No Mountain Man 5…

Sorry folks.

 

I don’t have any plans to do a fifth MM book. Book four is the final offering with those characters.

 

Zombies have been very good to me but I need a break from the genre. I also believe that there’s just so much out there that anything I come up with,  well, chances are it’s already been done in some form or other. And finally, I was chatting with a writer friend of mine the other day, and he said something that didn’t sit entirely well with me, but was entirely true, and something I very much needed to hear.

 

Writer buddy: “What books come to mind when you think of Keith CB as a brand?

 

Me: “Oh, Mountain Man. Without a doubt.”

 

And therein lies the problem.  I’m in danger of being characterized as a one series pony, in a sub-genre of a genre. Might already be too late.

 

I write in SF/Fantasy/and Horror… and within Horror, my 4.5 book contribution to the zombie genre sold very well and kept me alive. Got me an audio book deal with Podium Publishing (MM4 is on sale now if you like audio books). Even a film option. That’s a lot from a story about an alcoholic survivor just getting by on his wits and fraying nerves two years into the zombie apocalypse.

 

MM4 was the last book I could pull out without completely being turned off from the genre. And I like reading about zombies. I just can’t write any more 450+ page books about them. At least not right now. Five or ten years from now? Maybe.

 

Having said that, I *might* do a story set in the same world, but thirty years after the events of MM4 and without a zombie presence (which, if you read MM4, you’ll understand why).  I have the characters in mind, but no story. That’ll have to change before I write a single word. The ideas usually come to mind when I’m off doing something else, so we’ll see. If it happens, it happens, but I’m not going to force it.

 

Now, for the fantasy readers–The good news is that sales of “131 Days” are slowly, very slowly picking up–which is wonderful.  I’m working on the fourth book of the series right now and hope to have a first draft done by month’s end. It won’t be as long as the last two books but if they sell,  then I’ll get the fifth book out there.

 

And in amongst all that, I’m getting notes and ideas ready for a sequel to BREEDS, the werewolf book released about a year ago. BREEDS was no means a great seller, but it was a steady seller, and people have been asking if there’s a follow-up planned. There is, and I’m getting closer to tackling it. I had scheduled a stand alone horror story that takes place in a Jungle but I decided to change that for werewolves. BREEDS has the potential to remain a steady seller for me, and that’s very much needed going forward.

 

Plus… I want to get back to that storyline. Which is a good sign.

 

Everything subject to change according to inspiration, whim and fancy.

 

But no MM5.

 

Sorry again.

 

(One last thing, the very nice folks over at “Ginger Nuts of Horror” interviewed me a couple of weeks back. Click if you’re interested in reading.)

 

This Post Has 60 Comments

  1. Well. No offense, but i had never heard of you before the mm series, I am very out of the book realm though. So when you say your “writer friend said some things”, who cares! Sure is a played out topic, but if it works for you then who cares. You have to be know for something. Id say to wait a couple years and launch mm5. Im very much into the series. I recently found mm1 online and dove head first into it!

  2. Understood. I love the mountain man series but totally understand the need to let it go. I doubt you could have topped what you already have done (in that series).
    I am an audio book fan who has no time in life to read. I would absolutely love to see some of your other books on audio.com. Anything in the works?

    1. Nothing planned just yet for audio but if that changes, you’ll read it here.

  3. LOL!! ABBA!! It takes a brave man to admit that in a public place my friend… I seem to recall getting beat up at 8 or 9 years old for mentioning to my older brother that I liked ABBA. That was a good interview. I will miss Gus ,Scott and especially the Captain, but all your other books have been great too so I dont see you getting typed into just a zombie one series wonder. Keep up the good work.

    1. I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music. I even remember listening to Smurf singalong music lol (“Merry-Go-Round” I think was my favourite) and then flipping on over to KMFDM’s “Juke Joint Jezebel” then back to John Denver, or Nazareth, then the soundtracks to the Little Mermaid. Yep. You heard it here first lol.

