All posts by Declan Clarke

Declan Clarke

Limited Edition Max Stone

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Hello and welcome to the 2nd edition of ‘Max Stone and the Lost Stone of Zirdon’.

Liam and myself revisited the story about two years ago with a big idea. We want to bring Max Stone to the big screen.

To help us on our way we were very fortunate to meet the hugely talented Irish Film Director, Liza Bolton of Room12Productions. Liza shared our vision and inspired us to go for it.

Following a trip to the Cannes Film Festival Liza then introduced us to Stephen Gibson of UK based Powerscort Pictures. As a dynamic production company, focussed on high end feature film and TV IP’s, we were delighted when Powerscourt joined the team.

So, in a first step of seeing how people might respond to our story we thought to print some copies and get them out there.

We have only produced a very small number, so would really appreciate your honest feedback or any ideas you might have.

We are hoping they will be on sale in two bookstores, one with international posting.

Thanks very much

Declan & Liam Clarke

Declan Clarke, Writer

Jake Zanderza

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Jake Zanderza is a Watcher, placed on Earth to defend against the Grey Mist. It is here our world meets Ysanor.
Ysanor is a planet connected to earth by a spiritual realm. A planet of war and treachery, of constant battle. Two Tribes dominate this brutal world, The Anunum and the Abandon.
Do not be fooled, the Watchers are not here for our benefit; instead they care little for the welfare of humans. No, the Watchers are placed as Guardians of the Grey Mist to prevent the warring tribe of the Abandon from gaining access to earth. Or more accurately from gaining access to humans, and their capacity for hate. The Abandon feed upon this human trait, drive their armies with it and should they ever fully gain a foothold on earth they will harvest human hatred and spawn armies of monsters to annihilate all around them, their world of Ysanor and ours.
Watchers are a rare breed, even on their own world. Born with a unique ability to fly they are capable of transforming into creatures that still the very night itself. Taken from their families at birth, Watchers are reared as Guardians by the Anunum, positioning them upon Earth once they have reached their full potential.
Jake is one of these. He has no memory of his early years, even the gruelling years of training, simply that he is a Watcher.
In appearance Jake is tall, appears to our human eyes to be in his late teens, thin and wiry. From a distance his face is handsome and on closer inspection there is a hard edge to it, his skin is sallow and his hair long and full black. He is permanently dressed in a long black cloak that flows behind him. In truth this cloak is his wings.
Once Jake, as with all Watchers, transforms on the eve of the Grey Mist he becomes a terrifying monster of the night. His handsome features mutate and reveal the daemon within, his eyes shine emerald green, his teeth razor points, his leather wings span eight feet giving him aerial dexterity and mobility. His hands transform to two steel curved steel blades and his body is covered by horns and scales. In flight the Mist moves about him, wrapping him in shadows…this truly is his domain

Been having fun writing up the first draft of the new story – still unsure to call it Jake ZanderZa or The Abandon.
I’ve also had the great privilege of working with the huge artistic talent of Kazem Fallahi in bringing Jake to life.
For a writer, for me at least, working with someone with such visual skills is a brilliant way of drawing out the personality of characters. I had just finished the profile of another major character from this story, Mordhaw, and on Instagram came across Kazem’s page –, and there he was. Kazem had drawn his character for a completely different reason but it captured the mood, the vitality of Mordhaw. I contacted him and to my great delight he agreed to sketch Jake for me. It’s a work in progress but greatly looking forward to bringing you more in the next couple of weeks…..

Talk soon

Text: Copyright ©2016 Declan Clarke. All rights reserved
Image: Copyright ©Kazem Fallahi. All rights reserved

You can also check out Kazem’s work on or

Declan Clarke

What’s the one thing a dyslexic boy can’t do??

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‘’Write a book,’’ came Liam’s answer.

We had just gotten confirmation of dyslexia, a huge relief, it explained so much. But what kind of barriers would it present? So I asked Liam ‘’What’s the one thing a guy with dyslexia won’t be able to do?’’ He thought for a moment ‘‘Well, you couldn’t write a book,’’ was his immediate response. But he thought for a moment, looked at me and said. ‘’Actually, why wouldn’t you?’’

From there Max Stone and the Lost Star of Zirdon was born.

Declan Clarke

Will Max be brave enough to stare down the volcanic fury of KRAAXOS

We wanted to write something cool and epic, create a real hero, someone kids could relate to. And we wanted to create a bad guy, a badass villain the world would never forget.

The way we started, we laid out 16 blanks sheets as our story board and 5 separate sheets, one for each of the main characters. We talked about who our hero Max Stone is, what he has to say. What challenges of his own did he have to overcome?

