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Local doctor writes racetrack thriller

Oral surgeon combines work and hobbies to come up with first novel

When visiting your oral surgeon, you probably wouldn't think to ask him how his novel is coming along, but if you did, Dr. Dean DeLuke would have an answer for you.

I think the actual writing process is what I liked the most, said DeLuke, who recently released his first novel, "Shedrow." "It is a whole other set of hurdles once it comes to actually getting it published and marketing the book."

DeLuke, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with Dental Offices, LLP in Schenectady, drew from his racing and medical background to develop "Shedrow," which is racetrack thriller and medical drama that takes place in settings ranging from Saratoga to Lexington, Ky., the alleys of Newark, N.J., the 21 Club in Manhattan and to the small island of St. Lucia. The story revolves around the death of a multi-million-dollar stallion under mysterious circumstances on a farm in Kentucky.

DeLuke, who lives in Clifton Park, said his medical experience led him to create a protagonist, Dr. Gianni, based on encounters with several physicians throughout his career.

"I guess the idea for the book was born about three years ago," said DeLuke. "I was originally supposed to write a consumer's guide to my profession I just keep finding myself drawn to the fiction side of the [writing] courses."

To help him learn the craft, he attended workshops aimed at helping physicians and lawyers hone their skills at scientific and fiction writing.

Previously, DeLuke had published work in professional journals and publications, but, he said, writing a novel was a new experience.

"The biggest challenge was learning a totally new skill set," said DeLuke. "The mechanics of writing, in terms of good grammar and good sentence structure, are somewhat transferable, but writing fiction for the general audience at large is a totally different skill set."

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