  4. Okee. No more mountain man. You are right. The world doesn’t need another zombie Apocalypse novel. But the world just might be ready for another excellent zombie apocalypse novel.
    Seriously, you string we fine words together. I forget how you phrased it exactly; something about zombiea rling over the top of the gate and making a smacking sound as they hit the ground like horses crapping on asphalt.
    Yeah, the world could use some more of that!

    It occurs to me that one could interpret this as sarcasm. I will leave it to you to figure out my sincerity. In the meantime, don’t you have a boat payment to make?? Great saydin’s unwashed balls! Hurry up with the next instalment of 131.!

  5. So sad to hear that you aren’t going to continue on with the Mountain Man series…while I understand…I am truly disappointed. Guess we’ll have to get our fix elsewhere. Thanks for the great story…and good luck with your next journey!!!

  6. It’s a shame to hear Keith but, please don’t give up on Gus, Scott, Amy & Collie. I really bonded with those characters. I’d love to read some spin offs of Collie & Wallace and their previous adventures, maybe even Gus in a feel good romp called “Confessions of a house painter”. In a way, it’s good to leave some back story to the imagination. Your writing actually wants me to be in the apocalypse with Gus!

    Keep on writing, that’s the main thing!

    1. “Confessions of a House Painter: 🙂 That’s not a bad idea at all. Spins offs are a possibility, but no plans to include those characters. Sorry man–I kinda like where they are right now because they’re safe. Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the books.

  7. Well, here’s hoping for a Film release seeing as it’s already optioned!

    I think Dean Norris would be great as Gus. I did think Neeson but he isn’t as bulky or as bald as Dean, plus a beard wouldn’t look as good on him either. Also, he has played enough anti-heroes lately!

    1. Dean Norris… That’s not a bad suggestion. I’ll pass it along 🙂

  8. I concur with the prevous commenters in lamenting not hearing of the immediate next adventures of our favorite characters. I did find intriguing your notion of following on with a much longer view in the future. For me, the zombie apocalype tale is the (more fun) subset of the overall end of the world genre. I am endlessly fascinated how different each of the stories develop, how they handle the loss of society, infrastructure, and most importantly family and friends (King’s “The Stand” being foremost amongst many). So the long view of how folks got on after the deaders dropped for the final time is most definitely of interest.

    PS. I’ve also greatly enjoyed the audiobook versions of the first three (The Hospital, Mountain Man, and Safari), R.C. Bray does an excellent job bringing your prose to life. I’ll be looking for your other works too.

    Thanks.

  9. I just finished MMM4, It seemed like you melded two stories together. There was a huge change between the mansion and the rest of the story that could have been MM4 and MM5. Either way, the story was AWESOME. I found your first short story “The Hospital” on audible and couple that with R.C. Bray as the reader, the combination was wonderful. I quickly soaked up MM1, MM2, MM3, and finally MM4. I loved each story and am sad it’s all over. Your writing style is wonderful. You keep the readers engaged the entire time. There was no point where I felt bored or ready for the story the pick up. Once the story started it kept going at a very nice pace. I look forward to your future works. You have a fan here.

  10. Wow just finished MM4 I’ve recommended the series to everyone that will listen. I can understand exactly what you mean by not wanting to get stuck as a single genre writer but I do think that whether it be a dream or a a multitude of parading thoughts. these characters must travel and live in you and when it becomes to overwhelming to not put on paper I’ll be here waiting to read whatever it maybe. Thank you for a great read. And some great lines to use if/or when shtf.

  11. I too just finished MM4 on audiobook and can’t say how much I truly enjoyed the story and RC Bray. He pretty much nails it perfectly.

    As a suggestion I’d really like to see a prequel with Ollie and Collie, your Canadian special forces operators. Those two have it going on. I felt for Ollie as he slowly transzombifies, how he struggled to hold onto his humanity, while still giving Gus shite about the smallest things. Epic.

    There’s gold in those two for sure.

