The World of Liberty

The goal of every parent is to help their child to succeed. In order to do that, we must start them off on the path of learning. But that doesn’t mean that learning has to be boring. Learning is at its best when it sparks creativity and imagination. There are so many new and innovative ways to stimulate your child’s mind while keeping them engaged and entertained at the same time. For instance, take today’s learning apps! I came across an adorable app on Twitter when I met Liberty Lane. She’s a smart young adventurer with a fun variety of sidekicks from her trusted pooch, Ellie, to her fine feathered friend, Georgie, and finally, Truman—after all, shouldn’t every girl have their own talking plane? They do in my imaginary world! And obviously, in Liberty’s too!

The Creator: Amber Hood

The Creator:  Amber Hood

Intrigued with this series of apps, I reached out to Amber Hood, the creator and developer of The World of Liberty to learn more about the delightful Liberty Lane. Please join me as I welcome Amber to today’s blog.

Amber, I love your bright, and colorful character Liberty Lane and her adorable sidekicks, Ellie, Georgie, and Truman. Children are sure to connect with them. Can you sum up your character, Liberty Lane, for my readers and tell us how you came to develop her and the concept behind World of Liberty?

Thank you so much for asking! The short answer is, Liberty Lane came straight from my heart. A little background, when I started writing her, I wanted her to come from a true, real place, so I started with my own childhood memories and what I loved to do most when I was a young girl. I asked myself questions like, “What made my heart sing? What did I love, and find wonder in?” When I thought about it, so many memories came flooding back to me, and it was so much fun! I simply loved learning. I loved school, and I loved reading.

My mom and I lived with my grandmother for years during my childhood. My grandma, who sadly has since passed, was, and still is, a huge influence on me. She was a teacher and in turn, she taught me so many wonderful things about the world. I simply loved learning. Every summer the local library had a reading contest, and I could not read the books fast enough. My grandma would let me check out as many as I wanted and I would devour them. Books, as you know, take you marvelous places! My family is passionately patriotic, with my dad, all my grandfathers, and my uncle having served. But it was more than that. She and my mom taught me about love of country starting when I was young enough to understand it. It was wonderful to think of it now.

Liberty Lane

Meet Liberty LaneWhich circles me back to Liberty Lane. Liberty Lane loves her country, America, and learning all about the states and what makes them special. But because Liberty has a powerful imagination, she is always wanting more. With this constant curiosity leading the way, she moved her into learning about other countries too! She loves to learn and discover new people, places and things! And that is really just the beginning. Liberty’s contagious happy spirit leads her to making what she calls “country connections,” discovering things America has in common with countries all over the world! And she wants to share these connections with kids all over the world! She wants to challenge kids to find their own country connections too, no matter what country they live in! Country connections can be sister cities, foods, languages, influential people, monuments, festivals, and holidays, sports, art, or music! When she finds them, her heart is full and she has triumphed! Liberty’s generous spirit and welcoming attitude easily attracts friends wherever she goes. She is a smart, adorable tomboy, but clueless on the adorable part. She’s all at once clumsy, quirky, smart, tenacious, and gutsy. She has the kind of personality that when you are with her, you feel like anything is possible. Liberty’s adventures take us around the globe discovering the amazing influences the rest of the planet has on her life and country.

The Decision to Make an App

As we previously discussed, I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to app development. Although, it greatly intrigues me because it is just one more opportunity to get children learning. What drove you to produce this as an app versus a traditional book or E-book? How did you learn about the process?

The Face of LibertyI did a lot of research and toggled between doing an ebook or an app for a long time. Ultimately, weighing the pros and cons, the app avenue was more attractive to me and it offered more flexibility and growth in the long run. Plus I wanted a little Liberty icon on my phone! Tee Hee! Traditional publishing is definitely a possibility I am actively exploring! I would love to hold a World of Liberty book in my hands!

I originally started developing WOL to be an animated show, and I still want it to be. But I am still learning the process of it all. So, in the meantime I decided to make it into an app because it is as close as I could get to animating an episode and getting it out into the world. I really didn’t know the first thing about making apps, or how it all worked. First, I started going through the app store and finding apps I liked, looking for features I liked and wanted to implement into my apps. I then researched who made the apps I really liked, and reached out to them. I wrote to about 20 app makers and they all said “no”, or “we are too busy with our own projects,” or “we only produce in-house ideas” … so I started looking on Linkedin. I searched for “how to make apps” conversations. There I learned about OCG Studios. I wrote to them, and they said YES! They are amazing! They have walked me through the whole process and have assembled all 3 of my apps. They are wonderful to work with, and that’s coming from someone who knew nothing about the process. I will continue to work with them for more apps in the future.

Liberty’s Lessons

What do you hope Liberty will teach children?

Well, I am not a teacher in the traditional sense, so for me it’s more what I want to share and leave behind to the world, especially for kids. I want to inspire kids, especially in America to be curious about the world outside their own backyard.

In the beginning stages of concept, Liberty was actually only learning about the different states in America. But then when we had the idea to go global, the whole feeling of the stories shifted. Having the goal be to find the “country connections” totally deepened the whole meaning of the show stories. And the fact that one can actually experience the country connections in real life really brought everything to another level. Let me explain, I call them “Liberty moments.” I have traveled the world extensively and when I see the place, or the monument, or try the food, or something Liberty has experienced in one of the adventures, it is so special because the country connections are real. I want to share these experiences with kids.

