Friday, January 25, 2019

*Book Tour & Giveaway* Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex by Joe F.N. Schmo-GUEST POST

Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex:
Confessions of a Convicted Uber Driver
by Joe F. N. Schmo
Genre: Comedic Adventure

An Uber driver is expected to be courteous and attentive, both to their passengers and to those on the road. They are not expected to accept an invitation to a swinger party, flee the scene of a fatal accident, nor are they expected to be a convicted felon on probation.

Unfortunately, this Joe Schmo is not your everyday Uber driver.

As most Uber drivers do, Joe began sharing rides with the audacious hope to one day escape the legal and financial road blocks stalling his merger onto the freeway of creative success. But when a typical shift U-turns into a series of detours involving Android ordered lovers, herpes ridden riders, sexy sorority sisters, a botched bachelor party, and blundering bank robbers, he arrives (at gunpoint) miles from his desired destination.

"Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex: Confessions of a Convicted Uber Driver" is a narrative nonfiction based upon actual events that transpired over the year Joe covertly drove for Uber while on intensive probation. He confesses outlandish details in a highlight reel of wrecks (both car and train) and sex, effectively answering the question every Uber rider has begged to know from their driver: "What's your craziest story?"

Joe F. N. Schmo, a 30-something latent child prodigy, is on a quest to obtain free Rockstar for life and plans to use it to obtain his Ph.D in Upsetting the Status Quo. Once earned, he hopes to use his written works as a vehicle to turn underinformed perceptions on their thick skulls (among other abhorrently selfish goals).

After completing over 1,000 rideshares for Uber while on intensive probation, Joe has encountered it all (save for alien abductions and spontaneous combustion) and is ├╝ber qualified to write a confessional with such a titilating title.
Prior to his salacious adventures, Joe earned his B.A. in Film and Media Production where he wrote, produced, directed, and edited several short films. This experience sculpted him into the kind of asshole who quotes from random films and includes obscure pop culture references into his written works.
Joe's masterpiece, "Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex: Confessions of a Convicted Uber Driver" is a culmination of his of film background, sharing rides with Uber, and myriad adverse experiences. It was NOT written to please those stiff, literary types, but to appeal to the haughty neophytes who attest e-books are superior to the printed page. 
Currently, Joe is working on his encore, "Jackpot," which, much like "Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex, was written with the intention to be adapted into a feature film (as it is his narcissistic goal to direct his own film adaptations).

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Ready Player One; Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives; Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles; Harry Potter series; Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series; Piers Anthony's Zanth series; and many more. I also read (much more, actually) nonfiction. How-to and personal development are my go to. I have literally read 3 or 4 books in one day at my peak, and as many as several hundred during my time in prison.

What book do you think everyone should read?
I can't suggest this. Everyone has different tastes. But "The Stormlight Archives" and "Kingkiller Chronicles" are both very influential. "How to win friends and influence people to your way of thinking" is amazing, and anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer or Dr. Phil can change your life! And, of course, Ready Player One. Read it, dammit!!!!!

How long have you been writing?
I was in second or third grade when Jurassic Park came out. Soon after that, I remember writing a story assignment for class where all of my classmates and I were stuck on the island when the dinosaurs broke loose. Pretty much every one died. It was EPIC!

Fast forward like 20 years.

I randomly bumped into one of those classmates and he asked me what I was up to. I told him, "writing." He laughed and then brought up the story I wrote (and presented). I had totally forgotten about it. It wasn't until he brought it up that I realized I have been writing since I could hold a pencil.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Definitely as I write. I do operate with an outline and plan, but oftentimes, my characters evolve (as does the story). Sometimes this requires me to write in (or combine) characters to fit the plot. I'd like to think of my process as organic. It lives and breathes, sometimes on its own.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I usually do research AS I'm writing. I feel that if I need to do research before I write, I'm not qualified to write it. But sometimes, obstacles arise, and using the ol' Googs is the only way to overcome the obstacle. Except in prison, where the only tool at your disposal is a 30 year old Encyclopedia. FML.

Do you see writing as a career?
As PART of a career, yes. I plan on directing my film adaptations in addition to developing several games. Also, I'd like to attempt to improve our twisted society (if even possible) with my words/projects/influence. You can expect a lot from this Schmo.

What do you think about the current publishing market?
Its a business. Just like the movie industry. They are going to produce what they anticipate is going to sell. It sucks for books like RWS because it is so controversial there's no way they would take a chance on it. This happens to a lot of good books. However, I do understand that there's a lot shit out there. And we're talking steaming piles of shit! So I can't fault the publishing market for it. What I can do, is play the game and work it to the best of my ability. The same goes for everyone one else who has written a wonderful book that doesn't have a chance in hell of being published. Make the current market work for you.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
As much as I can without sacrificing my writing. Fantasy / Nonfiction

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I always write with music. It helps me drown out the background (ESPECIALLY in prison) and my inner dialogue. I can't write or concentrate without it.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I only write one book at a time (or each draft of a book). In fact, I really try not to even read while I'm in the middle of a book. But between drafts and especially when I'm incubating plot ideas, I will read or write something else. But it's typically one at a time.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
The Bible

