BRINGING to life some of the most enduringly popular festive stories for a 21st century audience has been a delight for Debra Swinley.
Thanks to her efforts, the MP3 generation now has access to some faithfully-rendered tales such as A Visit from St.Nicholas, which she has recorded at Ford Lane Studios earlier this year.
While she may not have a background in professional broadcasting or recording, she has masses of enthusiasm and strong literary interests having formerly been a librarian for nearly a decade in America.
With the assistance of web designer Emma Lester, Debra has created a website which offers listeners a magical window into a wealth of classic accompanying fairytale images at Debra Swinley Timeless Stories.
“I’ve always been interested in books and have a degree in history. I took a library science masters degree and have spent time studying and researching fairy tales and folklore,” said Debra of her background which led to the creation of her innovative business.
Her inspiration stemmed from a genuine desire to preserve folklore for younger generations, who are sadly increasingly missing out on such fascinating stories.
However, the magic is very much alive and well in the form of the new range of MP3s. These include recordings of Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding-Hood, that have already been given strong feedback from friends and family who have had sneak previews.
Debra added: “I decided to do something different and had the chance to record a story, The Gift of the Magi, at Ford Lane Studios, where they told me I had a musical tone to my voice.
“I really didn’t know how to reach people with these stories, which I believe need to be told. If people don’t hear them, they will be lost. But Rob Quickenden the engineer at the studio explained they were able to create MP3s of them, so we spent the summer putting them together,” added Debra, who believed the tales would have broad appeal.
The former librarian from Fontwell has endeavoured to make her work stand out from the crowd by faithfully following the original language used by The Brothers Grimm.
“I’ve referred to the notes they would have used from German translations. Some of the stories are scary in places- they are not Disney,” said Debra of her internet-based enterprise.
Excited by her new venture, she has consciously designed the range of stories to be accessible to all by offering them at an affordable price of £4.95 per story which includes a pdf to print out your own copy to read and collect.
So with any fortune, this Christmas will see many households across the area settling down to hear some amazing traditional stories, which have been given a fascinating twist with the help of technology.
. For more information, including a special Christmas offer to claim a free MP3 of The Frog- King, visit Debra Swinley Timeless Stories at www.debraswinley.com