Looking back, I have to say they might have had a point.
It’s a possibility.
When I wrote Mama Told Me Not To Come, I had this idea of ending each story with a few pages setting up the next story.
Now, a word about Esteban Fernandez: Joey Justice and the rest of the Justice Security gang were never meant to catch him…not for several stories into their series. Fernandez is to Justice Security like Lex Luthor is to Superman…like the Joker is to Batman…or like Professor Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes. He’s their arch-enemy. Their nemesis.
So, there was no chance that Justice Security would catch Esteban Fernandez in that first novel. Mama Told Me Not To Come was a vehicle to introduce the characters of Justice Security, and to show how they made a mortal enemy of Esteban Fernandez. With eight main characters…Joey Justice, Misty Wilhite, Dexter Beck, Percival “King Louie” Washinton, Jessica Queen, Megan Fisk-Beck, Marcus Moore, and Esteban Fernandez… and who-knows-how-many background characters, in-depth characterization for each one was an impossible task, so each was given only an introductory look at what made each one tick, and what each character was capable of doing.
Justice Security, as a whole, was pretty happy-go-lucky at the beginning of the book. But, as the book progressed, and the action and potential violence heightened, the partners of Justice Security…well, they grew up. They matured quickly once they remembered that what they were doing wasn’t a game. In their world, it was real-life, and people they knew, and that were close to them, could and did die. In later stories, they’re downright grim…although, there are still moments of humor arising from a situation.
Now, the non-ending to Mama Told Me Not To Come isn’t a non-ending at all. The kids in Joey’s office at the end of the book are actually his clients from the next book, Jackie Blue. It’s a setup leading to the next book, and it was done on purpose. The hope was that reasonably intelligent people would realize that the book ended with a teaser…or, preview, if you like that word better.
So, if anyone didn’t recognize that for what it was, I don’t know what to say.
I thought everyone knew what the word “series” meant.
Were the detractors that complained about the “non-ending” right after all? Should I have wrapped up their mortal enemy in chains at the end, and locked him away in prison, leaving them no other challenges to come? And, should I have left the kids from Jackie Blue out of this book, and given no hint whatever as to what was coming?
In Bizarro World, maybe.
Not in the world of Justice Security, and their unnamed city.