I’m Ian, a writer, and author based in the mythical Eden Valley, Cumbria.
I’m an English writer and author born in Liverpool, but I’ve lived in the Lake District now for most of my life. The Lakes are an inspiration for me and are often featured in both my academic and non-academic work including my poetry. I’m arguably best known for my 2019 book The Awesome Power of Questions. I have an MA in writing and in my final year as a research scholar at Liverpool John Moore University studying the use of creative and self-expressive writing in grief.
Grief is dominating my writing life at the moment having lost my eldest son, Dom, 22 years of age, to a drunken driver. However, for the time being, through both my academic and personal writing I will try to be a source of comfort for other grievers as I recount the journey of a grieving father through my book Grief and Other Minds. I can be contacted here. https://ianploftus.com/contact/. This will be followed by an extract from my Ph.D. thesis in the form of an extended essay on the benefits of self-expressive and creative writing to help victims, especially parents, cope with grief.
I’ve also had several poems published in Poems for the Open Mind and Now Poetry a few years ago and was short-listed for a Cinnamon Press short story competition recently. I’ve finished and currently editing my current non-fiction book Grief and Other Minds and the follow-up, Lines, Rhymes, and Other Minds, waiting to be published at the start of 2023.
On the bright side, I also have several ‘Faction’ books in the pipeline where Dom plays the hero and other stories where he has a cameo role.
My Philosophy on Writing.
Research the Research
Don’t believe everything you read. Research both sides of the coin. People have agendas, most don’t even bother to hide them today. Find your own version of the truth.
Write what you DON’T know about.
This will go against everything you’ve been taught about creative writing. But if you write about what makes you curious, it will spark your readers’ curiosity too. Write it with authority.
Make them smile (or cry)
As a scouser, I’m told I have ‘humour noir’, or gallows humour. I’m sure some of my ancestors met their end there. Whatever your style is, you need to engage your readers emotionally.