Rosslea native Marius Mulligan has recently launched his new children's book 'Franass and the Princess,' a tale of adventure which is loosely inspired by memories from his own childhood.

"I used to tell my daughter stories at nighttime to help her go to sleep. After about an hour and a half she still wasn’t sleeping, so I would make up my own stories," explained Marius.

"I would use place names and old names of things I would remember as a child myself and different characters I would have come across," he added.

By writing down one of these stories, piecing it together and getting it published as 'Franass and the Princess', Marius has brought his storytelling to a different level.

Following a successful launch event in St. Joseph's Parish Centre, Carryduff, Marius commented that his book was "well-received." However, his eight-year old daughter Erin, the inspiration behind one of the book's characters, remains its biggest fan. When she brought her Dad's newly published book into her school, St. Ita's Primary School in Belfast it almost raised the roof.

The beautifully illustrated children's book brings to life the story of a little girl and her variety of eccentric but affectionate neighbours whose beloved donkey is kidnapped and held to ransom. It leads to a conglomeration of events as they set out to to defeat evil.

When asked by this newspaper why he thinks it's important to encourage children to read, Marius said: "Reading is great, it’s good to learn things and develop knowledge. It also helps them to wind down at the end of the day."

He added: "When we were children, there wasn’t that many books about, you went to the local library and you got maybe two or three books. The library used to come out to Rosslea once a week, a wee mobile. Then eventually when you got older you would have read the papers."

'Franass and the Princess' is now available to buy online from the Belfast-based publisher Shanway Press who specialise in supporting new local authors.