Category Archives: Stories about my life

Author of “Watership Down” dies…

One of my favorite authors died yesterday.

Richard Adams, who wrote “Watership Down,” died at the age of 96. (I like to think that watership_down_coverHazel, Fiver, Bigwig, Dandelion, and several other rabbits he created met him at the gates of heaven.)

Watership Down” is one of my all-time favorite books. Definitely in my Top 10. I’ve read this book probably six or eight times and bought at least three copies. (Just this Christmas, I bought one for my niece. Trust me, I’ve been waiting about four years and harassing my sister to no end, asking her if my niece is the appropriate age to give a copy.)

Not only did “Watership Down” inspire me to have rabbits as a kid, I also bought two rabbit bookends a few years back because of the book.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, last Christmas my sister-in-law ordered a hardback from the UK that he’d actually signed. (Now I’m more thankful than ever that she did that.)

Yeah, it’s kind of sick how obsessed I am with that book. I hate to hear he’s died… 😦 And I think it’s every author’s wish that we could write a book that makes such an impact.

watership-down-collage

A photo of my signed book, other copies, and one of the bookends that I had to buy (and now treasure a little too much).

One final thing to add, as if all the above isn’t bad enough… Danah often calls me her “bunny goat,” because I’m infatuated with rabbits and also as stubborn and hard-headed as a goat.

Honestly, the nickname is pretty accurate. I mean, I’m just crazy about rabbits. I’ll be driving and constantly scanning the yards around my home for them. And when I see them, I often pull over and just watch them. Or shoot a quick video on my phone.

It’s also true that I’m as stubborn and hard-headed as a goat. (Only a hard-headed goat would start a newspaper and think it’s a good idea to spend a quarter of their working life trying to make it pay off…)

Sorry, guys. I’ve rattled on too long, which is the classic sign of a writer who’s too close to something. But, clearly, I’m too close to this topic.

If you’ve never read the book, check it out. And if you have kids in about seventh or eighth grade, and especially if they hate reading, hand them a copy of this book. It’s probably the primary childhood book that completely hooked me on reading as much as I did.

Here’s the link again: “Watership Down.” (For those wondering about child-appropriateness, my school required us to read it in 8th grade. I’ve also seen online that some schools require it in 7th grade. So those two facts are probably pretty good guides on whether your kid is the right age or not to tackle it.)And if you’re an adult, I think the book will blow you away as well. It’s that good.)

Oh, and if you’re an adult, I think the book will blow you away as well. It’s that good.

Just be prepared to become obsessed with rabbits after reading it… 🙂

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )—————————

Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

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Filed under Random posts, Stories about my life

Writing update for the week of 9/12/16

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! Wanted to update you with where I was on several writing projects, especially since it’s been forever since I put up a post. And since I get pretty regular emails from folks asking for updates on my books and release dates.

So, I’ll tackle them in the following order: Nick Woods 4, Detective Danny Acuff 6, Little Man 2, and two new projects none of you know about. : )

Nick Woods 4

The Nick Woods 4 book is fully written and in edit mode. I’m hearing it’s pretty good from my absolute toughest critic (my wife!), and she’s currently helping me flesh out some characters.

As my close friends know, I’m a plot guy. Action. Gun fights. Etc. Danah is more a character person. Why did this character do this? Let’s make this scene funnier. Let’s amp up this argument. Etc.

Without question, this book will be done by Oct. 15. That’s the deadline for when Audible is expecting it and:

A ) We’ve already pushed back the date once.

B ) We’ve already “cashed the check!” D’oh! lol. (Okay, it was direct deposit, but doesn’t “cash the check” sound so much better?!)

Bottom line, Nick Woods 4 drops Oct. 15 unless the Marine Corps calls me back into service.

Admin note: If you haven’t started the series, begin here with Book 1, Sold Out. And if you’re not aware there’s a Book 2, Mexican Heat, and Book 3, Afghan Storm, then you seriously need to subscribe for blog updates and keep up better. If Nick knew you weren’t paying attention, he’d knock you upside the head.

Detective Danny Acuff 6

I had pledged to stay on the Detective Danny Acuff series with greater focus, getting you all the sixth book much faster than I have with earlier editions. And that was certainly my intention.

But I wanted Book 6 to have a hand-to-hand showdown between Danny and Forrest Holding, the prior Green Beret Sergeant Major.

As readers of the series know, there was a multi-chapter hand-to-hand scene between Danny and four brutes in Book 5. I wanted something similar in Book 6, but instead have the fight between Danny and the bear-like Forrest. But how do you get two men who would ALWAYS typically be toting pistols into a hand-to-hand situation, where they slug it out until only one is standing?

That’s what held me up for several weeks. I emailed friends. I called old gun-toting Marines who have helped me in the past. I knew I needed to get the book out, but I didn’t want to let go of what could be a pivotal, incredible scene.

