Dermatologist Steve Wolfe has had an active practice in the Lake Norman area for 20 years. Now he is expanding his horizon, using his spare time to write books.
Wolfe, who just released his second book “Oliver” says the book is about life’s lessons he’s learned as a husband and a physician.
“My new book will hopefully remind readers to be thankful for what they have; understand that everyone is special; to choose your friends wisely; and always be nice to others.”
Wolfe, 51, said he penned the book about the family’s 2-year-old Papillion puppy in June while his wife was having hand surgery. “I knew from the start that Oliver’s book would be about love and kindness and everything that is nice. It would be the reverse of the rest of the world that is often ugly, and complicated, and sad.”
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Wolfe said it took him about 10 days to write the book. “It was basically me and my MacBook Air keyboard. The act of writing a book in my opinion is the easiest part. Formatting and the like and working with files and proofreading is a serious pain in the butt.”
Wolfe said marketing is also a major challenge. “Everything from purchasing a domain name, creating websites, promoting on Facebook, and interfacing with media people. .... All very time consuming.” The book is self-published through a publishing company Wolfe created called Huzon Fyrst Press in Mooresville.
Photography is another hobby for the doctor and the cover photo, says Wolfe, is critical to the concept of the book. “This one photo has connected people in multiple countries on multiple continents and virtually always has the same impact: Oliver makes people smile and impact the world in a positive way.”
Wolfe’s first book, “149 Ways to Wipe Your ...” was about encounters he’s had with patients. He thinks the title may have scared some readers away.
The primary market for his new book has thus far has been his patients, though it is available on the internet through sites such as Amazon.
Wolfe promotes his nonmedical interests (writing, travel, art and photography) on the walls of his Mooresville office, including photos of places he has seen, and cards about the new book.
He grew up in Queens, N.Y., and his parents allowed him to do some summer science programs while in high school at Michigan State and Indiana Universities, which solidified his interest in science and medicine.
Luck played a big role in Wolfe’s life, both professionally and personally. “Getting bumped on a flight from Cleveland to New York got me a free ticket allowing me to interview in California for medical school.”
On a personal level, he had the same good fortune: he met his wife Sheri on a blind date. They’ve been married 25 years and live in The Peninsula neighborhood in Cornelius with one lovable dog.
“Writing can accomplish something meaningful in what I get to share with others. At work, my job is only partly to freeze and cut off a skin cancer and get the best results possible. In reality, it is so much more. Every day I ask myself how can I make a difference in my patient’s lives? That’s why I like to give things away.”
Those things can be something as mundane as a lollipop, but recently he has been giving away an item he picked up from Colombia, South America: an angel handmade out of dried oranges. “To me it represents the great skill of the person who made it and that they are just like us — poorer, yes, but they have what they need.”
Will the doctor eventually give up his practice and become a full time author? “Not going to happen. Writing is a secondary interest, but medicine still pays the bills.”
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org