Host Brian Brawdy talks to Bill Heid about a two CD audio theater production, Under Drake’s Flag, that was made by the same talent core that also made Adventures In Odyssey and Lamplighter Theatre.
Under Drake’s Flag tells the story of a boy who through his faith overcomes fear, and in the process learns what it means to be a true man of God.
Heid and Brawdy listen to samples from the CD as well as testimonials from parents who bought it for their children and were thrilled by their kids’ reaction.
The CD, Heid said, will get children away from the television, teach them Christian values and history, engage their imagination, and entertain them all at the same time – while helping pass time in a meaningful way on road trips.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: November 29, 2013
Aaron: Hello. My name is Aaron (inaudible 0:05), consulting producer of Heirloom Audio’s Under Drake’s Flag. Believe it or not, Christmas is right around the corner. As parents and grandparents, we’re all looking for quality and meaningful gifts to give our children and grandchildren. Today on Off the Grid News, we’re going to talk with you about the importance of investing in your child’s lifelong quest to obtain a biblically based sense of morality and character. Heirloom Audio was established to help you with that quest. Please join us as we share the passion behind Heirloom Audio’s Under Drake’s Flag. And now, my wife, Tabby (inaudible 0:41).
Tabby: Hi. I’m Tabby (inaudible 0:43). With the holiday season upon us, it won’t be long until we start thinking about the gifts we plan to give each other this Christmas. But what if you wanted to make this year’s Christmas truly special? What if there was a gift to give that would transfer the values you hold highest to the next generation? And what if you can do it in a fun and exciting way? Let’s face it – in our commercial and highly secularized world, it’s getting harder and harder to find meaningful gifts. Gifts with a message that will last a lifetime. But what if you could find that special gift, a gift with both substance and significance? And what if that gift could have an impact on your family and friends for years to come? What if that gift could help build an enduring family legacy? Parents and grandparents, if you find yourself saying, “I’d love to give a gift that can make a difference and have a spiritual impact on my family,” then this is going to be the most important radio program you heart his holiday season. Because on today’s show, you’re going to learn just that – how to give a meaningful gift that will last a lifetime. Welcome to the Family Legacy Christmas Special. We’re so glad you’ve joined us today for this important program. If you’re like me, you’re also looking for gifts that teach biblical values. Values like humility, hard work, perseverance, courage and character. Virtues children should be learning during their formative years. Okay, let’s get started. Our host for today is Brian Brawdy, and his special guest is Bill Heid. Bill’s launched a brand new project designed to bring Christian history to life. He is a father of five, grandfather of 13, with a love of Christian history and a passion for the hearts and minds of the next generation.
Brian: To kick off our program today, Bill, I know a lot of people are listening, wanting to find a truly meaningful gift for their family and friends this Christmas season. One from the heart, that’s good for the head.
Bill: I like that Brian. And we’re going to help them do just that. We’re talking about a gift that’s unique, a gift that has staying power. A gift that will impart biblical values through the power of a story. Through the power of imagination. The imagination that God has given us.
Brian: I can see you’re pretty passionate about this. It’s written all over your face, Bill.
Bill: Okay. Full disclosure here – I am a businessman, so the products I develop need to make a profit sometime. But that’s not what excites me. What excites me started back when my daughter Tracy was born in 1978. It was like a switch got flipped inside my head. All the sudden, I’m a father. I’ve got responsibility to raise this daughter, and it’s a big one. The bible says Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and man. A pretty important thing – then and now. All of a sudden, I was personally responsible for their physical, as well as her mental and spiritual upbringing. How was I going to help her increase in stature with God and her peers? I mean, how am I going to do that? And then it hit me. This was not just a responsibility, but a joy. God was trusting me with the opportunity to raise my kids to not only fear Him but to have a sense of wonder and excitement for who He is. For the powerful things He’s done, through His people throughout history. And as a result of that, I wanted my kids to live boldly for Him. And what better way to impart that excitement for God, that sense of living boldly for Him, than to tell my children stories about people who’ve actually done that already.
