Let Story Transport You: Binge Listen Your Trip to California’s Central Coast

#MilfordHavenUSA Launches as #AudioDrama Podcast to millions in the U.S., Original Broadcast Reached 4.5 million in the U.K. on BBC Radio

Stuck inside? Welcome to the club! The Audio Drama Club, that is. Use your ears to take a trip to California’s gorgeous Central Coast. Worry about other peoples’ lives for half an hour at a time!

“Isolation is a tough situation to endure,” commented best-selling author and audio producer Mara Purl, who now only ventures out for intermittent grocery errands. “I applaud every one of our critical workers, from health care to sanitation, from farm and food store to law enforcement,” she said. “The only way I can help them is by being in compliance with stay-at-home orders. But for those who can’t go to work now, and are forced to stay home, we creatives have much to offer.”

Mara is offering her hit BBC Radio drama for what she has named “Binge Listening” #bingelistening. Season 1, which includes the first 10 episodes, launches Monday, April 6th. Episodes one, two, and three are free. The season will be available for10 weeks.

The Audio Drama Podcast will launch at http://www.TheAuthorsShow.com/Store, The Authors Show platform, the largest and longest-running podcast of author interviews in the U.S. “We honored Mara last year as one of our Top Female Authors,” said founder Danielle Hampson. “So we know her writing is excellent. When we found out her iconic BBC radio drama was available for podcasting, we decided to expand our platform by launching Audio Drama with her show.”

Purl remarked, “I’m so thrilled at this invitation from TheAuthorsShow! This is a tremendous opportunity to bring entertainment to a new audience. And we’re especially excited we can offer a really fun, engaging ‘get-away’ when millions of listeners are stuck inside.”

“A big advantage to listening over watching,” Purl pointed out, “is that you can accomplish other things at the same time. You can perform boring chores, like cleaning; you can do an exercise routine times to an episode; you can take a walk, ride a bike, clean the windows, scrub the bathroom, or sort through old magazines.” With a laugh she added, “Of course, you could also just take a break and enjoy the show!”

“We’re creating binge-listening,” explained producer-creator Purl. “Listeners can choose when, where, and how many episodes at a time for their visit to Milford-Haven USA.” Each episode is 30 minutes in length, so the whole season is a full 5-hour experience.


“Where video offers a visual experience, audio offers an intimate experience. You listen to the drama privately, and the story with its characters, images and ideas unfolds in your own thinking,” she continued. “This was always the appeal of radio drama, which was dubbed ‘Theatre of the Mind.’

What about serial stories? Don’t people prefer stand-alone pieces that have a beginning, middle and end? “Well, that format works perfectly when you go to a movie theatre,” Purl replied. “You sit in comfortable seats, you get the full arc of the story, and you head home satisfied. It’s great! But some stories are much more complex, involving multiple story and character arcs. To tell that kind of story, you need an engaging serial, something you can watch—or listen to—at your own pace. That’s why binge-watching has become a huge American pastime in recent years.”

More than half the people in the United States have listened to a podcasts, and nearly one out of three listen to at least one podcasts a month—the biggest spike in podcast popularity since it first gained a foothold in 2004, according to the 2019 annual survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital, and reported by the New York Times. The survey also revealed that, while younger listeners may have jumped on the podcast-wagon early, it’s the 55-plus listeners who are edging into the lead.

Milford-Haven is primed to take advantage of this enormous U.S. listener base from three sources. First, the show has top “creds” as the pioneer American radio serial on BBC, and also because it won the Finalist New York Festivals Award for Radio Drama. Second, Milford-Haven is now well-known to readers because of the novel series Mara created, for which her introductory blog tour captured 17 million followers. Third, Purl still has television and theatre followers.

Best-Selling Author

For her Milford-Haven Novels Mara was just named 2019 Top Female Author for Fiction by The Authors Show. To date her series has won more than 40 book awards, and has topped multiple best-seller lists on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her novels, novellas and novelettes with their gorgeous watercolor book covers and engaging mix of romance and mystery are sought after by her mostly female readers, where Mara has become a trail blazer for both Women’s Fiction and Small-Town fiction.

Life in a small coastal town was the framework Purl chose for her original radio drama. Though she herself had lived only in large cities—Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles—she spent a summer performing in California’s gorgeous Central Coast and fell in love with Cambria, the charming town where the theatre was located. By night, the actress performed in the two-character play Sea Marks, almost never leaving the stage. By day, she explored how life functioned in a town with about 6,000 residents.

Celebrity Cast

When she founded a production company and created “Milford-Haven U.S.A.”, she herself had just finished a stint as “Darla Cook” on the well-known day-time soap Days of Our Lives. Then she called on well-known colleagues to join her cast. The all-star line-up, whose performances will be heard in the new podcasts, include television stars who’ve gone on to greater fame since. Names and credits at the time of Milford-Haven include: Erin Gray (Silver Spoons, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), Linda Purl (Mattock, Happy Days), Ed Begley, Jr. (St. Elsewhere), Michael Horse (Twin Peaks), Colby Chester (The Young and the Restless) and Roger Kern (Young Pioneers, The Coach, The Nanny, Falcon Crest). It also included well-known radio and voice-over artists, Lloyd Battista (CBS Mystery Theatre), Sally Rainer (L.A. Law, Thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, War and Remembrance), Carl Esser (Street Angels, City of Sin, Crazed 2, and hundreds of radio commercials). Each episode begins with the signature Maine-twang of narrator Freedom Barry, whose voice first became famous as the narrator for In the Shadow of the Castle for the Hearst Castle.

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