Category Archives: 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


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 for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.


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! 😁”


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 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 Marine Corps, Stories about my life

Please leave a message for this veteran (a former colonel) in memory care

Hey guys!

I wanted to share a story that touched me and end this post by asking you (no, begging you!!) to drop a comment, thanking this veteran as well.

The story begins by me crossing paths with Sandy Schumacher on Twitter. I didn’t know her and can’t even remember how we crossed paths. She was simply just another reader on just another day. Or so I thought.

But somehow we got to messaging each other and I learned she was a retired cop. That caught my attention and led to additional messages where I soon learned that her Dad was a prior Marine, which clearly got my attention.

She told me he was 91 and in Memory Care now but still doesn’t cut the staff any slack. I laughed about the latter part and we talked more, with me asking more questions about him. From that, I soon learned he retired as a full bird colonel, having served from 1943-1976. His time included combat service in Korea.

Colonel George Robert Scharnberg

At that, I told her that she had to tell the man the next time she saw him that a lowly sergeant from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines sends his regards and that I wanted him to know that I had the highest level of respect for him.

She told me she’d do that and that she knew he’d like hearing such a thing from another Marine of a different generation. And that’s when I got this incredible picture back from him, which completely blew me away.

Sandy told me that her dad said, “Back at ya!”

My reply to her was a little embarrassing, but completely honest. I simply said, “Oh, my word, what an amazing photo!!!! You have no idea how much this made my day!!”

I can’t really explain how that made me feel. It did more than make my day. It warmed my heart that he’d even acknowledge my service, which was nothing compared to his. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve felt that honored in a long time. Not even close.

George Robert Scharnberg serving in Korea as a captain.

I mean, to have a full colonel salute back… A man who served in Korea. A man who distinguished himself enough to reach such a rank — No small accomplishment, by any stretch of the imagination.

Sandy told me that her dad’s head nurse was an Army medic and that he made her dad practice his salutes! There is just something so touching about that for me. One veteran serving a man who had served him years earlier.

At any rate, I will try to end this here because I know all of you are so busy, but I beg of you to do me one thing: please leave a comment below for this man, who’s named Colonel George Robert Scharnberg.

Sandy told me she’d pass the messages along to him during her next visit (when I asked if I could write this post). She also said she was confident it would make his day.Col GRS

So this is what I’m asking. Let’s get her dad a ton of comments. I’m sure it would be really moving for him. I’m sure it would be moving for others, as well.

For those who don’t know, the Korean War was often called The Forgotten War. It received very little public attention, so most of those who served were never rightfully honored.

If you have something touching to add, such as a family member who served in Korea or World War II, or even Vietnam or any other time period, please put that in your comment as well. I’m sure he’d love to hear such specific details.

Just anything you’d like to say to a man who saw too many men die in Korea and who gave this country thirty years of his life.

That’s it. Please. I beg of you. Share a few words with this man and maybe share the message or ask a friend to drop a comment, too. I’d love it if we blew Mr. Scharnberg away with how many comments get dropped. (I also know loads of other veterans will see the comments to him and also be warmed in the process.)

There’s so much pain in the world and we can’t do something about everything, but I think this is a really small way you can touch this man’s life. As well as the Army medic still standing post. (And if you have no idea what to say at all, just thank him for his service and put your name. Or only your first name if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your full name.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell


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 for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.




Filed under Stories about my life

Three tips on how to deal with extreme stress from an upcoming event.

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! Wanted to share a quick video I posted on YouTube.

Hope you enjoy!

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell


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 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 Motivation, Stories about my life

My six-year anniversary message

When I met Danah Akin Mitchell eight years ago, she had to have seen a half-crazy man embarked on an insane, impossible dream to create a major newspaper, despite what the balance sheets were showing.

And she somehow overlooked the crappy $415 apartment I was renting, or the fact I didn’t have health insurance or even any furniture in my living room other than a camping chair and upturned box for a sidetable. My TV was a hand me down from my friend Hannah, who used to work for me at The Oak Ridge Observer.

I was basically bankrupt at the time with a TON of company and personal debt, but Danah somehow overlooked all those embarrassing situations.

