Some pretty big news, and a big thanks to my supporters

So, members of Mitchell’s Militia. I’m kind of on Cloud 9 right now and I felt like I had to share it since you guys are completely the reason for it — and for some reason are tagging along with me on this journey.

Just a bit ago, I was getting in some much needed relaxing, and doing some kung fu before planning to get back on editing “Mexican Heat.”

And I had stopped to check my sales for the day — I do this way too much — and noticed my sales had jumped up a bit today. Immediately, like all newbie authors, I decided to check Amazon to see how high my ranking had climbed.

Unbelievably, Sold Out was at the following in its two listed genres:

  • #78 in the Top 100 in the Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Political.
  • #89 in the Top 100 in the Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Political.

Can you believe that?! (Click this link here to see, if you look fast enough — they change hourly.)

I’m in the Top 100 of the same list that includes Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Tom Clancy, Nelson Demille, Scott Turow, and others.

And I’m somehow in that list with no marketing support, no nationwide distribution, no big shot editor, no major publishing house behind me.

Without question, the only reason I’m there is because of you guys, so I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

Thanks for following me. Thanks for encouraging me. Thanks for telling folks about me.

I know I won’t stay in that list for long — I don’t have enough reviews, name recognition, etc.– but for right now, I’m about as pumped as a man can get!

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

Winter is coming, but you don’t have to despair

My friends and supporters know that I’m so dang close to getting Mexican Heat down. (For those who don’t know, Mexican Heat is the sequel to Sold Out.)

And for probably two or three weeks now, I’ve been telling my beta readers and close writing friends that it would be done… “Probably in a day or two.” Or, “Just two more scenes, most likely.”

And I’ve said that multiple times. “Probably in a day or two.” “Just two more scenes, most likely.”

And then tonight I cranked out another 2,700 words. (For me, that’s a marathon, by the way. I’m a plodder, not a sprinter — with a good night being 800-ish to a 1,000 words and an average one being 500 to 700.)

So, frustrated tonight, I decided to re-read my writing tips file that I’ve collected through the past ten-plus years, and do some online research. Maybe ole’ Stan was losing his touch, right?

I mean, the 2,700 words I wrote tonight felt solid. Like, really good. But, I just crossed 90,000 words and I still haven’t gotten to those two final scenes that I know must happen. (Most novels should aim for 60-80,000 words.)

Then, I read this by George R. R. Martin, a legend obviously, and felt instantly comforted.

  • “Sometimes these damn characters have a mind of their own and refuse to do what I want them to do”. — George R R Martin

So, the book will be done soon. Probably in a day or two. Just two more scenes, most likely.

And because you guys rock and are such great supporters of mine, here’s some serious motivation I found while trolling the internet, trying to confirm my writer skills weren’t dead.

From, again, George R R Martin. (And if you had to click that link above to figure out who he was, you should seriously punch yourself right in the face.)

Remember: Winter is coming

Valar morghulis — All men must die. I think an awareness of our own mortality is something that concerns most art and literature. But I don’t think that necessarily translates to a pessimistic worldview. Just like in the real world, my characters are only here for a short time; the important thing is that love, passion, empathy, laughter; even laughing in the face of death, is still possible. There is darkness in the world but we don’t have to give way to despair. One of the best themes in The Lord of the Rings is that despair is the ultimate crime. Winter is coming, but you can light the torches and drink the wine and gather around the fire and continue to fight the good fight.

Thanks for being such great supporters, guys. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and how thankful I feel to be where I am, chasing my dream with every ounce of energy and courage that I can muster, trying to make it to that next mile marker just up the hill a ways.

And I promise: The book will be good. It will have multiple hand-to-hand scenes. And Nick Woods and his crew (yeah, I know, a new development for the typical sniper/loner) will bag some cartel dudes… (Okay, more like a lot of cartel dudes… But would you expect anything less from me?)

Oh, and it will be done soon. Probably in a day or two. Just two more scenes, most likely.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

Where I’ve been the past few weeks

I apologize for the lack of posting the past couple of weeks.

This past week, and the weekend and week prior to it, I worked an insane amount. Basically, I worked two weeks straight including most nights during that time as we closed out our high school graduation special section at the newspaper that Danah and I own.

Working that much is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. For the better part of eight years, that’s been my life. And I’m not saying that for sympathy. It’s that way with any start up, and with luck, I’ll be working very little one of these days and you all will hate my guts and I’ll hate the fact that none of you remember how much I sacrificed and how little time I got off. So, I’m not bemoaning the work. It’s an investment and it is just a fact of life when you start a biz from scratch.

But this past two-week blowout really took it out of me. I’m 35 now, and not 27 like I was when I first launched the company, and such a hard sprint/marathon at work really knocks me on my ass. So, I ended this latest crucible completely exhausted and burned out.

I haven’t written, I’ve barely exercised, I’ve tried to get caught up on my sleep with plenty of naps. You ever get that feeling where you don’t want to do anything? I mean anything, but lay around and just feel sorry for yourself?

I’m just been completely busted up and dang-near depressed. No motivation. And the word enthusiasm is a word I’ve forgotten the meaning of. (Yeah, me, Stan… The crazy one… Yes, I had forgotten the meaning of “motivation.” Weird. I know, and I’m flattered you may not believe me. I love the crazy, psycho, delusional Stan as much as you, even if he does beat the crap out of me and get in my face and yell at me on a regular basis.)

And this short-sightedness on my part of working way too hard is why I’m so in love with Eastern Philosophy. I think the East has it right, while the West with our insatiable drive and full-throttle ahead approach is very short sighted. And while I continue to learn these lessons the hard way, I still seem to fall back to repeating my mistakes over and over. Though thankfully, now it’s down to about once a quarter or so. (Maybe eventually I’ll learn my lesson, though I must say that sometimes I can be dense as hell…)

At any rate, this is where I’ve been the past few weeks. Superman/Mighty Mouse has died and turned into broken man/tired boy. And with this transformation, I haven’t been visiting your all’s blogs, haven’t been on Twitter, and haven’t been writing fiction. I’ve probably pushed my book back a full month with this stupidity, and for that I really want to kick myself.

Thankfully, mercifully, the books are still selling well, and I appreciate each and every one of you that have helped me more than I can possibly believe by spreading the word about them, reviewing them, etc.

Believe me, I’m finally starting to recharge and exercise again and I even eked out a few words on the novel on Saturday.

From here on out, I’ll do better about corresponding with you all on the internet here and elsewhere, and I’m going to do my best to get the next Nick Woods novel on track.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.