My name is Stan R. Mitchell and I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business, working as a reporter, editor, and publisher.
I write every chance I get and I’m far too ambitious for my own good, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s my life in a nutshell:
I left for the Marine Corps at 17, demanding to be infantry and insisting that my recruiter put that in writing. That insistence paid off as I had an amazing four years, getting to serve with Force Recon and earning a Combat Action Ribbon as part of Operation Silver Wake in 1997. (The details on my military career.)
I served four years in the Corps and earned the rank of Sergeant before pursuing my love of writing by earning a journalism degree at the University of Tennessee. After graduation, I wrote my butt off as a reporter for a few years before launching a weekly newspaper at the age of 27. With just $20,000… (Turns out, you’ll need about $250,000 if you ever decide to try it for yourself — says man who spent much of that time struggling financially, scrambling for loans and investors.)
But the truth is, even with the lack of financial reward, I had a great run as an entrepreneur for those nine years, learning a ton and pushing myself to levels only possible under absolute desperation. And about the time that the paper was successful financially, I had decided I was burned out on the news business and ready to pursue my my writing on the side in a full-time capacity as quickly as I could. (More info on what it’s like to own and run a newspaper here.)
These days, I’m doing pretty well as an author — THANK YOU, fans!!! And yet the Marine in me remains convinced that I can make it big as a writer. (Watch out, big-name authors! I’m coming for you!)
Statistically, this will never happen, but I have this most spectacular attribute in my corner! Without question, I’m honestly a little dense and stubborn and stupid, and these traits have served me well, teaching me to never give up. To be a little hard of hearing when someone says “no” or “you can’t” or “that’s impossible.”
Thankfully, I do have at least some talent to go with my ton of drive, and a few readers have completely flattered me with some amazing compliments and words of encouragement.
I’ve written four books to date. (With about 30 in various stages, but you know how that goes…) Learn more about those four here.
The main things I enjoy doing these days are writing action thrillers, practicing martial arts, studying Eastern philosophy, playing tennis, and doing a little fishing and shooting.
You can see my novels and a longer bio about my service in the Marine Corps on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1brrc37.
Need to contact me? Please e-mail me at the following address.
And, if you’re interested, please consider joining our small community and subscribing for email updates of my blog posts. (The site is non-political and I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.)
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
P.S. You might be thinking, “Stan, what in the world gives you such an insane drive? What makes you so crazy?”
Well, part of it is an inner-city school thing. You face so many obstacles and temptations growing up in an inner city that if you’re lucky enough to break free from it all, you’ll find yourself intensely confident that you can do whatever you set your mind to. (Plus, growing up without money makes you desire the security it provides more than I can possibly explain.)
A second part of my insane drive stems from the Marine Corps. The Corps injected into me a lot of something — not sure what — but most people just call it brain washing. The Marine Corps taught me I can do whatever I set my mind to if I’m just crazy enough to never give up and outwork those around me, so I adhere to this philosophy wholeheartedly. Most people think Marines are crazy, and I won’t disagree that I fall into this category. (Let me add, though, that I’m very thankful that I do.)
Finally, I mentioned above that I love to study Eastern Philosophy and martial arts. This heavy mental and physical training gives me loads of belief and energy.
And on that note, I want to quote just a few things from some of the Eastern Philosophy that I’ve studied (and that I love so much), in the hopes that it might help you. (The following quotes come from the once-secret book titled, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, which was written back in the early 1700’s.)
And in that book, you’ll find the following passages:
- “Even if you begin without talent, you can become great if you imitate a good model and put forth enormous effort.”
- “Emulate the best behaviors of those around you.”
- “In military affairs, a man must always strive to outstrip others.” <— I’m applying this to fiction writing.
- “In the stories of the elder warriors, it is said that on the battlefield, if one wills himself to outstrip warriors of accomplishment, and day and night hopes to strike down a powerful enemy, he will grow indefatigable and fierce of heart and manifest courage. One should use this principle in everyday affairs, too.”
- “It is spiritless to think that you cannot attain what you have seen and heard others attain. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think you will be inferior, then you are well on your way.”
And the following quotes are from The Shaolin Workout: 28 Days to Transforming Your Body and Soul the Warrior’s Way. I highly recommend this book, as it’s without question the greatest book I’ve ever received (after the Bible, which you already know about).
- “Getting your body and mind right can affect your whole life.”
- “Think you are handsome and beautiful. If you have a negative outlook about yourself, you’ll definitely fail.”
- “The more chi you put into your life, the more you’ll get out of it.”
- “Nothing is difficult or easy in itself. We make it difficult or easy with our attitude. If you don’t want to do it, then nothing is easy.”
- “Strong body, strong mind. Weak body, weak mind.”
- “You create your own life. You make it heaven or hell. Destiny is not something that happens to you. You make your own destiny.”
- “A foolish person wishes for good things to happen to them, but fortune, success, and happiness rarely just fall in your lap. You must grasp your life and sharpen it.”
- “Confidence is the most important key to success in all areas of your life. Believe in yourself. Trust in yourself. If you lack self-confidence, you can’t get the job done. You will find it difficult to succeed in any endeavor. Face your day today with the confidence that you can handle any task, solve any problem, overcome any obstacle!”
All of these things are a big part of who I am.
Inspired, I hope? Then read this: Find true happiness: announce your dreams to the world today.
And if you dig the martial arts, come join me at my martial arts site, where I explore martial arts, physical fitness, and everything that goes with Eastern philosophy — meditation, living in the moment, and mindfulness, as well as plenty of great stories from the East that share some great wisdom.
Or if you’re a jarhead, come join me at Marine Watch, where I post about American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.