And for some crazy reason, she agreed to marry me, proudly accepting a small diamond ring that most girls would have turned their nose down at. I promised her then I’d make it up to her someday, and she’s somehow continued to believe in me, as well as encourage me, as I’ve moved on to yet another mountain, this one even higher and steeper.

She foolishly claims she’s the one who got lucky, but I know I’m the one who latched onto an angel and used every salesman trick in the book to convince her to spend the rest of her life with me. Now I just need to sell enough books to buy her a home in Disney. : )


Filed under Stories about my life

Author Stan R. Mitchell takes on a tree with his bare hands…

A tree fell in our yard recently in the middle of some heavy storms, and we were lucky the tree fell away from our house.

I give major props and thanks to the good man above for that huge break because we would have had some pretty serious damage to our house if it had fallen the other way. Nonetheless, we were stuck with better than half a tree in our yard.

My Dad immediately offered to come by with a chainsaw to help me deal with it since I didn’t own one, but I declined because it was raining and super muddy from days of rain.

My Dad’s about twice the man I am and would have fought rain, mud, lighting, and three packs of wolves to get it cleaned up about an hour after it fell. But, alas, I’m no such man, and frankly, I didn’t want to get muddy and wet. (See what becoming an author does to you?!)

I saw no reason for haste. And did I mention the ankle-deep mud?

Plus, I had just the inkling of an idea about the tree.

As I studied that tree in the days after it fell, while our ground grew less soggy and saturated, I began to imagine taking care of it myself. With nothing but my ax and a small, curved handsaw.

And the more I thought of it, the more it intrigued me. It’s what I imagined a Marine would do. Or a Viking. Plus, Danah always tells me she has a thing for lumberjacks, so there was that.

And day-by-day that tree lay there, and day-by-day I increasingly saw it as an epic challenge.

I imagined life a hundred years ago. What did they do in the days before chainsaws? A tree falls on some young couple’s land, and it’s in the middle of your crops. And you’re dozens of miles away from help, with no phone or Google search on “what to do if a tree falls in your garden.”

Back then, I imagined it was up to the man to deal with it. Could I deal with it? Or would I call for help?

I mean, you didn’t call for help when you lived on a mountain back in the day, did you?

No. You cut the tree up with your ax or dragged it off with your mule or horse. I didn’t have a mule or horse, so I’d have no option but to go with the ax. (Well, also a pretty sweet handsaw, which I doubt they had a hundred years ago, but stop ruining my dream! lol.)

I finally got the nerve to tell Danah that I wasn’t going to call my Dad about the tree, but would instead try to deal with it myself. She gave me that look but decided not to talk me out of it. (She knows I’m nuts and stopped trying to fix me years ago.)

I’m not going to lie. About fifteen ax swings in on that first day, I realized I’d probably made the dumbest move I’d made in several years. (Probably since I opened a newspaper at the age of 27. Or back when I volunteered to carry two packs on a forced march while serving in the Marines because one of the new guys couldn’t carry his pack any longer, and I was a Squad Leader, damn it! Set the example! Ooh-rah!)

But, I’d told Danah I’d give it “a try,” and a man doesn’t stop at fifteen swings. So I went back to chopping. And chopping some more.

That first day, I managed one entire cut through the tree — about midway up the fallen part. And it’s embarrassing to admit, but that was no joke. (Partly, it was because my accuracy was so bad that I probably hit it three times more than necessary!)

By the time I finished that first goal, I knew I’d be sore the next day, so I stopped there.

And indeed, I was the next day. But a couple days later, I was back at it. I also — wisely — sharpened my ax before starting. That second day of work got a couple big parts of the split up top hacked off and dragged into the woods.

But yet again I had to stop. Let me tell you: chopping a tree by hand is no joke if you’re not a lumberjack and you sit at a desk for a living. And no matter how many nights you spend in a gym, it just doesn’t relate.

Cutting a tree is Teddy Roosevelt. Cutting a tree will test your mental toughness. Cutting a tree is no joke.

It took a couple of days to recover from my second day of work, but I eventually returned for more revenge.

Unfortunately for me, this was when the drama picked up significantly.