    1. Not a bad idea, but I feel I’m not special-op savvy enough to write it. I actually had a plan to have a “last stand” shoot-out with the two teams that left Whitecap and were forced to make a stand at the courthouse. Probably won’t happen now…

  12. Hey Keith,

    As a big fan of the MM series, I think your “writer friend” may have been misunderstood. Ahem…I believe what he was trying to say was that the MM franchise was very popular, incredibly well done and that it would be a shame if you didn’t write more — if not in the series then at least in the genre itself. He certainly wasn’t suggesting you give it up.

    That being said, we understand and respect your decision. An author never wants to feel like he’s chasing a fad. Even though if memory serves, you did write MM back near the beginning of the zombie explosion on Kindle.

    I’m sure that your author friend (whoever he is) regrets that his comment upset you. He does have a tendency of speaking first and asking questions later. 😉

    It is great however to see you have several more stories lined up for your readers. Personally, I can’t wait for Breeds 2!

  13. Sad there won’t be a MM book 5 but I do think you left the characters is a good place. I’m not sure how much more punishment you could put poor Gus through anyway, lol.

    Anyway I just found this blog post on Google looking for a book 5 as I just finished up the audio version of book 4 and wanted to say great job. You really did some interesting things with the Zombie Apocalypse genre (rats, zombie lifespan, etc).

    I’ll never look at toilet paper the same either. 🙂

    Thanks for the great books!

  14. So… Dayum.

    Well good news about Breeds 2. I guess. I am sad. Look man, do what you gotta do. You absolutely rule and I’d read a telephone book where you wrote in the names and numbers… Just please understand that the world is a better place when I’ve got a zombie book of yours to read. I got sad when I realized I was at the end of a MM book and would try and read slower. Can’t say I’ve ever done that before.

    Anywho man, you are the Jimi of ZA books, but your other books are amazeballs too so whatev’s.

  15. Well that’s unfortunate about MM5 but thank you VERY much for the other 4 books. I have read many book series in this genre and I must say yours was one of my favorite.

    Glad to see it end up the way it did and I look forward to reading some of your other work!

    1. Glad you liked the books 🙂

  16. I love your mountain man series. Have it in book and on audio and listen to it over and over. Can’t you bring out one more book, please! How about the adventures of collie and wallace. Sounds like they have some stories to tell.

    1. Glad you liked the books–but sorry, no, I can’t do another zombie book. Too burned out on them right now, and I like zombies :).

  17. Thanks so much for the MM series. Was hooked after The Hospital. RC Bray does a brilliant job on the audiobooks (of course!). After recently finishing MM4 I thought — wow what a great ending to the series if this is it. And now that you’ve 99% confirmed that, I’m sad and happy at the same time. Bittersweet. But honestly, I don’t think poor Gus could take much more! Looking forward to trying some of your other books.

  18. Hi

    Firstly I loved the mountain man books, best books ever read!!!!

    I have an idea, that I would love to read from you…

    It’s a prequel, based on the husband and wife SAS team from book 4 (I know there were not SAS but I’m from U.K., maybe special forces?? Can’t remember)

    Anyways I would recommend a book on them and what they got up to in the years before the zombies, maybe the book just ends as the crisis starts to unfold!!! It was be amazing!!!

    Hope you get to read this

    Mike

    1. Not a bad idea Mike, and to tell the truth, at one point I was thinking about doing a spin-off story about the JTF-2 battle/last stand in the old courthouse referenced in MM4–but these days, I’m so burnt out on zombie stories that I can’t bring myself to even read one, let alone write one. O.O

      Anyway, thanks for the idea–and glad to hear you enjoyed the books :).

  19. Hi when I found this blog and this news, I was middle of listing book 2 or 3. I was sad and disappointed. And maybe even little upset. But I just finished book 4 tonight and I have to say great ending , you are right MM5 it be too much. It was a great ending 100% better than all the bad ending of other series and tv shows. And I love the idea of 20-30 days later. No zombie but how coming along from Stone Age. Blinding back up… Anyways I had to come here and thank you for the book.
    PS I don’t know if you chose RC Bray or someone els did . But It could have not been any better. To voice the characters. As matter of fact that’s how I found your books by looking at his other books that he did the audio book for.