In adventure 2 Liberty goes to Chicago, Illinois and then connects to Ireland. I love the idea of a child playing with the app, and then someday in their future, they may be strolling along Navy Pier and remember the Ferris Wheel Georgie told them about. Or land in Dublin and walk along the O’Connell Bridge, and they will remember Liberty’s country connection. I love, love, love experiencing new cultures, people, and places and then coming home to only feel like a more fulfilled person and affected in the most amazing ways.

I would want that for everyone, especially kids. Encouraging kids to constantly look for things we have in common with people and places all over the world, instead of our differences, can only result in learning compassion, understanding, and love.

The Future

You currently have three Liberty adventures. Do have any additional apps under development and how many do you propose to produce under the World of Liberty series?

Liberty in MexicoYes! I am currently in development for adventure app’s 4 & 5. I am excited that we will be going to a new continent soon too! I am also working on some new concepts that are different from Liberty, but still in the same vein of having fun through learning, creativity, and compassion. My dream is to keep making the apps for every country. Because of the number of countries verses American states, we would go through our American states 3 times, but there is always a country connection for Liberty to discover.

The World of Liberty Voice Actors

As a voice over actress, I love how you can contort your voice to portray so many different characters. Which characters do you voice in the series?

Thank you! I proudly and gratefully voice my girl, Liberty Lane. I also voice Tobi, one of Liberty’s best pals, in adventure #3.

As I mentioned, I treat the apps like a show so casting the character voices is one of my favorites tasks. I have been in VO for about 19 years, so I have had the AMAZING pleasure of knowing some of the best VO actors in the industry. They are not only blessed with wonderful voices and acting chops, but most importantly, they are wonderful and generous people too. All the characters in the apps are uniquely voiced:

Lara Jill Miller as Georgie, BJ Ward as Ellie, Peter Jason as Truman, Roger Scott as the story teller, Nancy Linari as Jackie Lane, and Rob Paulsen as Liberty’s Dad, John Lane.

Our guest characters are voiced by the fantastic Jennifer Hale, Anna Graves, Hope Levy, Kris Zimmerman, Jeff Fisher, and Thom Adcox.

I am grateful and honored they have given voices to these special characters.

The Many Voices of Amber Hood

Can you tell us what other projects you have worked on and if there are some we might recognize?

The Many Voices of Amber HoodSure! Thanks for asking! I am“Sis” for Fisher Price and their Laugh and Learn toys and web series. I am Special Agent Dotty on Special Agent Oso for Disney, Susie Sunshine on Doc Mc Stuffins, also for Disney. I have done lots of games, toys, and other guest spots too. My demos and resume are at www.amberhood.com.

Industry Challenges

What is the greatest challenge of being a voice actress working in the industry?

Like any profession, you have to keep your skills sharp, practice all the time, keep your auditions at their highest level, and of course, never give up! Voiceover is a special and unique way to make a living, so it is very competitive, as it should be. The VO community is full of wonderful people who are incredibly talented. Being around them makes me work hard and strive to be the best I can be.

Amber’s Advice

Finally, I ask the same question of all my guests….what advice would you give children today?

Well, that is a big question! I suppose the best way I can answer this is like this— If I could go back to myself when I was 5 or 6, I would whisper something like this into my ear:

Amber,

Don’t be afraid of people and places that are different than that of what you know now. Ask lots of questions even if they feel uncomfortable. Go ask grandma for a map, and learn the names of not only other states in your country, America, learn the names of the other countries all over the world. Because someday you will understand we are all connected. Learn their geography, and the history of these places. Do lots of chores and jobs for people, so you can earn and save your pennies to go out into the world to experience everything and everyone you have learned about. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Always be on time. Make goals, and write down all your ideas and dreams. Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid of things that are different, embrace them. Learn patience, kindness, compassion, and love; these traits are the currency people all over the world understand the most. Lastly, never give up!

Those are some of my thoughts I would pass along to children today. It’s such different world today then from when I was a kid, but I think these things are still really important and relevant. Great question, and I am really thankful to have a chance to answer it. Thank you!!

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your blog. I am so honored and grateful for your generosity and all you do for kids. I am excited to share these characters and their stories with children all over the world. See you on our next adventure and best of luck to you in your many endeavors!

Amber Hood


I would like to thank Amber for joining me today. I learned so much about her and her mission to help children. I found her inspiring and hope that you did as well! I also hope that you will venture out into The World of Liberty and meet Liberty Lane and her cohorts. I’m sure your child will be just as delighted as this big kid was tagging along on her adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed the aspect of learning more about America and other countries. This app not only offers a variety of story modes such as Read to Me, Read Myself, and Auto Play, but also offers comprehension questions and puzzles to entertain the little ones–all at a family-friendly price. And the character voices are outstanding. They alone are sure to keep a child invested in the story. Remember, learning is at its best when it is fun for children! 

Until next time—happy adventuring! 

K. Lamb

The apps are available for android and Apple and can also be found on World of Liberty, Google Play, the App Store, and Amazon. To learn more about Amber, please visit her on her website.

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