Right: Bray based Carmen Cullen with her second novel 'Hello Dolly'
The multi talented singer, writer, poet and performer Carmen Cullen has recently launched her second novel - a heartwarming story of courage, loss and love set spanning almost 50 years.
Cullen, who grew up in Tipperary, is no stranger to the literary world having released her critically acclaimed first novel 'The Singing Sisters' in 2013.
Her second novel, the heartwarming 'Hello Dolly', tells the story of Jacqueline Clancy who lives in the small town of Tooradulla until her mother Imelda suddenly passes away.
Neither she nor her siblings are told the truth, and she retreats into a fantasy life. Soon it appears that her small town is about to expel her. With the help of her invisible friends Lou and Betty, Jacqueline attempts to get rid of the usurper, her Aunt Mina.
In Part Two, a much older Jacqueline has been betrayed by her husband Vaughan, who has left her for the younger Nuala. It is the classic tale of a woman who wants to put her children first: she has a family of three, but has to fight off loneliness and the need for love in her life.
Cullen was born in Templemore in what was once Mullaley's Hotel on the Main Street; however she moved to Killenaule at the age of six with her family.
Growing up Cullen says she was always drawn to writing and credits a particularly enthusiastic teacher for encouraging her to pursue the creative outlet while only a teenager.
After college, Cullen went on to become Head of English in Coláiste Dhúlaigh Secondary School in Dublin - a post she held for 20 years before taking over as the Director of The Oscar Wilde Autumn School in 2000.
In the intervening years, Cullen published two children's books, four collections of poetry and earned an MA in Creative Writing from Trinity all while touring her own show based on her aunt the famed singer Delia Murphy.
Cullen's first novel, Two Sisters Singing, is also based on the life of her aunt, singer Delia Murphy. Hello Dolly is available now Libertiespress.com, amazon.co.uk and The Bookworm Bookshop, Thurles. For more see carmencullen.com