Brian: So Bill, are you talking about role models?
Bill: Real heroes. Godly examples. True heroes for my kids. I discovered one of the very best ways to excite children about Godly examples – Christian heroes, if you will – is through audio drama. I like to think of it as a kind of flight simulator for the life ahead of them. Audio drama – true old-fashioned storytelling with all the fixings, as my grandmother used to say. You know audio drama can excite a child’s imagination like no other medium. Think about it. A young person today spends an average of 50 hours a week staring at a screen. In many cases being over stimulated – bombarded – by very graphic images and media. We have more TVs thank toilets in our country now, not to mention smartphones, tablets and computers. Even if it was good content, by their very nature, TV and movies actually shut down a child’s imagination. Everything is now spoon-fed to our kids and there’s precious little time for them to imagine anything at all anymore. If you stopped using your legs, they’d atrophy and you wouldn’t walk. The same thing is happening to the imagination of our kids today.
But, as you’re listening to an audio drama – unlike TV or movies – you’re participating in the story. You’re actively engaged. You’re imagining what people look like, how they move and act, the setting that they’re in. You feel like you’re on a ship in the middle of the storm or you feel like you’re exploring the corridors of a medieval castle. You’re sharing in the adventure firsthand. With audio drama, our children have an active role to play. They become the director, the costume creator, the sound technician, the set designer, fully engaged as they actively listen to the story unfold. With every other media, Brian, kids are forced to sit mindlessly on the sidelines. But with audio drama – when it’s done right, we call it active listening audio drama – kids not only listen with their ears, but with their hearts and their minds as well. Actively listening audio drama is designed to jump-start a child’s imagination, and these stories, then, become much more personal, much more real, much more vivid, and even much more fun!
Brian: Bill, I’ve got to tell you, I thought it was fun! And we’re going to give our listeners a sneak preview of your active listening audio drama in just a few minutes. You won’t want to miss this great Christmas idea for your entire family. We’ll be right back.
Tabby: Tabby (inaudible 6:21) here, with a very special message for parents and grandparents. In fact, if you love your children and you’re concerned about their future, this will be the most important message you will ever hear. We’re excited to share with you a great new way for parents to help their kids develop character, perseverance and a love of history. And to do so as a family. Listen, kids today need real heroes. That’s why Bill Heid has produced a brand-new audio drama called Under Drake’s Flag. This rip-roaring adventure weaves in life’s greatest lessons and profound moral values that can transform our kids and our culture. Listening to it will ignite a passion in your children, for living boldly in God’s world. And the best part? Children stay glued to this exciting new story. If you’re looking for a fun way to awaken your child’s love of learning and adventure, go to HentyAlive.com. That’s HentyAlive.com.
Brian: Welcome back. Bill, earlier you mentioned heroes and history. And I can see why heroes are so important today. And that’s why it’s so important to tell our kids about history. But how does one teach those lessons, those morals, in a fun, captivating and exciting way?
Bill: Brian, that’s so true. If we lose our past, we lose our way. We’ll never know where we’re going unless we have a clear sense of where we are now, and where we’ve been in the past. Once we break with our past and ignore its lessons, history shows us again and again that we’re likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. We’ve become so now-oriented that we’ve lost not only our sense of history, we’ve lost our place in history. And I think that’s tragic.
You know, Brian, Moses, in the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy warned the Israelites to remember the days of old, when Israel forgot, the faltered and eventually fell. If we forget what God has done in history, if we forget the price paid by God’s people in the past, if we forget the costs, then all is lost. So history really is a great teacher then, if we’re willing to learn. And as for the second part of your question, Brian? The how do you do it so children are excited to learn? Four words: active listening audio drama.
Brian, that’s why I’m personally excited about our very special Christmas offer, especially for today’s listeners.
