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Jul 23, 2019

In Part Two of this file the prominent book editor-turned-author, Peter Guzzardi, spent some time with me this week to discuss how he pulled back the curtain on the writer's life, finding courage in front of the blank screen, and important lessons from the Yellow Brick Road for creatives.

"Somehow, despite having made a career of helping writers with their second and third and fourth drafts, I must have been harboring hopes that my first try would displace Shakespeare from his perch atop the literary pantheon." – Peter Guzzardi

Peter has been a professional book editor for nearly 40 years. After getting his start in marketing, writing catalog copy in New York City, he moved to the editorial side where he eventually took the reins at Harmony Books, an imprint of Random House, Inc.

Mr. Guzzardi has worked with some incredibly talented authors over the years, including Stephen Hawking on A Brief History of Time, Deepak Chopra on dozens of books, Douglas Adams on his Hitchhiker novels, Carol Burnett, Martin Amis, Arianna Huffington, and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Like so many aspiring writers who "swear they're going to finally write that book," Peter decided to throw his hat in the ring and write about the wisdom he'd accumulated on his own journey.

The result of that hard work is his recently published Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons From Over the Rainbow, an apropos title for 2019, the 80th anniversary of the film classic, The Wizard of Oz.

Emeralds of Oz is a book in the "...tradition of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten ... life lessons drawn from the most beloved movie of all time," and Carol Burnett said, "I loved this book as much as I loved the movie."

This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

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If you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here. And If you’ve missed previous episodes of The Writer Files you can find them all in the archives at writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you tune in.

In Part Two of this file Peter Guzzardi and I discussed:

  • Why the writer's journey is so iterative
  • Lessons from the Yellow Brick Road for writers
  • Why being compassionate with yourself is so important
  • The reality that no book is ever really finished
  • How fear can be so motivational in the face of adversity
  • And the perils of being overly ambitious in your early drafts

Show Notes: