Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Touching Base

Hey, folks!  Summer is here, and oh, how I love the heat!  I know that's not something you often hear, but I always remember spending time with my father outdoors all summer, and so being outside in the Texas heat just makes me happy these days.

News:  I've been approved to set up a table at Houston area Krogers locations to sell my books!  I'm very much looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully creating a few new fans in the process.  I'll be sure to post the dates and locations as I get them, so come on out and see me!

WIP is rolling along quite well, though I'm a much slower writer than I'd like.  Currently, I'm at 54,000 words, but the story is moving along nicely.  Warrior priestess riding on a giant spider?  Check!  Aging heroes pressed into service?  Check!  Thrills, chills, and excitement?  Checkity-check!  At least, that's what I'm going for.  ;-)

That's about it for now.  As always, I love to hear from readers, whether you're fans of my books, a fellow writer, or martial arts enthusiast, feel free to drop me a note.  Have a great week!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Jidaan Book, Werewolf, and some Pro Wrestling

Well, it has been months since I've written, so I figure I'll post a brief update.  When last I posted here, I was working on a new urban fantasy called GrimFaerie, but I'm sad to say that the story has stalled.  As my son once said when he was only 4 years old, "Sometimes...that happens."

Thankfully, another story started pushing its way out of my brain, and I decided to go with it.  GrimFaerie will still be there when I'm ready to approach it again, and the scenes I was seeing were clamoring to be written, so I put GF aside and wrote just one scene.  That scene turned into a chapter, which was followed by another and yet another.  And now, I'm in familiar territory and having a blast writing a new book in the Jidaan series.

Set two decades after the events in the first trilogy, you'll find some old friends and make some new ones.  I'm loving it so far, and I hope y'all will too.  Here's an excerpt from the rough draft:

WIP - Current Title: "Reyanna's Destiny"

Through the red haze of agony, Reyanna saw a man. He was of midling height, lean and strong, not old but not young, wearing a battered old brown hat and a traveling cloak. Wind played with the folds of his cloak, whipping it about. He had something long strapped to his back, its wooden handle jutting over his right shoulder, a small leather bag tied on the end as though to cover it.

Odd, she thought absently, the pain in her head keeping her from examining it more thoroughly.

The stranger was standing on a grassy rise that overlooked a meadow. In the distance, Reyanna could see the stark bluffs and steep crags of an ancient mountain range. The man’s face was hidden in the shadows of the hat’s brim, but when he turned to look past her, his eyes caught the light, and they blazed a sapphire blue. She had seen those eyes before. But where? Through the pain in her head, she could not focus, could not think. She dimly realized that she was on her hands and knees in the grass, but that seemed less substantial than the vision in which she was immersed.

She heard a terrifying howl, an animal, and finally she saw a massive beast top the rise to stand next to the man in her vision. It was a mastiff, but bigger than any she had ever seen. Its muscular body was covered with scars, its face pulled into a permanent snarl that only widened as the dog barked and howled at something that approached. Reyann felt a rumbling deep in her bones, and saw the two figures stumble as they fought to keep their balance. The dog barked louder as the man’s eyes were drawn upward. An enormous shadow crawled over them as something blocked out the sun. Something approached. Something big. The intensifying wind ripped off the man’s hat, leaving it to dangle behind him by a thin leather thong that encircled his throat, and Reyann saw his shock of bright blond hair buffeted by the wind. The vicious scar tissue that covered the right side of his face was clearly visible, and the shock of recognition hit her again, followed by confusion. She knew him, but did not.

In her minds eye, the vision continued, and the man’s face took on a ferocious, determined glare. Whatever was coming, it was evil and he would fight it. In one smooth motion, he reached over his shoulder and pulled the unknown weapon from his back, revealing a long-bladed spear that gleamed in spite of the looming shadows. Reyanna felt the man’s power rise as he brought the weapon into a fighting stance, and saw the leather bag suddenly disintegrate as the emerald beneath it blazed brightly to life, burning the covering away. He bellowed in defiance as the huge dog beside him howled its own fury into the wind at the oncoming threat.

