in the horse teams up with a vet in charge of the investigation, some bad things begin to happen. I think there’s something in this story for readers who loved the Dick Francis stories and for readers of crime drama, medical thrillers and mystery readers in general. It’s loaded with twists and turns, and it has a bit of a Twilight Zone ending.

Can you share an excerpt?

Here’s an excerpt from the opening scene. The principal character, Dr. Anthony Gianni, has just been abducted at gunpoint on his way to the hospital, his once predictable life now turned upside down:

Gianni was seated at a metal table, his hands bound behind his back. At one end of the table stood Sal Catroni. Unlike the other man, he wore no disguise. His longish hair was slicked back neatly, white at the sides, darker on top. His brow was furrowed in a scowl, amplifying the deep frown lines between his black-looking eyes.

Catroni spoke first. “You know who I am?” he said.

Gianni shook his head.

“I’m Sal Catroni, of the Catroni family, and this here is Hector. Hector was a medic in the marines. He’s here to help you with some medical treatment.”

Hector stood at least six-two, all of it solid muscle. He wore a tight white dress shirt, its silk sleeves rolled neatly to the middle of his massive forearms. A ski mask, open at the forehead, concealed his face, and his closely cropped black hair stood mostly on end. It reminded Gianni of a 1960s style flat-top cut, only not as stiff.

“Hector has some tools for you, Doc,” Catroni said.

Hector opened a clean white linen cloth, the texture of a dishrag but with a starched white appearance. Inside were surgical instruments. Dr. Gianni instantly recognized them—there was a blade handle and several large #10 blades, the kind a surgeon would use to make a long incision. It was not a delicate blade, but one meant to cut hard and fast through a lot of tissue with a single swipe. Next to the blades was a bone cutting forceps, which Gianni knew to be a Rongeurs forceps. Then there was a large pile of neatly folded gauze pads.

“Recognize those tools?” Catroni asked.

Gianni nodded.

“Well, Hector here is prepared to do a little surgery today.”

Where’s your favorite place to write at home?

In my home office. It overlooks a wooded area that has greenery in the summer, snow scenes in the winter.

What is one thing about your book that makes it different from other books on the market?

I think one thing that is rather unique is the fact that it does blend the racetrack thriller (in the spirit of Dick Francis) with the medical thriller. Since the principal character is a surgeon, there is a lot of medical drama and there is a medical mystery at the heart of the story, surrounding the death of the stallion.

Tables are turned…what is one thing you’d like to say to your audience who might buy your book one day?

Shedrow is a fast-paced new thriller that will take you from rolling pastures in Lexington, KY to darkened alleyways in Newark, NJ, from Manhattan’s posh ‘21’ Club to a peculiar and mysterious landfill in Eastern Kentucky, and from Saratoga Springs, NY to the tiny island of St. Lucia. You’ll meet some interesting characters along the way: high society and the racing elite, medical and veterinary specialists, mob figures, and Kentucky hill folk. And you will never predict the ending.

Thank you for this interview, Dean. Good luck on your virtual book tour!

Thank you!