    1. Thank you for reading :)–glad you enjoyed the books!

  20. I think it would be cool if you took the story totally out of Zombie land into post apoc large scale wars for whats left of America. Most guns running out home made armor and weapons. Armys clashing for land. No gas left people have to start using horses. I like the way you bring out the way day to day life would be in the new world. RC bray is awesome BTW i think i listen to him read part of the dark tower series.

    1. RC is the man! And thank you for the thoughts, Clay.

  21. I really liked your Mountain Man books. I got them on Audible, narrated by R.C. Bray, who is probably my favorite narrator right now. I listened to the first three books without knowing that there was a fourth one, and when I found Well Fed I freaked the fuck out with excitement. Just keep doing what you do, man. Creative work is hard, and I respect every bit of content you can put out.

    If you’re ever in london, let me buy you a beer. 🙂

    1. Happy that the books worked for you :). Thanks for dropping a line.

  22. Well, I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said, although I admit I didn’t read all the responses.

    I read a lot of books (7 or 8 a month). Sadly, I’d never heard of you before MM, but because I loved the books so much I am more apt to try something else you’ve written. Gus is the best reluctant hero I’ve ever come across, and “Safari” was simply fantastic–post-apocalyptic gold.

    I’m sure you value his opinion, but ultimately does it really matter what one of your writer buddies was trying to imply by asking you about the “Keith CB brand”? Do you think George R.R. Martin gives two shits about being remembered for “A Song of Ice and Fire”? Doubtful. He’s laughing all the way to the bank.

    I am delighted to hear MM has been opted for film. Do you know who will play Gus? Do you have someone you’d like to see in the role?

    Regardless of what you decide, your MM series was a gamechanger. I tell all my book-loving friends about it. I even mention it in my most recent edition of the Short Stories Newsletter that I write for writing.com (it goes live on Wednesday April 20). Maybe one of these days you’d allow me to interview you for our readers? If so, email me and we’ll get started.

    Peace and blessings to you and yours.

  23. Well, I’m late to this but I just finished my fifth or sixth listen to the audiobook version of your MM series and thought I would check to see if there where any more.

    All I can say is, no matter how many zombie I read, yours are still my favorite. You are able to write in a style that I can read over and over again for some reason. Its simple…but also so real..and it always feels like there is more behind it than just the words, which is the opposite of how most zombie fiction reads.

    You also make zombies scary again….which is amazing given the saturation level we have, but somehow you do it. I was literally on the edge of my seat during Hellifax when they characters where moving through the supposedly ‘haunted’ campus building. It was terrifying and yet had very little actual horror….but the emotions of the characters and the idea that in a world where zombies where real a person could easily start believing in other horrors worked so well. The walking dead has NOTHING on you.

    Also, there is just so much I can relate to. I am a firefighter in Norther montana, fat with bad teeth, a fortified tower up on a hill that I live in and I have a pile of guns…but like Gus even though I look like a crazy redneck, in reality I am a kinder, more introspective person than you would think.

    Anyway….I don’t care how many other people right about zombies, your books are special. In many ways I feel your books are to zombies what The Martian is to sci-fi.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write there Lorin, and glad that you enjoyed the books. I was going to recommend the hardcovers of The Walking Dead, which collect 12 issues in them and are wonderful reads–but I wasn’t sure if you meant TWD the TV series or the comics. Anyway, thanks again for reading and taking the time to write. 🙂

  24. Loved MM series. I just finished listening to book 3 for the second time. Now on to book 4. I just wanted to tell you one of the last lines were buckles says “home again home again jiggity jig” brought a smile to my face. As my grandfather was forever saying it when ever we would pull back into the dooryard from being some where. And I catch myself saying from time to time. Lol must a Maine/NB thing. Also enjoyed the location of the story I could really relate. Any way thanks.

