Bringing Humans ‘n’ Hot Dogs to Life

Meet Rico.rico head shot black

Rico E. Anderson, to be precise. rico star trek picstitch

Rico is an award-winning actor who starred as Boras in Star Trek: Renegades, directed by Tim Russ. He appeared in Criminal Minds, Modern Family, Young & Hungry, and Bones, and will be on The Fosters in June.

He lit up the stage as Oedipus and Malcolm X. He got his first big break in the 2005 Academy Award Winning short film, “Mighty Times: The Children’s March.”

You medical types may recognize him fresh off Grey’s Anatomyrico mcstabby 13256528_10209840858725007_1403981302899658875_n

However, Rico’s most thrilling appearance to date was at the 2016 Roswell Awards, when he read my short story, “Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs.”

I kid, I kid. Well, Rico did read my story. He was hilarious. He adopted various personae, including a Russian accent for the homeless man. People laughed the whole way through. Like, almost continuously. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to record audio or video, so that performance is now locked in the audience’s memories and otherwise lost in the ether.

After the ceremony, Rosalind Helfand, the Roswell director, told me that the judges were “absolutely gleeful” after reading my story. One judge, Steven Calcote, applauded when he met me and said, “Yay! ‘Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs.’” Later, he took my hand and said, “Promise me you’ll keep on writing.” Which felt good, since I’ve been casting about, trying to write the next Hope Sze medical mystery.

rico and me on stage roswell IMG_7377Later, I was having drinks with Rico, praising his performance, and I thought, Maybe I shouldn’t let this go. We weren’t allowed to record his performance at the Roswell Awards. But what if he recorded it later and we released it as an audio book?

This is a risky proposition. I’m not a big name, so sales are not guaranteed. You can’t charge buyers much for a recording of a short story. And Rico would have to be paid. The man is one of those rarities, a full-time Hollywood actor who doesn’t have a day job. (Whenever he says this, he starts knocking on wood, and on his head.)

But Rico wants to do this. He told me, “I’m in.” Still, I know this will take time for him, not only to record, but to discuss my “vision.” I said he could direct himself, but as a professional, he wants to make sure the final product is what I envisaged. Plus there’s sound editing and other things that take time and expertise.

This is where you, the reader, come in.

I’ve never done a real crowdfunding campaign, but I’m going to try it now and see if we can bring Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs to life.

Any donation: big thanks and a picture of Rico shirtless. Goal: unlocked! See below.

Wiener ($5): an advance e-book copy of Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs and enormous thanks from Rico and me.

Pepperoni ($10): an advance deluxe e-book copy of Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs, including cartoons, inside tips on how to how to network in Los Angeles, and behind-the-scenes stories from Sci-Fest LA, Caltech, and Buzzfeed.

humans hot dogs cover audio 3 inBangers ($20): deluxe e-book and you’ll be the first to hear the audio book, before it’s uploaded to Audible, iTunes, and other retailers. Humans ’n’ Hot Dogs all the way!

Chorizo ($25): now we’re cooking. Deluxe e-book, audio book, and line producer credit in the book.

Andouille ($30): now we’re sizzling. All the previous rewards, co-producer credit in the book, plus an audio copy of my most popular book, The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room

Bratwurst ($50): smells absolutely delicious in here. Must be your generosity. Includes all of the above, with associate producer credit in the book

Mortadella ($100): every single previous reward, with executive producer credit in the book, and a copy of the print book, shipped anywhere in the world for free. Yes, a real, live, print book that you can pass on to future generations, along with Rico’s stunning rendition of my oeuvre.

Yes! We have our first donation, which unlocks a behind-the-scenes photo from Grey's Anatomy. Hello.

Yes! We have our first donation, which unlocks a behind-the-scenes photo from Grey’s Anatomy. Hello.

If you don’t want producer credit, that’s cool. No pressure.

Minimum Goal: $250. Stretch goal: $600.

rico and me with baby IMG_7384For now, I’m staying away from Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites, because it looks like 10 percent of the money will go to fees. PayPal alone eats a fair amount of the donation—up to 5 percent plus a flat rate fee—but seems the lesser of the evils, so please send PayPal donations to olobooks [at] gmail [dot] com. I accept cash and cheques (Canadian or U.S., since Rico is American and we’ve got Canadian “dollarettes” right now). Internet banking saves on fees and should also go to olobooks [at] gmail [dot] com. I should even be able to accept credit cards or Interac if you contact me privately through that address.

If you can’t donate, I also appreciate any likes and shares and sparkly comments. I’m not going to spam you. It’s just that, if you react to this post, it ranks higher in Facebook’s algorithm.

Thanks for reading this. I think it’s very cool that nowadays, with only a few dollars, we can make a difference and support the arts.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”Aesop

“No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them.”Maeve Greyson