Declan Clarke, Liam Clarke, author, Max Stone
So we finished our first draft and thought ‘yea that’s a pretty cool story.’
But we knew it needed something else, knew it needed a depth of direction we simply didn’t have. It was then we met the great Liza Bolton, a Film Director with Room12Productions. Liza read our story and said ’’yea I really like it’’ and we asked her can you help us?
‘’To do what?’’ she asked. Liam’s response – to get Max on the big screen. So we worked with Liza on the story, the structure and the plot, on the genre and the kind of broadcasters who might like our now shared story. The characters evolved, the bad ass villain, KRÄÄXOR got even more badass, DRÄÄGNOS became feared for his brutality, lying in wait to take revenge for KRÄÄXOR’s treachery. Max stood stronger, bolder, faced more and more life challenges.
His friends, Boctamus and Sri-Leah, two warriors from the Tigral Tribe roared into the story to help Max with his plight to quell the savagery of the Kaemon attack.
Liza then introduced us to the huge Irish talent of artist Gary O Donnell, to take our story into vibrant gripping life. When we met Gary in Costa Coffee in Galway, which had become the home office of Max Stone, we instantly knew he got it. The first images he sent back of KRÄÄXOR, of the Kaemon Klaan and the Fight Cats inspired us to let our imaginations go even further….to let out the volcanic fury of KRÄÄXOR, the Eternal Rage of DRÄÄGNOS and unleash the power of the Lost Star which only Max could control.
The project really began to take shape and like in so many aspects living in Ireland there is a huge network of people out there only too willing to help. We talked to Eibhlín Ní Mhunghaile over in the Creative Europe Media Desk who guided us, Deirdre Barry of Salty Dog Pictures showed what a real story bible should be, shared with us her own sterling creation Brewster the Rooster and how she brought it to life

And now Max Stone and the Lost Star of Zirdon has a story bible of his own. It’s probably not the finished article but, man, are we proud of it.
Looking back at that first question – What’s the one thing a dyslexic boy can’t do – probably our answer should have been – create a Hollywood blockbuster movie.
Let the dreams go wild guys…
Max is heading over to the Cannes Film Festival with Liza and Chris from Room12Productions, and we’ll keep you posted.
Best wishes and talk soon

Declan Clarke, Vinnie the Mole

Vinnie the Mole

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Delighted that Vinnie the Mole is now out there.

Thanks to all the local businesses, McCanns Centra, Moycullen SuperValu, Sweeneys Oil, the Village Bookshop for the support and encouragement

Book is also available on with free delivery worldwide…

Declan Clarke, Vinnie the Mole

Declan Clarke reading Vinnie the Mole in the Village bookshop, Moycullen

Declan Clarke

Art Competition – Prizes…

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Huge thanks to all the entrants to the Presentation Secondary School, Waterford Art Competition.  Wonderful creations that really brought the characters from the story ”Shadows of the Second Sun” to life.

Special thanks to Jane Heffernan, inspirational art teacher…..thanks Jane



Declan Clarke

First Prize of 50 euro to Heather Lampen for her brilliant depiction of ”Shadow Warrior’

Declan Clarke

Which One….?

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So, the Max Stone story is really taking shape.

Liam and myself were in the middle of writing the second in the series and we realized it was way cooler than the first story.  KRAAXOR was way more badass, the characters were jumping to life and well it was more marvel.

And so we took the leap and decided to rewrite the original story and man is it worth it.  To bring the characters to life we have started working with the huge talent of Gary O Donnell and along the way we will keep you updated on how the characters are taking shape.

Liza Bolton is a new Irish film director, who has her first feature film, Cattle Raid, in the festivals at the moment.  She has been a huge help in directing the flow of the story and helping us get that bit closer to bringning Max Stone to the big screen.  (there is a feature on Liza over on the collaborators and we are building one for Gary)

We haven’t quite decided on the image for the Ranguilla, one of the daemons Max and Boctamus encounter in the Norther Caves, as they flee the Kaemon Klaan……let us know which one you prefer.

A short extract to give you some background if you haven’t read the first edition..

talk soon



Declan Clarke

Shadows of the Second Sun

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Really enjoyed writing Luke Anderson’s story. I began by exploring what would happen if we stared into the shadows, really looked deep inside. Luke found himself in a battle of good and evil waged on a planetary scale.

He was lost in this world and when he fell to the Domain, he was lost there too. When he had to defend a six year old girl, Ju-Hyt, against the terrifying attack of a Tsarak he dug deep. He bonded with the planet’s most revered predator, the Serganz, and he was infused with more power that even the God of War could have imagined.

Earlier in the year I ran an art competition with the Presentation Secondary School, Waterford and the entries are in. Liza Bolton, Director of Cattle Raid, has agreed to join the judging panel and we hope to publish the winners in early September.

Check back in a few days and I will load up some of the entries.

Talk soon