    1. Glad the books are working for you, Joshua. That saying must be an east coast thing–must look up the origins sometime… 🙂

  25. I found this page Google-ing your name… It’s the second link from the top,,, it’s big news man…

    I absofruitly loved these stories… Gone through all 4 (and a half) twice… And it has nothing to do with zombies… It’s due to the characters,,, especially Gus… There’s something so humorous in a drunk/hungover/hairofthedog guy, narrowly escaping danger… Kinda Jack Sparrow-ish…

    Your mate has a point,,, but you can’t fight Google forever… and I’d read the shit out of Confessions of a House Painter…!

  26. I absolutely loved the Mountain Man series! It’s brilliant in that despite it being set in the zombie apocalypse it was never about the zombies. From Gus battling his internal monsters to the best and also very worst of human nature this story could have stood on it’s own without the zombies. You have moved to my top 5 fiction writers list! I’ll be reading about some werewolves soon…

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read them. And for dropping a note. 🙂

  27. I just started reading books again after a long time away. I work 12-15 hours a day 7 days a week most of the time. Over the last 15 years I had got out of reading. I found AUDIBLE audio books 2 years ago and fell in love. I could get back to consuming books while I work and commute. I started out slow, listened to 14 books in 2015, 30 in 2016 and plan on 50+ this year.

    I found Breeds January 2 on Audible and purchased it. I loved it! Bought Breeds 2 and devoured it. Can’t get Breeds 3 on audio, that I have found yet, so I researched some of your other books.

    Then I found MM1, started it and within an hour decided to buy the whole series. I have about 6 hours left to finish MM4. loved the whole series. I plan on buying all your books that are on audio this year. Keep them coming.

    James

    1. Thanks for taking a chance on the books, James. B3 isn’t available on audio yet, but Podium does have the manuscript. I imagine they’re just waiting on when Sean has an opening in his busy schedule.

  28. Thanks for the information, I’ll be waiting for it.

  29. If you’re not going to continue I completely understand. Just want to say thank you awesomely for what you have done with the series. Loved it to bits!

    1. Thanks Ian. Appreciate the note.

  30. I agree! Dean Norris would be an excellent “Gus” for the movie. That’s who I pictured as I was reading it.

      1. I agree–but a little too tall…

  31. Hi All, I have so enjoyed the MM series… THANK YOU KEITH BLAKMORE!

    Really appreciate little references to the past MM series in MM5… My imagination enjoys the “happy ending” I envision for both Gus and Scott.

    Completely satisfied witih MM5 being “The End”.

    Thanks again for the great series! LOVED IT!

  32. Hi Keith.

    Cant believe mountain man is no more. It is one of the best zombie books out there.Looking at the amount of comments here there is a lot of disappointed readers. There was a computer repair store where i lived in ireland. There was so many people coming into the store looking to get things photocopied that he put a big sign in the window that said ” we dont do photocopying ” he got tunnelled vision and didnt see that he could have made money by buying a photocopier and charging it out. Come on keith give the people what they want .

    Steve

    1. Unfortunately, it’s not so cut-and-dry as all that. The story has to be there. And the will to write it. At the end of “Well Fed” I was pretty much sick of zombie stories. Mention any zombie title around me and I’d start dry heaving. Didn’t want to hear or see any of them. Now, time has gone by, and I have had ideas for other zombie stories (for non-MM characters) but the desire just isn’t there to write them. When I finish a book and I look at what’s next to work on, I always pass over the zombie stories for something else.

      The interest just ain’t there no more, Steven. I have to tip my hat to guys like, say, Glynn James and Michael Stephen Fuchs, for doing what they’re doing with the ARISEN series–which is probably one of the best (or the best–as I haven’t read any others) continuing zombie series out there, but I couldn’t do something like that.

      I’m happy where MM ended.

      But… maybe one day, I will return to the MM world and do another book. Probably not with Gus and Scott and company, but with new characters. One day. When the interest is there…

  33. Makes absolute sense that you ended the story where it did. The zombies were burning out in the world, and your heroes had earned their happy ending. There’s no reason to drag a story out farther than it needs to be. You have plenty other stories to tell (I’m adoring Breeds 3 right now), no reason to just stick to the zombie genre which is getting a little stale right now anyway. Your MM series was the most unique thing I’ve read in a while with zombies.

