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Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg - Audio Book Tour + Giveaway

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Author: Gail Vida Hamburg

Narrator: Colleen MacMahon

Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes

Publisher: Mirare Press

Released: Jun. 25, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Liberty Landing - a 2016 Finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction - narrates the American experience of the 21st century through the lives of a polycultural cast of natives, immigrants, and refugees in Azyl Park, a town in the Midwest.

After Angeline Lalande, a journalist and historian, unearths the real meaning of the name Azyl, conferred on the town in the 1800s by immigrant-hating politicians, the town elders begin the act of renaming it. During the course of the renaming, we meet the intriguing denizens of the town -survivors, strugglers, and strivers of every race and nationality, and see the intersection of their lives and the ways they find home, heaven, and haven in each other. We learn about the singular journeys that brought them to Azyl Park, a place that both transforms them and is transformed by them.

The larger story of the American experiment is told through the personal story of Alexander Hamilton, the essential immigrant among the Founding Fathers, as Angeline writes a book about him. By the end of the novel, after Azyl Park is renamed, each of the characters has lost or found something essential.

Liberty Landing is about the personal and the political, family and loss, memory and migration, finding new love and a new home, and history and the American experiment. Seminal moments of the American experience figure in this literary and historical fiction. Inspired by John Dos Passos' USA Trilogy about early 20th century Americans, Liberty Landing is a sweeping, lush, layered saga set in a vibrant community with a diverse, international cast of characters, people marked by neuroses, flaws, secrets, unspeakable pasts, humor, warmth, vulnerability, and humanity. Liberty Landing is Gail Vida Hamburg's love letter to the American experiment - the first in a trilogy.

Gail Vida Hamburg is an award-winning American journalist, author, and museum storyist. She is the author of The Edge of the World (Mirare Press, 2007), a novel about the impact of American foreign policy on individual lives. A nominee for the 2008 James Fenimore Cooper Prize, it is a frequent text in undergraduate post- colonial studies, war studies, and creative writing programs. Born in Malaysia, she spent her teens and twenties in England before migrating to the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington Writers Seminars at Bennington College, Vermont. Liberty Landing, a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, is the first volume in her trilogy about the American Experience and her love letter to the great American Experiment. She lives in Chicago—the setting for Liberty Landing


Narrator Bio

Colleen MacMahon is an actress, writer and painter. She trained at Arts Educational School (Hertfordshire) and subsequently qualified as a Speech and Drama teacher, following which she has combined her performing career with directing, writing and mentoring. She has won awards for her short story writing and is currently working on her debut novel. Colleen does much of her Narration and Voiceover work from her home studio in the beautiful south west of England, where she lives with her partner and their two dogs.


  1. Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    There is a dreamy quality to certain genres, for example, literary and historical fiction or magical realism that transport readers to other worlds . These types of novels, I believe, lend themselves very well to audio because one is led by a voice other than one’s own into this fictional enchantment.
  2. Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    I wasn’t thinking of an audio book at all while writing the book, but after it was published, readers kept asking when it would come out on audio. It seemed like neon skywriting when I kept hearing this, and so I took the plunge.
  3. How did you select your narrator?
    The novel is about the American Experience-- specifically about immigrants who are both transformed  by, and transform America. I am an immigrant, formerly from the UK, and I knew that my narrator would be from the UK. I wanted a narrator who matched the voice narrating the novel inside my head, and I found her in the English actress and voice talent, Colleen MacMahon.
  4. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
    Colleen and I exchanged emails before she began recording about how to render certain passages for clarity specifically for audio. For example, historical letters of the Founding Fathers had their signatures below the letters in the print edition. But for audio, Colleen suggested rightly that the names of the letter writers be announced before the letters.
  5. Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    Yes, Colleen is English and there were Americanisms I forgot I needed to clarify. There were also foreign words in several languages that I needed to explain.

  6. Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    I believe that every character in a novel is either a fragment of the writer’s psyche or someone they know or met or heard about.There are incidents and events from my life and from the lives of people I know--death, grieving, family life, friendships, romance--that sparked some of what the characters go through. A writer is always working from this place of knowing, but it is still a surprise to see unfamiliar characters manifest on the page and take you places.
  7. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    I’m a workaholic, an obsessional, compulsive writer. I’m most comfortable and happy when I am writing. It stills my hypomanic mind. Writing feels like praying to me. I don’t need to be motivated to write. I find it to be one of the holiest things in the world.

  8. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    I was never read to as a child, I read my own books, so I came to audiobooks late. Also, reading aloud is both art and acting, and very few authors are good readers. But I’ve learned to enjoy audiobooks now. A good narrator makes or breaks an audiobook for me.
  9. If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the  primary roles?
    I would love to see Adam Bakri, the Palestinian actor as my protagonist, Gabriel Khoury, a Christian Palestinian, and the Guyanese-Canadian actress, Kylie Bunbury as Angeline LaLande, the Louisiane Creole journalist.
  10. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? Liberty Landing is the first book in a trilogy. It wasn’t something I had planned. But at the end of the novel, there are characters on the cusp of falling in love or beginning romances, a grandfather awaiting the birth of his grandchild, and families recreating themselves. I couldn’t end there and wanted to show the characters as they grow and change. If there’s substantial life vibrating still  in the story, there is no downside to a sequel.

Dream Cast
Dream Cast for Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg
Gabriel Khoury, the protagonist in Liberty Landing, is a dashing Christian Palestinian American. I would love to see Adam Bakri, the equally dashing Palestinian actor play Gabriel.

Angelina LaLande, the award-winning journalist and historian, is bi-racial, a Louisiana Creole—the descendant of slaves from Nevis and their French captors in Louisiana. I would cast Kylie Bunbury, the bi-racial Guyanese Canadian actress as Angeline.

For Bruce Halliday, the Australian master brewer with a menacing Van Dyke, who carries death secrets in him, I would cast the Australian actor Xavier Samuel.

For Eva Krohle, the secular saint and therapist who treats trauma and torture survivors, I would cast Amanda Seyfried.

For Nila Oberoi, the character who lives life without limit and drinks deeply from the well, I’d love to see the role played by Bollywood actress, Rani Mukerji

For Rae Oberoi, the love of Nila’s life, I would cast Arjun Rampal

For Tina Trang, the successful real estate broker whose interest is claiming a piece of the rock, I would cast Kelly Marie Tran.


Aug. 17th:
T's Stuff

Aug. 20th:
Jazzy Book Reviews

Aug. 22nd:
Lilly's Book World

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