Brian: All you have to do is listen to some of the reviews we receive everyday.
Bill: We took the very best writers, the very best actors, the very best sound designers, and the very best musical composers and we’ve combined it all with the very best in sound design technology to bring a powerful story to life. Maybe even larger than life, if you listen to some of the reviews we’ve been receiving lately. I’ve commissioned the best of the very best for this production.
The former writers and producers of popular radio shows like Adventures in Odyssey, Focus on the Family Radio Theater, and Lamplighter Theater. This team gave it their very all. John Fornoff as our writer and director, Mark Drury as our sound designer, and John Campbell as our music composer. And I’ve got to tell you, Brian, I could sense God’s favor in this production. As one of our characters says on the show, there’s no fuller wind than a man’s sails.
Brian: And the results, Bill, are truly something. Here’s what one Christian educator told us.
Testimonial: Hi. My name is Perry (inaudible 10:00). I was calling to let you know that I’ve listened to the audio drama, the Drake audio drama, and I was just blown away by it. I’m the father of six grown children, grandfather to 18, and a Christian educator for over 30 years. And I’ve going to tell you that this was one of the most amazing productions that I’ve heard. I think it will be an attention-grabber for these little ones. It’s historically instructed. It’s dramatically attention getting. It’s creative, and it’s just wonderful.
Brian: You know what, we’ve been talking all about this production. We’ve even heard a testimonial. Why don’t we give our listeners a chance to experience it for themselves.
Bill: That’s a great idea.
Brian: What you’re about to hear is the introduction to Under Drake’s Flag.
Join us now as we explore history’s most daring expeditions and greatest adventures.
From the shimmering sands of ancient Egypt to the misty wildwoods at Patagonia, discover stories of valor and virtue, daring and determination, character and courage. From history’s master of storytelling, these are The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.
Wow. And that’s just the introduction. I’ve heard the entire production, and I’ve got to tell you, I challenge anyone to listen to this and not feel they’re throat pulse. Not feel the blood coursing through their veins. Not feel the taste of saltwater on their lips. I dare them to not be able to smell the gunpowder in their nostrils when they hear some of the battle scenes you’ve set up in this, Bill. This is as much a message for your mind as it is for the marrow in your bones. It will send tingles all the way down your spine. I promise you, Under Drake’s Flag will grab you.
Bill: Brian, it really does grab you. I’ll never forget, the first time I played the introduction, my grandkids were in the other room working on puzzles or something and they came running full speed into my library to see what was going on.
Brian: Bill, I can picture your grandkids running into your library. Now, if our listeners want to hear more – and I think they’ll definitely want to hear more – then they can go to www.HentyAlive.com. They’ll be able to listen to the first chapter absolutely free. We’ll be right back.
Tabby: You can hear Bill and Brian’s passion for this new production, Under Drake’s Flag. Once you hear it yourself, you’ll understand why people everywhere are so excited about this new audio drama. Just go to www.HentyAlive.com and click on the link to listen to the first chapter for free. Why are we giving away a sample of this world-class audio drama free? Because we believe once you hear Under Drake’s Flag, you’ll know right away what a wonderful Christmas gift this can be for your family. This is a truly unique gift that will keep on giving long after Christmas is over. It’s an adventure story that will awaken your child’s imagination and point them to true Godly heroes. Go online now to www.HentyAlive.com. www.HentyAlive.com. Just click on the link for your free chapter at www.HentyAlive.com.
Brian: Welcome back. We’re here with Bill Heid, Executive Producer of Under Drake’s Flag, the brand new audio drama based on the popular book by G.A. Henty. So I’ve got to ask you, Bill, who is G.A. Henty?
