Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Besides writing medical thrillers, Dean DeLuke is a practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an active volunteer.  He's served on the boards of the St. Clare's Hospital Foundation, the Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York, and the Albany Academy for Girls.  On a separate note, I once volunteered to do the dishes, but didn't know where the coffee cups went so I gave up. 
Anyway, back to Dean.  As if that wasn't enough, Dean has a long history of involvement with thoroughbred horses--from farm hand back in the '70s to current partner with Dogwood Stable.  His new thriller "Shedrow," has been dubbed a cross between Dick Francis and Robin Cook.  He obviously has a busy schedule, but was way too nice to turn down an invitation to play 5 questions with me. 

1- Your novel is a medical thriller involving the sport of horse racing. I realize you're a medical doctor, but have you ever been much of a handicapper when it came to betting the ponies?

I used to be a pretty fair handicapper, but recently I just don’t have the time to devote to it. What I enjoy most about the sport currently is mornings on the backside, watching the horses work and just taking in that whole scene. It’s a unique culture and a world unto itself on the backstretch, and that world is also an important part of the story in Shedrow.

2- Since the anatomy of a horse is different from a human's, did you rely on any help from veterinarian friends to help with some of the medical scenes?

You raise a really important point with that question in terms of authenticity in writing fiction. I wrote about two worlds that I know rather intimately—the medical world and the world of thoroughbred racing. But there are always certain areas that need to be researched in one way or another. Much of the research can be done via the internet, but I never hesitated to check with an insider whenever a technical issue arose that I needed help with. So yes, I did in fact speak with a veterinarian about certain aspects of equine medicine.

3- Do you see the Shedrow thriller as a series?

There is a bit of a “Twilight Zone” ending to Shedrow—one that most readers don’t see coming, and also one that begs for a sequel. I do have an outline and a start on a sequel.

4- What made you decide to write fiction--that seems like such a creative departure from Oral Surgery?

It is a huge leap. I had published a fair amount of work related to my profession, but I set my mind to a work of fiction 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. I learned a great deal from each of them.

5- With the entire publishing world scrambling to get ahead of this digital thing, where do you see most of your readers finding your work 5 years from now?

That is a great question, and a loaded one! Obviously, the whole publishing world is in a state of flux. eBooks now outsell hardcovers, a majority all novels are self-published or come from small independent presses, and the traditional publishing houses are feeling the pressure. Look at the number of Kindle offerings on Amazon for under $3.00. And not all of those are unknowns—look at well-known thriller author J.A. Konrath for one, who appears to have changed his business model, and seems to be thriving. Some are releasing their eBooks in advance of paperbacks. And many novels released only as eBooks—including yours, I might add—become huge bestsellers.

Having said that, I still cherish my library and still read the majority of my books as hardcover or paperback offerings. But as to your original question, I think that in 5 years, the likelihood is that eBooks will not only outsell hardcovers, but may catch up to paperback sales as well. In terms of sales on Amazon alone, that tipping point is already approaching and will come much sooner.

You can read excerpts and reviews, view a book trailer and more at http://www.shedrow1.com/.

1 comment:

  1. Dean- Very interesting answers. The Twilight Zone ending really has me interested. As usual, nice questions Gary. Best of luck Dean and continued success Gary!