Where I’ve been the past few months…

It’s been roughly three weeks since I’ve posted, and I’m sure many of you have wondered where I’ve been. Unless I’m mistaken, that’s the longest gap — by far — of me not posting in three years. (Even prior to that I’ve just mostly posted Twitter summaries or other things of late, where I haven’t put myself out there much.)

Partly, the lack of posting is a result of my new job and the transition of adjusting to it, but my long-time followers know I still managed to post regularly through the closing of my paper, so you true members of Mitchell’s Militia are far too keen to think it’s just me in a new job.

Partly, I’ve been super busy — Danah and I have finally gotten our company debt refinanced, and we’re still wrapping up loose ends from our company even nearly a year-plus after the fact — but my true friends on here know I’ve been busy and trying to over-achieve since the day I left for the Marines at 17.

So, what truly gives?

Well, what truly gives is I’m selling boatloads of books. And by boatloads, I mean more books than you’d probably believe. Most days, even I don’t believe it.

It began about three months ago and it’s only grown steadier and steadier, higher and higher.

And every day that it’s grown, it’s gotten a little scarier.

It’s ironic, for three years I’ve worked super hard to attract attention, gain followers, and try to earn some readers. And for much of that time, I was talking to the same crowd. In fact, there are still 20 or 30 of you that I feel like I know. That I’d love to meet some day.

And with the regulars, it was easy. You all knew me. If I got out of line, you knew deep down that I was a good guy, and you let it slide.

But as new followers have signed up and more and more “likes” have piled up on facebook from absolute, complete strangers, stage fright has seized me. It’s as if I walked around the corner with my guitar expecting to play a few songs for my friends, and instead of a few people in a cafe, there’s a stadium full of people. And media with cameras.

This sounds like an exaggeration, and in some ways it is, but in others it’s not. I’ve had a stunning, in-depth review from a nuclear physicist — Dr. Martin Fricke — who spent much of his career supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community and has even personally interacted with the Director of Central Intelligence. (Bio.)

I’ve had another reviewer say I’m “so much better than Stephen Hunter,” who’s one of my favorite authors.

I’ve had a former Marine Sniper review both books, and had another reviewer give a two-star review to “Mexican Heat” because it didn’t read as good as “Sold Out.” (I’m not linking to this last one, and guys, please don’t go commenting on any of these reviews. Even the tough ones have made my day that the reader took the time to leave a review; reviews such as those have saved all of us crucial time and money from products we wouldn’t have enjoyed.)

My only point in saying all this is that I suddenly find myself almost frozen. I haven’t been writing because I wonder how in the world I’ll top “Mexican Heat.”

I haven’t been blogging much of late because I have this new audience I don’t know, and I worry they’ll think what I post isn’t that relevant. More and more, I find myself thinking, “Now I know why mainline authors don’t blog. They’re not just talking with friends they’ve known for a long time.”

So, this is where I’ve been. I’ve been pinching myself, wondering if this is real. Wondering how my books made it in the Top 20 on Amazon (in their genre) without a dollar of marketing and no big-shot publishing firm behind me.

I’ve been almost praying it continues, because we need the money, while feeling guilty the sales are so good while my other author friends struggle.

And I’ve been worried I’ll somehow screw this up, or say something stupid, or write something that tanks.

That’s the truth, for my regulars who’ve been wondering. Thankfully, I know I can go to bed tonight feeling confident that no matter what, there’s about 20 or 30 of you who will stick around, even if the rest were to go away tomorrow.

And I’ll end with a pledge. From here on out, I’ll try to be the same ol’ Stan. I figure folks will either like me or they won’t. They’ll either stay or they’ll leave. But in the end, I can’t operate in fear. It kills in battle. It freezes you up in life.

So, expect more to come, and I’m hoping most of you stay. (Actually, I hope each of you stay. It’s taken way more than even just three years to get to this point.)

To my regulars, you true members of Mitchell’s Militia, many of whom have been here since way before it was cool, I owe you. I owe you big time, and I hope with every ounce of my being that I don’t forget you or take for granted what each of you has done to spread the word about my books.