Bill: Well a pretty amazing guy. G.A. Henty lived during the Victorian era and he wrote over 122 adventure books. Henty was a master storyteller, probably one of the greatest who has ever lived. He had this profound gift for bringing history and values to life, with his books focusing on a boy or a girl who gets involved with the likes of a William Wallace, a Hannibal or in this case Sir Frances Drake. And the stores are fantastic. He was the most popular author of his time, and his books are now gaining a whole new generation of fans. Henty was a man who lived life large. He was large himself. This guy was over six foot tall, weighed more than 240 pounds and he had a humungous beard. It was said by some that Henty could walk 50 miles a day. He boxed, he wrestled and one of his favorite things to do was race his yacht, the Egret. Henty’s stories inspired Winston Churchill, J. Paul Getty, Agatha Christie, (Inaudible 14:40) and even Louis L’Amour. But I’m most excited, Brian, because he inspired my children when they were little. And now today I’m watching our audio adaptation of Under Drake’s Flag inspire my grandchildren.
Brian: So we’re not talking just about great stories. We’re talking about time-tested stories that have inspired multiple generations.
Bill: The power of these stories does cross multiple generations, because they’re filled with truth, honor, courage. Timeless virtues that never go out of date and never go out of style. But here’s the most important thing about Henty – he was a man of principle. He was a devout Christian and felt it was extremely important to impart biblical values in his stories. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and of good and evil. Henty was the one who said, “To be a true hero, you must be a true Christian.” He summed up heroism in two important qualities – truthfulness and unselfishness.
Brian: Those are values our children really need to see in their role models.
Bill: Well, Brian, Jesus used parables to tell profound truths, because he knew the most effective communications are always in story form. That’s exactly why we chose the Henty books to launch a new audio drama series, The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. We’re bringing his beloved books to life, as a world-class audio theater production that incorporates the concept of active listening as a way to teach profound truths and valuable lessons to our children and grandchildren.
Brian: Bill, let’s hear what a mom had to say after listening to Under Drake’s Flag. Here’s Lindsay Cox of North Carolina.
Testimonial: We are a humble family of five and we all loved it. Everyone was a big fan of the audio drama. We have listened to Lamplighter productions in the past so we’re quite familiar with the audio format. However, we felt that Under Drake’s Flag was done just very superiorly. We loved the action, the sounds. The girls loved the love story. Even, I think, the boys loved the love story a little bit. We enjoyed the easy to listen to nature of the book. Even though it’s an old classic, it was very timely and very good word for the culture today that my kids live in. We drew comparisons to things in our world, such as persecution of the Christians and modern society and drew connections to the holy inquisition and how that affected history. The entire production was very well done and as a family we’re very excited about this project.
Brian: Bill, you’re getting lots of reviews like this one. Families truly touched by this remarkable story. Listeners should know that they can find out what all the fuss is about by going to the site and listening to the first chapter for free. Bill, this truly is an outstanding work. You should be very proud.
Bill: Well thanks so much, Brian. Hey, how about if we give our listeners another sneak peek?
Brian: I’m all for it. Let’s listen to the new audio trailer for Under Drake’s Flag.
“Ned. (Inaudible 17:49).”
He’s about to take the greatest adventure a boy could ever imagine. With one of the most celebrated heroes in history.
“My name is Francis Drake.”
Confronting the fiercest dangers.
“She cannot swim!”
“Ned! Stop, I see a shark! Ned, no!”
“Off I go!”
“Fire away lads!”
He’ll come face to face with evil itself.
“We arrest you, in the name of the holy inquisition. You have one hour to recant your faith.”
A story that pits faith against fear.
“Heavenly Father, where are you?”
And turns Ned from a boy into a man.
“I may be young, but I will not bow before the Spaniards.”
Even from that little bit, you can tell. You don’t just listen to Under Drake’s Flag. You experience it. It doesn’t talk to you, it grabs you.
Bill: Brian, Under Drake’s Flag has shipwrecks, fierce battles on land and on sea, cannonballs flying past your head. Even a shark attack.
Brian: Bill, I gotta tell you, the shark attack was one of my favorites.