My neighbor by chance saw me carrying the ax toward the tree and offered his chainsaw. It was the friendly thing to do, for sure, but I explained what I was doing. That I was looking at this as a challenge and free opportunity provided by nature for some exercise. He shook his head in disbelief and called me nuts.

“The chainsaw could do the job in ten minutes,” he said.

I agreed with him but said I had already started this challenge. And with that, I started hacking. And he, unfortunately, started watching. And of course, I had selected a tougher part of the tree. And very few chunks of wood were flying with each strike.

He offered his chainsaw again, and I wanted to melt and turn invisible. But I flexed my arms so he could see I was a man, politely declined again, and reached for the handsaw. (I nearly walked away from that tough spot on the tree to try somewhere else, but that seemed even less manly. So it was time for the handsaw.)

He lit up a grill and I assumed the drama was over. I just needed to manage one cut of about ten or twelve inches of tough wood, then I could go back inside my home with my dignity.

But the drama wasn’t over. Far from it.

Friends of his started showing up. Like 10 or 15, and now they were all watching me and asking him what I was doing. And I heard bits of laughter between my grunts and gasps for air, and I heard the word “chainsaw” from time-to-time.

There were women watching. And there were men watching. I was doomed.

At that point, I knew I’d finish the job or die of a heart attack. Even the latter would beat walking up to my house with my tail between my legs.

And in fact, I spent the next three hours killing myself, sweating, groaning, and wheezing. But in the end, I managed to get that tree completely out of my yard that very day while they watched me like I was some exhibit at the zoo.

I can’t tell you how many times I nearly quit on each of those three days I went at it. For me, it was a test. How much grit did I have? Now, perhaps if you work a lot with your hands, or do physical labor at your day job, you will see all this as petty. I get that. But for me, it was pretty brutal.

And it was made immensely more difficult because I had such an easy out. I knew I could at any moment raise my hand and say, “I’ll take a chainsaw, please.”

But Marines don’t do that. I assume Vikings don’t either.

And if nothing else, I sent a message to the other trees in our yard. You fall in my yard, and I will cut you up. Slowly. With an ax. And a lame handsaw, which was probably designed for pruning.

For those wanting to attempt a similar endeavor, I’d suggest:

  • An extra bottle of Advil, unless you do this kind of work regularly.
  • Hearing protection, so you can’t hear the neighbors laughing.
  • And a megaphone. Because if you do pull it off, you WILL want to tell everyone.

Now, please go buy a book because I have NO future as a lumberjack, I assure you! : )

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Get a free eBook!!!

Get a free electronic copy of my book, “Soldier On,” when you sign up today for our mailing list. And do not expect to be spammed or drowned with regular emails. The list will ONLY be used to notify you of when we release a new book, as well as for rare, HUGE updates. Get your free copy of “Soldier On” by signing up here!


Filed under Stories about my life

‘Afghan Storm’ makes must read list for 2015 at The REAL Book Spy

I was pumped to see “Afghan Storm” made the list of must-read books for 2015 at The REAL Book Spy! (Link here.)

It’s really stunning to see my name alongside a list that includes names such as Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille, Brad Meltzer, Daniel Silva, Brad Taylor, Ben Coes, and several other big-time names! (In fact, I am one of the few on the list who isn’t a New York Times Best-Selling author.)

Thanks, as always, for all of your all’s support. Especially the core group of you all who I jokingly refer to as Mitchell’s Militia. Your encouragement and help has been tremendous!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas! (And if you’re chasing your own dream, try to carve a couple minutes out during your time off in the coming days!)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

About meStan R. Mitchell writes some of the most action-packed, fast-moving gunfighter novels around. Tired of slow-paced, investigative novels that take 50 pages to excite you? Look no further! Stan is the best-selling author of 5 novels in 3 different time periods. He’s also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a former journalist who spent ten years in the newspaper business, learning how to hook the reader, cut out the filler, and just tell the story. In short, Stan is knowledgeable, he’s fast, and his books will blow you away. Don’t forget to subscribe for email alerts to keep up with his latest works.


Filed under Nick Woods, Random posts, Stories about my life