Of all the midlist monsters, I was the quietest, raised to behave and always speak in a soft, genteel voice. Even when a well-known agent screamed 'Are you friggin' insane!' after I'd personally pitched a new series emulating one by a favorite dead author. (A year later, I found a new novel listed with the same title she'd blasted--and today, on bookstore shelves, a series paying homage to the same dead author has been begun by a pop mystery writer. Apparently, ten years ago, my idea was not insane. But I whimpered off with my tail between my legs, where it remained for a decade.)
In the desert, though, without much else to do I set out to work on my soft, well-mannered voice. If I ever got another chance, I knew I'd need an instrument that could roar as well as murmur..set the house on fire as well as give the crowds a hug. Oh, this didn't come easily. But I had time, oh yeah, I had nothing but time all those years. With only the snakes and coyotes to hear, I began to try to raise my voice just a little bit higher each evening. Until they stopped yawning and lent me their ears.
Back from the desert, I had a new dream: to speak one day, even if only that once, to a crowd of monsters like myself. And, with the fire blazing in my gut, I'd give a great speech that began:
"There's a crackling in the air, a hot new nervous energy, as midlist monsters round the world storm the castle, lanterns swinging, like villagers in an old fright film..."
I'd go on to talk about the stupid tragedy of putting to pasture published pros who'd spent years--even decades--perfecting their craft...seasoned vets discarded at the very moment when they were ready to reach higher ground...
Then, in a voice twice as rich as Pacino's I'd roar:
"We've got the stuff, we've proven that, and our gifts are in full bloom now. So, turn us loose just one more time--and WE WILL MAKE YOU MONNNNNNNNNNNEYYYYYYYYYY!""