Six years ago, life was a battle for Paul Minton, whose family are originally from Llangynyw, but who now lives in Newport, South Wales.

After a series of personal setbacks, he developed chronic social anxiety, which resulted in him being confined to his house, unable to interact with family and friends.

During this time, Paul found comfort in writing humorous verse for children.

Now, following a long recovery, his rhymes have been published in a new book entitled, ‘Miss Winter’s Demise and Other Crimes against Poetry’.

Paul, whose poems have been broadcast as far afield as Australia and been performed at the All Wales Comic Verse Competition, says that writing lifted his spirits when life was at its most challenging.

“I would love to think that the book can act as a beacon of hope for people whose lives have been affected by mental health issues,” said Paul.

“I hope it demonstrates that a lot of humour can still be found even while in the darkest of places.”

The book is aimed at children aged nine to 12 years but adult readers have also been enjoying the wit and tongue-in-cheek playfulness.

Indeed, ‘Miss Winter’s Demise’ has received enthusiastic endorsements from various celebrities, who have compared the poems to those of Spike Milligan and Roald Dahl.

Michael Fenton Stevens, the celebrated comedy actor, has hailed the book as “a delight with every turn of the page”.

‘Miss Winter’s Demise and Other Crimes against Poetry’ by Paul Minton is out now.