It took me nearly forever, but I’ve finally worked it out, even though it led to a much greater delay than I would have preferred.

Regardless, I’ll get that to you guys as quickly as I can.

Admin notes: If you haven’t jumped on board the series, you can begin with Books 1-3 here. And here are the links to Book 4 and Book 5 in case you missed them.

Little Man 2

I had hoped to have Little Man 2 written by now, but I got 10,000 words into it and wrote myself into a corner. I’m not an outliner (nor is Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, or about a dozen others), so don’t judge me.

Regardless, I had to come up with a different idea for the villian since I came to realize my original plot just wasn’t exciting and epic enough. I’ve since been lucky enough to come up with an incredible idea that’s beyond ambitious and should have people talking about this book when I finish it. Give me a couple months or so and it’ll be done.

Admin note: If you haven’t read book 1, you’re missing out on a pretty good book. SOME say it’s my best ever. Just try the sample on Amazon. I dare you.

New project 1

I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the TV and book sensation written by George R. R. Martin. I was recently re-reading the series (I’m always re-reading books and studying them) and decided to finally pursue a small nagging thought that had been bugging me for years.

Namely, I’m going to write an epic fantasy. Swordfights. Charging warhorses. Kings in castles.

I have no idea how it’ll do, but I’ve come up with an incredible premise: what if a young man from a poor district decided NOT to do what he was supposed to do, which in this case is become a blacksmith; what if he wanted to carry a sword and see the world? How long would he live? How would all this change him? How far could he go?

I’ve already begun work on this and will be releasing it in serial installments. There’s a couple reasons for doing so: One, I don’t want to spend five years on something that might completely flop. Two, it’s far less audacious to write sixty or eighty pages at a time than write eight hundred, especially when you have to keep several other series going that currently pay the bills.

One lesson I’ve learned with serials is I’m done with cliffhangers. Each serial from here on out with no longer have some massive, leave-you-hanging ending. Those seem to work on TV and Netflix, but they don’t seem to translate as well to books.

So Book 1 will be his leaving from home and landing as a foot soldier. I’m honestly pretty excited about this project and get a little nervous about how epic it could be.

New project 2

This is a total “me” project. It will probably totally flop, but sometimes we have to write for ourselves (same as new project 1). 

This is about a Shaolin Monk who comes to America. It’ll be about an American who leaves the United States to get away from the busyness of our culture and a nasty divorce and business bankruptcy.

Just as the man finds peace and his place in the world in China, his master asks him to come to America. With no money. No destination. No goal except to go into the poorest, most dangerous areas and help those in need while spreading light and goodness.

This project will be somewhat similar to the TV Kung Fu series with David Carradine (Kwai Chang Caine).

I seriously have ZERO expectations about this project, but I’ll be releasing it in serial form (without cliffhangers) as well.

A parting gift

And for those amazing supporters who read down this far, I’m leaving you with a pretty amazing gift. This video completely blew me away. Be prepared to laugh is all I can say. (Hat tip, Kristina.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

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Filed under Stories about my life

Update on the former colonel in memory care

Hey guys!

Wanted to update everyone on the post from yesterday.

I’m so happy that more than twenty of you left touching, amazing comments from him in just a matter or hours, and I heard back from the daughter after the outpouring from everyone. She wanted me to share this message with everyone:

If you have a chance please pass this along on your blog. Not kidding, he literally broke down crying while listening to the comments. Showed him a goofy pic of the latest great grandbaby and he started laughing. 20160817_142610

Mom thought this was such a wonderful thing for you to do for Dad. She got quite a laugh from your wife’s comments, having been a Marine wife herself for 27 years. Dad did as well!

I was halfway through the 4th comment when he got “something” in his eye (actually a lot of somethings) and I had to pause reading them until the next visit. He did better than I did as I only made it through #2 before the waterworks started. He was touched so very deeply by this outpouring of respect and blessings. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

And thank you, sir, for taking time to do this and for reaching out to your most amazing group of readers.

All the best from my family to yours, Sandy

Thanks to all of you for helping me make this man’s day. And if you wanted to see all the awesome comments or add your own, go here: Please leave a message for this veteran (a former colonel) in memory care. I told Sandy that comments usually filter for up to two or three days afterward.

She will definitely be checking back, so there’s still time if you want to make a comment.

Thanks again, everyone!! You all rock!

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Sandy mentioned what amazing followers I have and I sent her this reply: “I’m super blessed and fortunate to have so many people supporting my author dream! And they are awesome people! I think it’s also because I’ve kept the site a safe place. When stupid commenters show up, I ask them to get in line or just delete them out. So, that’s allowed for some great conversations on everything from politics to whatever. No trolling allowed! 😁”

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Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

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