By Daniel Penz
There are a few, precious times in one’s life when one can give back, specifically, to one who has done… much for… uh… one….
Oh heck… That’s way too many ‘one’s.
But now is… ummm… one… of those times.
Back when I was going through some of the most difficult times of my adolescence, my father (with the wrong kind of PhD to help him really understand his kids) reached out to the RIGHT kind of PhD, one with the sort of training who COULD help me figure out my path.
That man was Dr. Richard A. Warshak, and it’s no great stretch of the imagination to say he probably saved my life. (No, I was never THAT bad, but there were times…)
He listened, he encouraged, and in general gave me the kind of stable grounding that, for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to fully absorb from my loving, supportive family.
We lost touch when I left for college, but the lessons he taught helped guide me along the path, and when dark times hit as I was trying to break my way into the professional world, he was once again there to listen when I needed someone to decompress to. But eventually we once again lost touch.
So, fast forward a couple of decades…
Nearly 20 years in television, 30 in audio production (I started young), a loving wife and two delightful (if occasionally aggravating) children later, I finally reached a place in the hubbub where I could stop and reflect on how I found my place in the world. And one of the bits of unfinished business that nagged the most was that I’d never felt like I’d properly thanked Dr. Warshak for the guidance and reinforcement he’d given me. And I’d always wondered what had become of him.
One decent Google search later (wow, if I’d have known it was THAT easy…) and I find he’s a renowned author, a White House consultant, and one of the world’s most respected authorities on the pains of divorce and the damage it can do to a child. A little more searching, one discovered email address, a somewhat nervously composed ‘Hi, do you remember me’ letter sent… and we wait…
Turns out, yes, not only did he remember me, he was familiar with my work, and would love it if I could narrate something for him!
A flurry of catching up correspondence later, and lo and behold, we discover that the unexercised audiobook rights to his bestselling book were a week away from reverting back to him from the publisher! Even more correspondence, including his agent in the chain this time, and a few short weeks later, the landing of the rights to the book at Tantor, and as I write this I just finished narrating his globally best selling title Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my parents remained together their entire lives, so the trauma addressed in this book is foreign to my family.
But if I can bring one tenth of the wisdom, patience and understanding to our listeners that Dr. Warshak brought to my early years, I will have taken a small but notable step in repaying my debt to the man who, quite literally, helped make me who I am today.
Proud Father and Husband
Producer, Penz Productions
Two time Emmy Award Winner
Two time Edward R. Murrow Award Winner
Three time Associated Press Award Winner
Ten time Telly Award Winner
Narrator of more than two dozen audiobooks
Voice talent for more productions and commercials than you’d care to sit still to listen to, but including the American Heart Association, NutraSystems, Samsung, WalMart and many, many others…
Dr. Richard A. Warshak’s Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing narrated by Daniel Penz available on audio from Tantor October 20, 2015. Download available on Audible.com.
“Useful resource for families dealing with divorce and child rearing.” –Booklist
“This book will seem a godsend to the many divorcés who are bashed by their ex-spouses.” –Publishers Weekly