And just as suddenly as it had come upon her, the vision ended, leaving her slumped facefirst in the grass, her lungs heaving in relief.  -  Copyright Whit McClendon 2017

There's a werewolf in it.  And other stuff.  I'll keep you posted.

In other news, I've become the announcer for our local pro wrestling promotion, Domination Zone Wrestling, Inc.  Loving every minute of it!  Although it's not something I ever planned to do (I kind of fell into it.  Well, volunteered to be choke-slammed into it.) I'm having a total blast.  Local shows are just a few minutes from my house and my son loves going and cheering the wrestlers until he's hoarse.  Definitely Father-Son bonding time at its finest.
It's Easter today, and I'm going to get back to my annual watching of Ben Hur.  The official McClendon family tradition is that I watch it on Easter, eating chocolate cake, in my underwear.  Hey, it's just how we roll.  Happy Easter, folks, and I hope you have a great day! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

A New Book: Short Workouts for Beginners!

Hey, folks!  Honestly, I need to write here much more often.  So much is going on that I should write about, but I don't write about it because so much is going on!  Sheesh!  The holidays are upon us, so there's all of that rigamarole to be dealt with, plus all the usual day-to-day of running a martial arts school, plus writing as much as possible...yes, it's crazy busy up in here.

In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and although I didn't reach the goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month, I did manage to get around 32K words into a new fantasy, GrimFaerie.  It's an Urban Fantasy set here in the Houston area.  I'm having a lot of fun with it, though I decided to put it aside here for the last couple of weeks and work on something else.  What is that project, you ask?  It's a new book!!  Short Workouts for Beginners: Get Healthier and Stronger at Home (Book 1 of the Jade Mountain Workout Series).  It's available for Kindle right now at only $2.99 or FREE on Kindle Unlimited, and the paperback version will be out right after Christmas (just in time for the new year)!

I've worked with adults for 13 years, teaching them how to exercise safely and properly, create a doable workout routine, and improve their health.  Although I'm a martial arts instructor, this is not a martial arts book; it's geared for beginners who need a place to start and need a clear plan they can follow at home.  In it, I demonstrate some basic exercises (links to videos included) and outline some simple workouts that have worked for my students over the years.    Click HERE to check it out on Amazon!

Now that I've got that out of the way, I can get back to GrimFaerie...or maybe a book on Kettlebell Training, I'm still deciding.  ;-)  In any event, here's a blurb and a teaser for GrimFaerie:

"Not all of the Faerie are sweet little Pixies.  There are a few who do the dirty work on the side of the Light, those of fang and claw and abilities far beyond those of the mere mortals they walk alongside.  They are known as GrimFaeries.  If you are evil enough to try to tip the balance towards the Dark side, you might just get a visit from one.  And they won't be leaving a coin under your pillow."


Chapter 1

“Great power brings great responsibility.” That’s a little something that I read from a character called Spider-Man some years ago. It seems that every so often, somebody remembers something obvious and puts it in print for everyone to ooh and ah over. As for me, I’d known this little fact of life for a particularly long time, and my belief in its truth often had me skulking through the darkest, most dangerous parts of the city in the wee hours of the morning, usually in search of a very evil son of a bitch.

This time was no different. It had been brought to my attention that another killer was loose in our city, and it was time for me to do something about it. Oh, I can hear you now, “But there are killings all the time!”

Well, you are right. People die or get killed quite often around here. People kill each other right and left, and I don’t lift a finger. Innocents are murdered for their sneakers, and street thugs kill each other by the dozens. People die of neglect, disease, car wrecks, and though I admit that it occasionally pains me to hear of such things, I don’t walk the streets at night in an attempt to avert those deaths.

But this particular killer was different. These recent deaths were the work of a single man, one very sick, twisted, and evil individual who brutalized and murdered young women. Now THIS I can do something about. And I would be only too glad to take care of the bastard. Sometimes, humans need a few bad genes removed from the old pool. That’s what I do sometimes. My unique talents assist me pretty well in such removals.

