Dean M. DeLuke is an author and surgeon, a graduate of St. Michael’s College, Columbia University (DMD) and Union Graduate College (MBA). Currently, he divides his time between his surgical practice and a variety of business consulting activities. Dr. DeLuke also performs volunteer work with many charities and 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. Shedrow is his first novel and has been dubbed “a cross between Dick Francis and Robin Cook.”
His latest book is Shedrow, a medical thriller with a unique twist.
Shedrow is my first novel, although I had published a number of works related to my profession before I attempted a work of fiction.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
It was Shedrow.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I did a very focused query of five agents. Three requested the full book. Two passed and one had interest in trying to sell it. I decided at that point that I would go with a small independent press and just get the book out there.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
You have to have thick skin. Remember that even Stephen King had tons of rejections before he sold his first book.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
I chose Grey Swan Press once I decided to go with a small independent. I felt that I had a good rapport with the editor and I knew that he only did a few books a year. For me it was the right fit.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Any author—even those with multiple books—will tell you that it is an enormous thrill and sense of satisfaction to see the finished work in print. It was certainly true for me.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I read Jacqueline Deval’s book, Publicize Your Book, from cover to cover. Then I formulated my marketing plan.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
It’s too early to tell. I’ll know better a year from now.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
Shedrow was just released in August.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
That’s another question that I’ll need to answer with the benefit of a little more history. It’s too early in the game.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
Writing is something I have always enjoyed, but my first book came after a full career as a surgeon, and later as a business consultant as well. So writing Shedrow was in a sense, a “third act.”
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
Alive and kicking, I hope, and still writing. That’s one thing about writing that is very different from a lot of other professions, and certainly different from surgery. As long as your mind is sharp, you can do it forever. There are lots of examples—Kurt Vonnegut, for one, comes to mind.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Keep writing, attend workshops to continue to refine your skills, let experienced writers critique your work, and carefully explore all options when it finally comes to submitting your work.
Watch the trailer for SHEDROW!