You all were the ones who got this ball rolling, and I’ll be forever indebted to you.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m an 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 in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing to my blog — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

29 Comments

Filed under Stories about my life

29 responses to “Where I’ve been the past few months…

  1. I have been wondering where you’ve been! Hooray for your books’ success, your new audience and your reviews. Congrats! I’m truly happy for you and love to hear about your trajectory to the top – keep sharing, it gives me hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy England

    Stan, if you’re trying to hatch a new plot, how about a spy thriller involving Oak Ridge and the nuclear business? We don’t have much gun-’em-down here but I’ll bet you could make it plenty complicated and page-turning! There are a batch of people here who could give you all the technical details about bombs and various zaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy! That’s not a bad idea for some future plot. Right now, Nick and the boys are doing some gunwork in Afghanistan. Maybe when they return? Book 4? We’ll have to see!

      Like

  3. I just figured you were on some Top-Secret mission in Uzbekistan or somewhere! Glad to hear of your success, now get busy writing the next Nick Woods adventure, your minions eagerly await! SF Brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mal elrod

    Congratulations! You’ve got talent, go with the flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mal,

      Thanks so much for the comment! It absolutely made my day.

      And I don’t believe I’ve seen you comment before, so if you happen to see this, do you mind sharing how you crossed my path? (I’m always trying to hone in on where best to focus my time, whether it be here, Twitter, Goodreads, or just from word of mouth on some of my current books out there.)

      Thanks!

      And thanks again for the kind words.

      Like

  5. This is really exciting news, Stan! I really liked Sold Out so I’m delighted to hear that success is coming your way. Mexican Heat is on my list of books to read (which always seems to get longer by the day, sigh).

    I’m glad to hear that you’re pledging to be the same ol’ Stan. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww, thanks Letizia!!!! You’ve always been far too kind, and I’m so glad we (somehow) crossed paths on the Internet!!!

      Sorry I haven’t commented of late on any posts. I even started a comment on one a couple weeks back, but you have an edumacated crowd, and I just punked out so I didn’t look any more stupid or idiotic than I almost always do. : )

      Like

  6. Congratulations, amigo. It’s great to see your books selling so well – keep producing and jiving off of that forward momentum!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I’ve been pinching myself, wondering if this is real.”

    It is real brother, and so are you.
    Continue to march.

    S/F
    OG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, OG. You’re too kind, and I’m lucky to have had someone with your level of intelligence and wisdom cross my path and help cover my 6.

      Let’s plan on finally making a get together happen here in Jan or Feb, if you’re heading down this way.

      Then when it warms up some, let’s put some lead downrange. What do you say?

      S/F,
      Stan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Old Retired Guy

        Sounds good.
        The 2015 schedule isn’t out yet, but there should be some local matches (30-50 shooters) starting in March.
        Unfortunately, some of those local shooters are former National Champions. On the plus side, there are lots of old guys (like me) who can barely see the target – much less the bulls-eye.
        Pizza at Big Ed’s after the match.
        S/F
        OG

        Like

  8. Great news, Bro. Keep on keepin’ on, and keep on bein’ you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You know Stan, I have not read one of your book, but don’t feel bad about
    that, I don’t read any ones books. I come here because I like you, and because you are a Marine, so here is a bit of advise. Give credit for your success to the man way above your pay grade. I mean just were does all those great lines and words come from?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wowza, Stan! That is super duper awesome! Congrats…you’ve one the indie author lottery. Well-deserved and I hope the momentum keeps up. 🙂

    Keep blogging though, because we all have missed you. Remember that a lot of people who read our books do only that and skip the blog altogether. And, vice versa. Some do both, but many are one or the other. Yay for you!

    Like

    • That’s a great point, Britt. I’m guilty myself of actually following people I’ve never read. (The genre gap is just too great.)

      Anyway, sometimes the most obvious things are hardest to see! Thanks for the comment and for stopping by! You know how much I love you and Letizia!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good lord Stan. You work so hard to get to the point that you’re selling a ton of books (congrats btw) and now you get postal dysfunction. Man up and just keep writing that you’ve been writing and posting what you’ve been posting. Obviously it’s working.

    Like

    • Hah! Thanks. It’s just funny how before I had nothing to lose — I seem to recall writing a certain someone asking them for recommendations on a cheap home-defense gun — and now I do have have something to lose.

      Speaking of guns, now I’ll finally be able to get one. BTW, you get commission on sales for your new gig? (Trying to see if it’s worth driving up there.) I mean, I know seeing a certain one is probably worth it, but she’s already sending pics.

      Like

Comments are always welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s