Hearing all this, some might ask if I think I’m God. ‘What right do you have to choose who dies and who lives? What makes you so special?’ Well, I certainly do not think of myself as God, though I have a lot of his/her power within me. And I actually have far more right to kill than psychos like this one, considering the evil nature of my targets. What goes around comes around. That’s a universal law, baby. Most folks would just depend on fate to take care of such karmic debts. Well, just who do you think that ‘fate’ calls on to tend to business? I’m a bit special, you could say.

I am of the Faerie, and though I usually look, walk, talk, and even occasionally think like a man, I am actually far from being human. And don’t ever mistake me for one of those cute little winged pixies that flit about and sprinkle shiny dust all over the place. I’m just not that kind of Faerie.

I’m the kind that had your ancestors bolting their doors and cowering in their homes at night. I’m the kind that caused unwary travelers to disappear in the deepest of our forests without a trace. Seeing me at work is usually enough to send people to years of therapy, and I’ve heard that their nightmares never go away.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Red River Radio!

The radio show is today! I'll be talking about my books with the amazing Dellani Oakes at 3pm Texas time. Right after me, my lifelong friend Brian D. Briscoe will be talking about his own books, "Juke," and "The Conflict Etiquette Handbook," and then author, Gary D Henry, who's written a ton of stuff. It's always fun, and you can ask questions on the chat function while we jabber away! 

I'll be reading from my latest release, A Mage Awakens: Book 3 of the Jidaan Trilogy.  Brian is supposed to as well, but he went and got laryngitis, so keep your fingers crossed that he'll not sound like a stepped-on frog this afternoon.

Just click the link below and you'll go to the proper page.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book 3!! Radio Show!! Woo Hooo!

Wow, so much is going on!!  It's been so long since I've posted here, and so much has happened, I don't know that I can effectively summarize it all.  I'll try and cover a few major points, and that will have to do.

Book 3, A Mage Awakens, is finally ready.  Like seriously ready.  It could drop at any moment (though I'm thinking next Monday).  This book took the least time to write of any of the three in the series, but still took longer than Book 2, Gart's Road, because I had a lot of trouble deciding on the cover scene.  I'm pretty happy with the story, though.  I hope my readers enjoy it!

I'll keep everyone posted.  See me on Facebook or you can check out my website. for the final details on the release of A Mage Awakens: Book 3 of the Fire of the Jidaan Trilogy. 

Also, I'll be on Red River Radio next week, on Wednesday, November 23rd!  Here's the info:

Red River Radio What’s Write for Me with Dellani Oakes Presents, Whit McClendon, author of “The Fire of the Jidaan Trilogy” Join us for a fun filled afternoon starting at 3 PM/CT.  Whit will be on from 3:00p to 3:40p. Brian Briscoe, author of “The Conflict Etiquette Handbook” The Art of Behaving Well in the Midst of Conflict will be on from 3:40p to 4:20p.  And Gary D. Henry, author of "In the Manor of Heather Black", "Falling Waters", "Witchwoods" and many more will be on from 4:20p to 5:00p.  As always, dust off your speakers, kick back with your favorite beverage and enjoy the show!  Have a great day!

I'll be reading from Book 3, and I'll be available on the RRR chat box during the show as well.  Stop on by!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sock Hop

I just dropped my son, Connor, off at his new high school for a Sock Hop.  He's dressed up in as close to a 50's outfit as we could come up with, and thankfully, guys didn't have to be quite so decked out back then.  A white shirt with rolled up sleeves, jeans with rolled up cuffs, sunglasses, sneakers...that was it.  I played some Elvis Presley music in the car on the way, along with some of the Grease soundtrack (yes, I have that on my phone, why do you even bother to ask?), and Connor seemed excited, nervous, amused, and nervous again.  Pretty much what I expected.