Bill: And it was one of mine as well. Wait until you hear it. It’s a stunning, heart pounding scene that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Brian: That’s the perfect idea, Bill. Instead of just talking about the shark attack, what do you say we go ahead and play it for our listeners?
Bill: Great. What you’re about to experience is something that’s never been done before in audio drama. Mark Drury, our sound designer, spent days and days in the studio working on what you’re about to hear. Mark did an incredible job as one of the sound designers for the Chronicles of Narnia audio series. You’re going to absolutely love this scene.
Brian: All right, Bill. So set up the story for us.
Bill: Sure, our hero Ned is on the deck of the ship with his friend Gerald when he sees that someone is in trouble. Now, there’s something you won’t know until you hear the whole drama, but I’ll let you in on it now – Ned’s father was killed by a shark, so Ned has this innate fear of sharks. Who can blame him? And it’s going to take a very special kind of courage in Ned to overcome this fear.
Brian: Here’s the shark attack scene, narrated by Brian (inaudible 20:00) as G.A. Henty on Under Drake’s Flag. Get ready for this!
“Gerald, was that my imagination or did I just?”
“That was definitely. A girl.”
“There she is! She cannot swim!”
“She’s just a Spaniard.”
“I will not watch her die.”
“No, Ned! Stop! Stop, I see a shark!”
“He just circled around. He’s going back for her. No, Ned, you must not.”
“Not to worry. I have my father’s dagger.”
“Off I go!”
Ned plunged into the water headfirst. He struck the creature with such force that it was driven sideways from its course toward the girl. Ned was stunned. The shark was not so soft as he had imagined. Quickly, he shook off his stupor, grabbed the fin of the creature, and plunged his dagger into the shark’s belly. The shark struck back with its tail. A force of furry, he knocked Ned from his hold. Meanwhile, sailors on deck launched every missile they could at the creature, trying to dodge Ned. The shark now doubled back and rushed Ned with all its might. Just before the shark reached him, Ned dove under.
Wow, Bill. This is like Jaws meets Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s so vivid. It’s so real!
Bill: You’re absolutely right. You can see it, feel it, almost taste it. But here’s the thing – this goes beyond great entertainment. Under Drake’s Flag is about a boy’s faith overcoming his fear. He’s got to summon a courage that’s beyond his own to face evil itself, and in the process he learns what it means to become a true man of God.
Brian: And Bill, because it stimulates the imagination so profoundly, it’s like a powerful magnet. Attracting kids and keeping and holding their attention. Here’s what one young father had to say after listening to Under Drake’s Flag with his kids.
Testimonial: Hi, I’m calling to leave a testimonial regarding Under Drake’s Flag. I have seven children and they listen to audio CDs all the time. And when they listen to the CDs they normally play with Lincoln Logs or Legos because the CDs don’t always hold their attention completely, so they’re doing other things. When I put Under Drake’s Flag in, and they started hearing the story, they stopped what they were doing and they turned and they just sat there and looked at the CD player, because they were so blown away and mesmerized by the tale. You could see in their eyes, they were playing out the scenarios that were told on these CDs. These are absolutely fantastic, and my oldest daughter who is 13 had listened to a reading of the book, Under Drake’s Flag, and she said that this was so much better. So anyway, I just wanted to thank you for putting this together. Have a great day.
Brian: It’s so encouraging to hear such powerful insight from this young man, whose family was truly inspired by Under Drake’s Flag. And he’s right. This new production of Under Drake’s Flag is definitely not the reading of a book. This is living history. Very good stuff, Bill, but what’s the best way for moms and das to use Under Drake’s Flag?
Bill: Great question. I think listening together as a family is one of the best ways.
Brian: Bill, is that why you included a 28-page study guide, kind of designed to get moms and dads talking with their kids about the story and the moral compass woven throughout the adventure?
