My name is Stan R. Mitchell and I love writing fast-paced thrillers. Readers have, thankfully, compared my works to Vince Flynn, Lee Child, and Stephen Hunter — three of my favorite authors. I’ve published three books: “Sold Out,” “Soldier On,” and “Little Man, and the Dixon County War.”
If you want a short bio about me, here’s what I squeezed into Twitter:
I’m a prior USMC 0311 SGT who loves writing action thrillers, practicing martial arts, and studying eastern philosophy. See novels on Amazon @ http://amzn.to/1brrc37.
If you want a longer bio, keep reading…
My name’s Stan Mitchell, though I go by Stan R. Mitchell in the fiction world. (I used to swear I’d never use my middle initial — because it seems pretentious — but it seems there are about 10,000 Stan Mitchells out there…)
I grew up in the South, in East Tennessee. I learned to hunt and shoot at a young age and joined the Marine Corps in the Delayed Entry Program at 17, early in my Senior High School Year. (Why is this legal again?)
In the Corps, I served four hard years in the infantry with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. One of the highlights of my infantry career was when my platoon served as a Covering Force for Force Recon for six months, which was indescribably cool. But carrying a ton of gear and sweating, freezing, and stinking for the better part of four years was not so cool. (Blowing your shoulder out in a fight with a much bigger Marine? Even less cool, especially when the surgery to repair it only sort-of worked.)
I spent the next three and a half years going year-round to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
At UT, I planned to be an English Major, but it turns out I hate literature. Like, worse than I thought. I then tried Political Science, but eventually switched to journalism, grabbing a bachelor’s degree, while also launching a furniture assembly business on the side. (Turns out, it wouldn’t be the last.)
I worked at several newspapers before doing something more dangerous than joining the Marines at 17: Launching a newspaper at the age of 27. With just $20,000. (In the end, I’d need more than a $100,000 — and I wouldn’t try again with less than $250,000, but I’ll spare you that business lesson.)
Needless to say, I ended up divorced and nearly bankrupt, living rent-free in a friend’s basement.
But through all this trauma, I kept doing something I started as a young boy: Writing fiction.
This is a habit I started younger than most. I began writing when I was about nine or ten (my Mom and I can’t nail down the precise year), and it started as a form of escape. Big time.
Growing up, I was a small kid and was bullied a fair amount, so I read fiction all the time to help me escape as a young boy.
And I soon transitioned from just reading to escape to actually writing. Partly because I wasn’t happy reading the stories out there – I’m a notoriously picky reader still to this day — and partly because in these stories that I wrote I changed from a little boy who was scared and bullied, to a young man who was tall, strong, and desirable. And brave. Always brave…
Writing is incredibly difficult and challenging, so it goes without saying that I started and stopped probably thirty novels over the past twenty-plus years before I finished my first one, “Little Man, and the Dixon County War.”
But in many ways, “Sold Out“ was my first one.
“Sold Out” was inspired by Stephen Hunter’s book “Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger)” — still one of my all-time favorite books of all time. “Sold Out” is a Marine Sniper/CIA Thriller that is in many ways similar to Hunter’s book. I loved how fun Stephen Hunter’s book was and I wanted to write something similar: Just pure pace and action and setback-after-setback for a Marine Sniper up against the CIA.
But “Sold Out” was super difficult because of all the twists and turns in the plot, and the complicated situations that I thrust the main character into. No joke, it took me twelve years to write, which I’m not proud to say as an author, but it’s the truth. I probably would have never finished it had I not finally just let it go and put it away. To myself I thought, “I need to just write a simple book and get an ‘easy’ win,” if there is such a thing.
So, I wrote “Little Man, and the Dixon County War,” which is a thriller set in a Western time period — think “Django Unchained” or “Appaloosa.” Then, once I had finished “Little Man,” I began feeding off its positive reviews and sales. And with that, I picked up once again the book that had taunted me and mocked me for more than a decade. It took nearly another year, but eventually I completed the story I had wrestled with for nearly one-third of my life.
Oh, and to update my life story that I left hanging above, the newspaper I started at 27 (The Oak Ridge Observer) and nearly went bankrupt over has survived, and I must say in all seriousness that I give God the credit for this.
I also have managed in that time to trick a beautiful woman named Danah into thinking I was marrying material. (Hell, maybe I’m a salesman…)
She helps me run The Observer and handles all the design work on the book covers. (She’s incredible at design and graphics work and is an amazing artist.)
Let’s see what else…
Oh, we’ve got three cats and a dog — all rescues — and when I’m not working, which I still do too much of, I’m usually writing, exercising, or practicing Isshin-Ryu Karate or Shaolin Kung Fu. (Yes, I’m a martial arts nut. What gave it away?)
I wholeheartedly own up to having small man’s syndrome and being too ambitious for my own good.
Additionally, if you want to know more about me, here’s a recent (almost uncomfortable) interview: Story link.
Let’s see… What else… Oh, here’s how high my fame has already taken me! I have groupies!!! : )
Finally, if you’re wondering if I can write worth a damn, remember that on the Amazon links you can read long samples of each book by merely clicking on their cover.
One hidden gem for this page, for the patient ones who read down this far. This link is about a book I believe to be worth $10,000. So, please accept my recommendation for the greatest gift I can give.
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Attention Publishers & Agents
If you’re an agent or book publisher, here’s more detailed info about me. I’ve been writing novels since I was 9 or 10, which means for the past nearly 25 years I’ve written a ton of words, most of which sucked. You know that. I know that.
But in the last ten years, I’ve taken my writing to the next level. I honed my skills at UT, earned a journalism degree, and typed thousands of words under excruciating stress for several newspapers.
Just as importantly, I served four years in the Marine Corps and earned a Combat Action Ribbon along with my platoon. (We raced into the capitol city of Albania and evacuated nearly a thousand Americans from all the idiots running around with guns. Operation Silver Wake.)
So… In summary, I know when a sentence don’t work — umm, I’m thinking this one doesn’t — and I know guns and guys, our primary target audience. And since I’m selling myself, I guess you could say I know how to market, having sold (or supervised the selling of) well over a $1.5 million dollars in advertising in a business I founded at the age of 27.
My point in all this very uncomfortable
bragging selling of myself? I may just be your man for your next book or movie deal. Send me a line here.