What I didn't expect was the huge rush of emotions that hit me when I let him out of the car at St John.  The principal was there, greeting students with a hearty thumbs up and handshake, and Connor seemed pleased to see him.  I watched Connor head towards the student center without so much as a backwards glance, and everything hit me all at once.

My boy is in high school.  He's going to his first high school dance.  He's growing up.

I took the long way home, driving through a nearby park, still listening to 50's music and gathering my thoughts.  So clear in my mind and heart were my own memories of being a freshman entering Angleton High School waaay back in 1984.  The awkward was strong in that kid, the young me.  My mom had actually sent me to my first day of summer band in a matching shorts and shirt set.  Seriously.  I know now that she just wanted me to match so I'd look nice. 

I remember all of the excitement I felt, right alongside all of the terror and nervousness.  It was all so big, so new, and there was so much energy everywhere, it was hard to take in.  I loved seeing all the other kids around, even though I was often horrified at the idea of talking to someone I didn't know.  Fortunately, I had already been in band, so I knew lots of upperclassmen already.  That helped a lot.  I had also passed out at attention during summer band, so all the upperclassmen knew me as well.  Win some, lose some.

Now Connor is going through it all.  He was lucky enough to have a Fish Camp, where they played tons of 'get to know you' games, and it's a small school, but the newness, the excitement, and the nerves are all there.  I know the signs.  And I swear, I thought my heart would just burst with love for that boy as I saw him stroll away, following the steady stream of other kids in their 50's outfits.  He was smiling, last I saw.  I hope he has fun tonight, I truly do.  It seems like just yesterday that I was leaning over him, putting an outfit on his tiny body that would have fit a small-sized teddy bear.  Tonight, I had to tell him to sit down while I fixed his hair because he's so much taller than me that I couldn't reach it well enough.

Time flies.  Life is good.  And tonight, Grease is the word.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book 3...the First Draft is DONE!!

In 1993, I saw an interesting weapon in a Museum Replicas LTD catalog.  I'd been working with long-handled Chinese weapons at that point and I thought the blade in the catalog looked like something I would LOVE to use as a personal weapon.  I idly drew some sketches of what I thought it would look like, and even created an RPG character that carried it for use in a D&D game I was playing with my dear, departed friend, Jason Blankenship.  The character was a jester.  I know that probably surprises you.  Stop that laughing.

Not long after that, had my "I can write better than THAT guy!" episode and began work on what would become Mage's Burden, using the weapon I had envisioned as a focal point.  It took 21 years for that story to make it to print, but not long after I held that first copy in my hands, I quickly started on Gart's Road to continue the tale.  16 months later, GR was complete and on the shelves.  I took a break for about 2 weeks (during which I struggled to not write, telling myself that I neeeeeded a break), and then started on Book 3, A Mage Awakens.  That was back in December, 2015.

On Tuesday, July 12, around 2:30pm, I finished the first draft of AMA, and with it, the story that had been rattling around in my head for well over two decades.  It was finally all there in black and white.  All the pieces had come together, the dust had settled, and I definitely had the feels going on.  Yes, yes, there is still a lot of editing to do, and some things might yet change here and there, but all in all, it felt finished.  Done.  Fini.

It has been such a crazy ride for me.  I've known these characters, both heroic and evil, for nearly half my life, and now, their tale is pretty much done.  Sitting there at my desk, I felt such a wonderful sense of completion, relief, and yes, some sadness.  I've always had their story pressing in my head, wanting to get out, and I miss it already.  I feel so strange right now, even though I've done this before with my previous books, going through the editing process to tune it all up feels a little different than it did the last two times because of its finality.  The trilogy as I had envisioned it is complete.  Now, there is an emptiness that is hard to describe.

The good news is that there is already a new story taking shape.  It's unformed, just flashes and images, really, but I can feel it in there.  I can already see the return of some old friends and the approach of new ones, as well as the presence of some very nasty bad guys.  Even at this ridiculously early stage, I'm comforted by its presence.  I've apparently got a lot more writing to do once this last book in the trilogy is polished and published.  And that makes me happy.  Have a great week, folks.