Category Archives: Life of an Author

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


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…so Dr Destructo has decided its time to join the party, and wreak his own special brand of havoc…

The evil doctor is torn between marvelling at the human immune team and and seeking to destroy it. So far they have outwitted his minion Gyrex, and even though Rhino-V has made it past Vena Cava he just knows it won’t be long before they evolve, and outsmart him in the process.

Its been 50 years since the uber-lord of disease has had a good fight and he has out intrepid hero, Zack Skater, firmly in his sights.

To follow this free story click on the link below….

dragonfly, predator, tadpole, feeding

Predator Pond: Time to grow a pair…..

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Well, things are really heating up in the Predator Pond.  The race is on to see if the frogs can grow a pair…of legs and hop to safety before the predators clean them out!!

Video of a Dragon fly larvae in action, this guy is as big as a newt, about 4 inches long…

Click to play video of a Dragon Fly larvae on the hunt

Meanwhile the tadpoles are busy feeding up and growing legs  to hop to safety


tadpole, declan clarke blog


I reckon there must be 40-50 dragon flies in the pond..

Some of the more tranquil moments…

Predator pond…On the hunt

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Tadpole for tea!!

Tadpole didn’t stand a chance

Well, things have really heated up in the Predator Pond.

Newts on the prowl…

Razor jaws of the Dragon Fly larvae snaring tadpoles…

and Great Diving beetles joining the hunt…

While the Tadpoles themselves are alive and well…


The Dragon Flies are starting to emerge…


Not often seen, cause they’re supposed to be shy. Here the newts show that once they’re at home they are quite the formidable hunter…


We also had some visitors of the human kind to the pond this week.  Cindy is working on a cool new project with the guys at KoralSea on using tropical corals as bone scaffold.  And Linda was out to check on how the new innovations at Advance Science are helping the honey bees…



Not to be outdone the Greater Diving Beetles joined the fray…

Don’t tell Linda the pond skaters like her bees too



Predator Pond…Easter break

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a._Feeding Frenzy

The pond is well and truly coming to life after the spell of good weather.

We had over 30 frogs come to visit earlier in the spring and have an explosion of tadpoles.  Check out the video link above of the tadpoles in a feeding frenzy.  Who would have thought it, eh?

Lee Martin came to visit to catch a few pond critters and see some of natures best architects at work…

Tadpole, Predator Pond, Nature

The gallery of the caddis larvae, and some of the really cool houses they build


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