  34. I’ll read whatever you write after binging on MM. You tell a great story, and looking forward to the rest of your catalog.

  35. You know what? I’m good with it. Ending the seriera here and now is perfect. I’ve recently formed an addiction to audio books and the mountain man series has been hands down one of my favorites. As much as I want to keep going with it you’re right, I mean you’ve done everything that can be done with this story. Personally, after going on this journey with his, I’m glad to see it’s end.

    Of course, with all that said some will still argue and say they want more regardless of if its good. (If Gus we’re here he’d probably compare it to “push’n a turd out of a dry asshole”).

    So If someone pesters you for the plot to MM5 here are some terrible ideas that will make them glad you stopped at book 4

    1. Gus finds a magic baseball bat that transports him back in time to stop patient zero.

    2. This was all a dream and he’s really a serial killer.

    3. Angel Soft and Charmin have both offered a lot of money to make the 5th book a product placement add for toilet paper.

    4. Gus is frozen in ice only to awaken a thousand years later and has to stop the zombie hybrid king.

    Thank you again for the great book series!

    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to write. 🙂

      (… zombie hybrid king??…. O.O sweet loretta…)

  36. I was really hoping that Gus and Scott would reunite, that bromance was epic. I was unaware of MM4 and I’m about to start it but from the looks of this thread I won’t be getting that reunion. Between the end of Hellifax and Well Fed I think a short would satisfy that void for a reunion. Both are safe but you still left Scott sad about his friend. Either way like everything else in life, I’ll move on and forget.

  37. The Mountain Man series was fantastic. While I understand a writer’s desire to not get pigeon holed into a single set of characters and genre, it is without a doubt Keith’s strongest work. I gave the Breeds series a go and found it much tougher to get into. If you look at other writers in the genre currently, Sam Sisavath comes to mind (although that is more vampires than zombies, it is post apocalyptic), he has spun off series in the same universe, prequels etc that all tie together.

    While I understand Keith may feel like he has done all he can do, he created something special with Gus and it would be a shame to see the series not evolve further. It has become one of the first series I refer to anyone looking for zombie genre content. Inevitably once they finish it, they ask me if there are more books coming out…

    1. Thanks for the pat on the back there, Robert. I do have plans to do a 5th book, as soon as I finish the latest WIP. If you haven’t already, give Isosceles Moon a try. I hope to eventually develop that into a series as well. I’ve read Sam’s “Hunter Prey” series, and really liked it–but I haven’t checked out his Babylon books.

  38. First off let me say this.

    Keith, you are the man.

    I hated zombie books. I read several when I was younger but yuk! I stumbled onto the free “The Hospital” short story on aubible and was leary about another zombie book…I was instantly hooked. I then finished the MM Omnibus in two and a half days listening every chance I got. I have since purchased both the prequel and Well Fed and enjoyed them immensely.

    Gus is the sort of character that is relatable in one way or another to just about any reader. And the raw dry and sometimes lewd humor is perfect and goes well with the story.

    I understand that there’s a lot of pressure to go back to the Mountain Man books and the zombie thing is getting old but in my mind that story was over after Hellifax. With the obvious exception of Mortimers place.

    Now that the zombies are done however in my mind the next place to go is survival and rebuilding. As we learned with Tenner,Fist, and Shovel, the next phase will be even worse than zombies and rats….by far.

    Anyways there are my two cents for what that’s worth

    Also, I found you because I’m a big fan of RCBray’s naration so +1 for that if thats a thing.

    Anyway keep up the good work bro. Im currently working on troll hunter and love it so far.

    1. Thanks Jeff–I’m still a fan of the genre, which was the main reason I was pulled back into doing the Prequel. I’m attempting a 5th book, and we’ll see where it goes. When it stops being fun, I’ll stop. RC put MM on the audio charts for sure. Too bad he’s booked up until forever now (well, sometime in 2020, I think he put on his facebook feed) but understandable. The man’s already a legend.

      Hope “Troll Hunter” continues to work for you. 🙂

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