I generally write short stories, novels and novellas because ... well, that's what I'm good at. That's what I sell. In the past I have also written plays, articles, songs and poems. The formats are all connected by a love of words.

I recently contributed some of my poems to a book called Even In My Dreams, aimed at raising money for a worthwhile cause. The writers and editor all donated their time and work; none of us make any money from sales. I'm proud to say that all proceeds go to an animal sanctuary.

Even in My Dreams: A collection of vegan poems was released as a print book in November, and will be out in e-book format soon (I'll update this post when that happens - in the meantime, keep an eye on the book's Facebook page). It's available via Amazon, Lulu and other places. The editor also runs a magazine - find out more about that on Facebook and Twitter.

I contributed three poems.

Caged is a poem drawing parallels between experiences. Sample lines:
A stench like loosened bowels and acrid smoke,
Sharp throbbing from the legs upwards, hot head.
Voices assured her she would be okay.
I wrote Coventry after attending one of the live export demos there. Sample lines:
I try to get nearer to the fire, among the crowd.
I smell the smoke - everything smells of smoke.
And The dog is running madly round the office is just a bit of fun after I heard the tale of a real dog running happily around a civil service office one day. Sample lines:
Rebel dog defying civil servants,
How cool you are, a canine insurgent.
Maybe I should dig out some poems and include a couple in my next book. For some of you that could make it my greatest work of horror yet. (Bdum-tsch!)

I should also do a post about being vegan one day. Some people might think veganism is "only about animals" in a kind of us-and-them attitude. Not true. Humans are animals too: Homo sapiens, Order Primates, Class Mammalia. Yes, we're mammals too. So when vegans support animal rights we are also supporting human rights; it is why so many vegans are also involved with social justice issues, fighting sexism and racism alongside speciesism. As a philosophy of respect it often goes beyond animals, ultimately to also extend protection to the planet as a whole. I went vegan over 25 years ago. Still here, still enjoy a chip butty and pint of beer, still eat chocolate like a decadent monk.

I've only just got round to mentioning this book release, but it seems appropriate at a time of year that many associate with kindness and giving. :-)