A graduate of St. Michael’s College, Columbia University (DMD) and Union Graduate College (MBA), Dean DeLuke went on to complete his residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in addition, Mr. DeLuke participated in a fellowship in maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England. At present time, Dean DeLuke 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. If that doesn’t sound exhausting enough, Mr. DeLuke is an active volunteer, 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. In addition to all of these wonderful actions, he has also performed medical missionary work with Health Volunteers Overseas.
Dean DeLuke has a long history of involvement with thoroughbred horses, which has aided him with the writing of his latest debut and novel, Shedrow, a novel of suspense, thrills and thoroughbred racing. You can visit the author at any of the following sites:
Please tell us a bit about your book: Shedrow – characters, plot, etc.
Shedrow has been dubbed a cross between Dick Francis and Robin Cook. It is a racetrack thriller in the spirit of Dick Francis, but since the principal character is a surgeon rather than a barrister, there is a good deal of medical drama as well.
The story revolves around the mysterious death of a multimillion dollar stallion on a supposedly secure farm in Lexington Kentucky, and there is also a medical mystery at the heart of the story — surrounding the horse’s death. The principal character, Dr. Anthony Gianni, is a Manhattan surgeon who entered into a racing partnership as a diversion from a thriving practice and an ailing marriage. Chester Pawlek is another partner that Gianni is basically stuck with — one with a very unsavory background. Let’s just say those two don’t exactly hit it off, and some bad things begin to happen. There is a collision of characters from many divergent worlds: high society and the racing elite, medical and veterinary specialists, mob figures, and Kentucky hill folk all become entangled in the story line.
The story also indirectly explores some serious issues affecting the sport of thoroughbred racing: over-breeding for speed at the expense of stamina, over-reliance on medications, and the need for a national racing commissioner, just as most other professional sports have.
If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I suppose it would be Chet Pawlek. He is one of the least likeable characters in the story, really. But I’d like to have a few words with him. Also Dr. Bond: I never really developed her character fully — she had such a minor role. But readers often commented that they wanted more of her. So there is a lot of potential for her in a sequel.
Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?
I essentially write whenever and wherever I can. I’m most comfortable writing in my home office at dawn, but I wrote portions of Shedrow on airplanes, trains, or after awakening with an idea in the middle of the night.
What are you reading right now?
I am rereading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, and reading Elmore Leonard’s Be Cool for the first time.
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?
I like a pretty eclectic mix on the fiction side: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Salinger, Vonnegut, Ayn Rand, Robert Parker, Richard Russo, Stephen Hunter. Then I have to add three more that personally helped me to learn the craft: Tess Gerritsen, Michael Palmer and Robert Dugoni.
If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
F. Scott and Ernest together. I’d like to take a trip somewhere with the two of them. Hemingway was quoted after taking a long trip with F. Scott, “Never go on a trip with anyone you don’t love.” In any case, I’d have liked to tag along for that one.
Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:
Please share with us a favorite memory.
Sunrise in Hutchinson Island, Florida. The blue fish are running.
Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.
It would have to be the traditional Italian Christmas eve dinner with all of the customary fish entrees and a very large extended family (four generations now) in attendance.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m pretty happy in upstate New York. I have a fondness for Hutchinson Island in Florida too. Basically, I’d like retain the ability to travel to a whole host of places and not limit myself.
If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.
That is a very difficult question indeed. I’d research it and probably select an author with a ton of titles to choose from—perhaps even on the non-fiction side if I could only read one author. None comes to mind—I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.
Here are five:
1) Writing and publishing a novel
2) Navigating offshore to some great seacoast destinations
3) Performing surgery as part of a medical mission in an under-served area
4) Going on a safari
5) Traveling to a whole host of destinations on my list
I’ve done 1-3. #4 is on my bucket list, and I’m working on #5.
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Buying shares in thoroughbred horses as a partner with Dogwood Stable.
If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?
How about this reminder from Thoreau:
“The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation and go to their graves with a song still in their heart.”
I think we should try our best not to succumb to that.
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