An NUI Galway staff member and his son have experienced a great achievement. Jessica Thompson reports…
An NUI Galway staff member has recently released an e-book.
Declan and Liam Clarke, a father and son from Moycullen released Max Stone and the Lost Star of Zirdon, “a gripping tale of danger, adventure and courage’’, two weeks ago.
The idea to write a book came about when they were standing in a queue at an airport a couple of years ago.
“I had a blank notebook with me, with a notion that I would write a story of some sort. Standing in line for the Ryanair flight, as you do, we saw a really cool image on one of the adverts. This got us talking about how the image we saw could be a Lost Star for a distant planet that was under attack from a band of Kaemon Lizard Warriors and it went from there,” said Declan.
He added; “I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and had a great response to reading some of my other books in my two sons’ classes in Moycullen National School. I even co-wrote a comic with the 5th class kids last year […] That was great fun and I figured I would take the story-writing to the next level and see if I could finish a full story.”
Writing a book has been a father-son bonding experience for the duo. Speaking about working with his son, Declan said; “It was brilliant, really enjoyable. I would write a chapter and Liam would screen read it to see how it sounded and then we brainstormed how the next part would go. It was a great motivation for me to keep writing and really try to make the story interesting.”
When asked his feelings about the experience, Liam told Sin; “Writing the story with my dad was good fun.”
For 11-year-old Liam, this has been an exciting experience; “At first it as the thrill of the adventure, the excitement of seeing how Max was going to face all the new things on Zirdon, the Fight Cats, the Kaemon Klann and how he was going to save Zirdon from certain doom. After we finished it and put it up on the blog, Maxstonebook.com, we got some really cool pictures of the creatures in the book and that was really good to see how other kids saw the story.”
Perhaps the most important thing is the sense of pride the pair feels, having completed a popular story.
“I feel really happy and proud, and it’s kinda cool, it feels like I’ve really achieved something,” said Liam. He went on to say; “We are already writing the next one, Max Stone and the invasion of Earth and we’re writing blogs for Max every week, so I’m really enjoying that.”
This pride is also evident in Declan; “It’s great; to see Max Stone coming to life is just brilliant. We set up a Facebook page to try and get a bit of awareness around the story, and are blown away by the response we’re getting.”
The book has been quite successful so far. One reviewer on Amazon said; “Loved this book! The authors don’t waste any time in getting straight to the story.”
Another reviewer on iTunes said; “I believe he [Max Stone] is more than capable of becoming the next big icon for children.”