Bill: Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking about. And another way – and this one I really like – is to turn ordinary travel time in the car into positive, encouraging travel time. The story is broken down into chapters or episodes specifically for that purpose.
Brian: Bill, I’ve got to tell you, I grew up with four brothers and sisters. And when we got piled into the station wagon, we would have loved to have something to listen to like Under Drake’s Flag. It really is going to nourish children’s imaginations. Think about it – travel time for your kids becomes positive, encouraging travel time. I like that Bill, I really do, and I don’t believe there’s a parent in this country that won’t be interested in it.
Bill: How would you like to know that when you get where you are going, you will have delivered this positive, encouraging content to your kids? Content with enduring values. I don’t think that there’s anything more that a parent could ask for.
Brian: Bill, I think my parents would have been excited not to hear one kid go, “Hey, he’s touching me! He’s touching me. Brian, stop looking at me.” But let’s do this – let’s get more information for our listeners by sending them to www.HentyAlive.com, and there are some great options, I’ve got to tell you, on this site. Folks can get a free sample chapter at no charge whatsoever. And because it’s Christmas, I want to point out an exceptional value. It’s called the Christmas Family Four pack, and here’s what you get. You receive not one, not two, but four copies of Under Drake’s Flag, the active listening audio drama, based on the popular book by G.A. Henty. That’s a $120 value right there. I’m already thinking of a few people to give these to at Christmas, Bill.
Bill: I’ll bet our customers are as well, Brian. I think it’s a really great gift idea. An exciting adventure story that imparts values, faith, courage and true heroism to the next generation. That’s why we’re calling it a family legacy Christmas gift.
Brian: Bill, what aged children are going to enjoy Under Drake’s Flag the most?
Bill: Well, it’s really for kids of all ages. But the age group we designed it for is from 6-14.
Brian: Yeah, kids of all ages is right. It’s addictive. I got caught up in this story, and I’m over 50. In fact, here’s what one of our younger listeners had to say.
Testimonial: My name is Reese. I live in North Carolina, nine years old. And I have dyslexia. And I have really trouble of spelling and reading books. And I love Drake’s Flag and my favorite was the sound effects and when he saved the ship from Spanish. And hope you do more. Thank you.
Brian: Well, that about says it all.
Bill: Brian, this is a gift that families are going to enjoy for years and years. A gift that can make this Christmas a very special, truly memorable Christmas.
Brian: Thanks Bill, and thanks to you and your team for putting together something that I believe will be a true blessing to a lot of families out there. But I should mention, this is a limited time Christmas offer. So you’re going to want to log on today at www.HentyAlive.com. That’s www.HentyAlive.com. I want to thank Bill Heid for being our special guest today. And to wish you and your family a very merry and memorable Christmas.
Tabby: Thank you Brian. If you’re a parent or a grandparent and you want to make this a family legacy Christmas, here is a wonderful opportunity. The Under Drake’s Flag audio drama presentation is not an ordinary Christmas gift. It’s truly extraordinary. It’s a gift with a powerful message that will last a lifetime. What could be more important than passing on Godly values to your kids and grandkids? And what a fun, engaging way to do so, through the power of a great story. Jesus told stories to make the most important things in life come alive. Under Drake’s Flag is designed to do the same thing. It’s designed to teach enduring Christian values to your children and grandchildren. Go to www.HentyAlive.com. That’s www.HentyAlive.com. You can listen to the first chapter of this amazing new audio drama for free. And if you like what you hear, order the Christmas Family Four pack for just $99.97. You’ll get four sets of Under Drake’s Flag, plus eight bonus gifts including the powerful soundtrack to this world-class audio drama. Plus an engaging study guide and a special look behind the scenes of this production in London. Plus, five other bonus gifts. Eight bonus gifts in all, and the $319 value. But you need to go online now, because this is a limited time offer. Make this Christmas truly special. Pass on biblical values to your children in a fun and exciting way. Go to www.HentyAlive.com. That’s www.HentyAlive.com.