Pen or type writer or computer?
In prison, pencil. It cost me 3 cents per golf pencil. and yes, I wrote this book (and three others) with fucking golf pencils. Let me tell you... THAT is a pain in the ass. I would send my drafts to my editor, and they would type/edit my work, then send it back. It was slow, but it taught me to appreciate the hell out of my laptop. In which I will be using from meow on.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
This is a VERY close toss up between Kvothe from Rothfuss's Kingkiller and Kaladin from Sanderson's Stormlight. I love these characters because they are very complex. Not always good, not always bad. I'm all about flawed characters. When a character is cookie cutter hero, they are boring. But these two authors do a fantastic job bringing to life living, breathing characters.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
Jail/Prison. I can't very well produce film in prison. So I decided to write. And write I did. Prison is a writer's dream! No job (well, for me. Because who the fuck wants to work for 35 cents and hour when you could be writing!?). No cell phones. No social media. Distractions, yes, but nothing that can't be overcome. I am so glad I did. I know I'm on the write path (pun intended)!

A day in the life of the author?
Work, write, sleep, repeat. Currently, my life is VERY boring. However.... I will be spending some time in Europe and in the Middle East in the coming months (hopefully producing a documentary) and I'm assuming it will be much more exciting. I'll keep you posted!

Advice they would give new authors?
My advice to any authors (novice or expert) is to just write. Write and write and write. Even when it's garbage. Then, when you need a break, read and read and read. Read in your genre. Read nonfiction (how-to for writing/grammar). And when you need feedback on your shitty writing, join a writing group. This is the only way you will get better. 10,000 hours and you will be a master. And even then, you will still have to beg people to read your manuscript!

Describe your writing style.
Humorous with a side order of obscure references. I have tried to write "seriously" but I just keep coming back to comedic social commentary. For example. here is a funny (and slightly raunchy) paragraph from RWS.

We continued making out, her hand polishing my tip and my hand cupping her tit, when the worst imaginable thing happened. Leonardo DiCaprio wormed his way into my brain and planted the seed of inception. That lowly seed broke through the soil, and, as Stephanie’s tongue explored my mouth like a gerbil in Richard Gere’s ass, it blossomed into one word. Rose.

What makes a good story?
I am a fan of plot heavy books. A good, well composed plot can make up for minor issues. But if the characters are cardboard and writing is for shit, even a great plot won't be able to perfume the stench.

What are they currently reading?
A lot of nonfiction (until I'm done with this release and have enough downtime for fiction). Also, I'm catching up on my video games!!!! Zelda BOTW and Super Smash Bros. get some play on my Switch.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
To be honest, my writing process is REALLY janky. I'm certain that a professional author would scoff at my process, but fuck 'em. Everyone does their own thing. I do write an outline (sometimes only a chapter or two ahead). But more often than not, those outlines are altered by the time I catch up to their end. By the time I finish, my outline looks more like a hieroglyph to be deciphered. I know what it means, but others looking in are laughing for sure.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
A good movie. That, and good company. As a "writer," I have sacrificed many a great movies and potential fun with friends. I get asked by my film buddy all the time to join him, and I usually decline. Because writing is sacrifice... And fun is my kryptonite.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both! Originality is nearly impossible this day and age, but I sure as fuck try! Sure, there are dozens of Uber Confessionals out there (even though I WAS the first t start, I can promise that), but I tried to be as creative and original in my style and delivery as possible. My next several books (fiction, not based on true events) are much more original in both style and plot.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Dude, you suck. No really, keep working on that.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I feel writing all characters from another perspective is hard, not just opposite sex. I try and tap into different experiences I've lived and use those to channel into other characters. I think, "how would so-and-so respond?" "What would he or she do in this scenario." That helps me keep things as authentic as possible. That's why I believe that the older you get, the easier writing becomes; Having more experience with more unique individuals is a natural bi-product of aging. This makes it easier for us to breathe life into more characters.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About a year (start to edit finish). RWS first draft was done in like 3 months. But I just kept editing and editing and... well, you get the idea. If I didn't set a firm release day, I would NEVER finish. I think that's a good way to start: With a release day in mind (assuming it is a healthy deadline). That's what I'm going to do for my other books. Set a publish by date and shoot for the moon!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Nope! It doesn't exist. It's just fear. Fearful writers call it "writer's block" so those that they can have an excuse not to write. There are times when I write, and I feel like everything I just wrote is absolute trash. I believe this paralyzes many writers, but if they just keep writing, they would discover that they can iron out any wrinkles. That said, I DO believe in "incubation." Incubation is when your subconscious mind's gears grind while you are working out or eating or taking a shit. When there is a plot hole or a problem I don't yet know the solution to, I will think about it until my eyes bleed. THEN, if I don't come up with an answer, I will take a break from writing (or move on to another chapter, or write something else) and let my subconscious work on it. Inevitable, the solution WILL come. But it is NOT a block. It is an obstacle. WRITER'S BLOCK is a myth.
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