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?"
“What the fuck are you doing, numb nuts?” The robber pistol-whips my headrest
to kidnap my attention before thrusting the barrel into my chest. A stink of
desperation and maple syrup wafts from his mouth when he shouts, “Drive the
fucking car, now!” It’s at a time like this that I wish I were a superhero. Not so I can have superhuman strength, unmatched speed, or a stretchy cock, but so I can harness the power of hindsight. That’s right, hindsight. This individualized ability would be similar to, but not exactly like, predicting the future. You remember the convoluted superpower Isaac Mendez displayed in Heroes? He had to black out in order to produce ambiguous artwork of an underage cheerleader. Creepy, I know. However, if his paintings could, in fact, foretell future fate, he could sketch a fake and manipulate Donald Trump into believing he’ll win another presidential election, then sell said paintings to him at market value ⎯ a cool billion. But hindsight is not like that; my superpower would be more practical than Isaac’s. Instead of predicting the future, hindsight would trigger a red light when I approach morally ambiguous crossroads at which a certain direction could lead me to mental, spiritual, or bodily harm. At every consequential juncture a visual GPS would activate, allowing me to witness the destination of every road traveled, thus giving me an opportunity to choose the path that would prevent me from ever using the adage, “hindsight is 20/20.” Just imagine something that might happen in an episode of South Park or a campy Nick Cage flick. Unfortunately, I am not a superhero. Nor am I Nick Cage. I am an everyday Joe f’n Schmo who has a billion (and one) regrets that have led me to this moment where I am screaming “fucking hind⎯” “Hey, Uber driver, get to the chopper, asshole!” Braking from my heroic lament, I slam the transmission into gear and tear out of the bank parking lot with three masked men and what appears to be a cool billion, wishing to hell I could recalculate this current detour, where it will inevitably lead, and return to the beginning. It all started yesterday when I turned on my Uber phone…
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 über 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 inspired you to write this book?
"What's your craziest story?" was a mantra I heard every night driving for Uber. At first, I didn't have any. Then a few trickled in. After a year and over 1000 rides, I had more than enough to write several books. I combined all the best and wrote "Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex."
What can we expect from you in the future?
Everything!!! I have 3 more manuscripts in the works (also adaptable). In addition to writing books and directing films, I plan on developing video games (be it PC or mobile). I am an entertainer, so I don't want to limit myself to only books.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Rideshares, Wrecks, and Sex?
My two favorite characters are Vito and Schwarz. These are Joe's "angel" and "devil" cohorts. I needed a spin on this cleché concept, so I casted the visages of Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from Twins to fill their roles. Vito is a sleazy, foul-mouthed bastard, and Schwarz is a naïve teddy bear. Not only do these characters provide comic relief, they break up the monotony of a first person story and allow me to talk about the action as it's taking place. They are invaluable characters, and audiences will adore them.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
All of the characters are based on actual Uber riders (or are lifted from the crazy people I've met in my experiences), so essentially this book literally wrote itself. After so many rides and interactions with drunkards, I was able to piece together more than enough content for RWS; all I had to do was organize it. First, I made a list of all the stories that stood out in my mind. Then, I compressed them. Some of the scenarios and characters are a combination of many, but they are CHARACTERS for sure.
My thought process was to diversify the characters and scenarios to prevent from repetition, and I felt it was important to start with the shorter, funnier stories and end with the most dramatic. Ultimately, I am very happy with the structure of RWS.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
All the names and locations have been altered to protect the identity of the parties involved.......... Or were they......
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Everything! This book was combination memoir and fiction, so it satisfied both my creative drive and allowed me to relive some of the best times of my life. That, and it was my first manuscript, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Oh, man. This is complicated. I definitely have themes in my characters — things I do to make them more real. Typically, all of my characters are flawed. That's a huge aspect of my life that I bleed into my writing. I'm flawed. So all my characters need to be, too.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
"Waiter Rant: Confessions of a Cynical Waiter" inspired me to create a Title: Subtitle combination. Rideshares is obvious, but Wrecks and Sex are both double entendres. Wrecks is both literal (as there are many throughout the book) and metaphorical for trainwrecks (even more of those!). Sex, of course, is also literal, but is meant to be a teaser for the big reveal toward the end (spoiler alert) that I am a sex offender, covertly driving for Uber. My runner up title was "Uber Confessions of a Sexy Fender." But I thought, "Na, that's too much."
Who designed your book covers?
Antnio Fadel Ramirez. A local artist in the Phoenix area. He did an AMAZING job. If you are wondering what I look like, the cover image is spot on!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I really struggle with self censorship. When I'm writing the first several drafts, I am constantly judging what I say from an outsider perspective. I cut SO many jokes that were hilarious to me, but assuredly in poor taste (which is why I find them funny). I edit out obscure references that the Average Joe wouldn't pick up on. And on and on. Ultimately though, editing and censorship is part of an important process: THE GREATER GOOD (and I wouldn't change that).
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
What DIDN'T I learn? This book taught me SO much that I can't go into detail without taking up too much of my readers' time. 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!
This is what I learned writing this book.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Uh, duh! Me. ................Or The Rock. Love you Dwayne Johnson.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I have so many favorite parts. Just remember.... "Go-Go-Gadget Cock!"
Every time I read this book (which is like a billion times), I laugh out loud at lines I forgot, upcoming sections, but mostly at my stupidity. I have such a stupid sense of humor, I find a lot of things funny. RWS is (and I hate to say this because I'm super biased) fucking funny. I hope I can share my stupid sense of humor with the world.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would play Rockband with Vito and Schwarz.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Um... let me think about th—
POOF. "Are you fucking kidding me?" Vito apparates on the keyboard of Joe's laptop. "That Schmo couldn't buy the kind of gold I add to his story, even at the pawn shop. I'm like Midas, bitch." He slams his stubby wrists against his crotch before jumping from one key to the next as f they were burning coals.
POOF. "Vito," Schwarz calls out from atop the screen, "watch your mouth. We have guests present. You are going to ruin your political career if you don't reign it in."
"Look who's talking, cheater boy!"
"I told you not to bring that up!"
Guys!!!!! I'm in the middle of something here, Jesus! Sorry, where was I?
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Honestly, I hate this question. Yes, I love this book. It's fucking hilarious. Topical. Informative. Heart-warming. And most of all, cute. But I can't in good conscience say, "YOU MUST READ THIS." That's biased. That's like me saying I smoke the best BBQ. It's simply ignorant, and I won't do it. But what I will do, is promote it genuinely. I will allow others to recommend it. I won't ever delete or try to hide an honest review. I want this book to stand on its own. Not be held up by a sleazy crutch. I hope this makes sense.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Spending over 2 years in prison, I wrote 4 separate manuscripts (still quite rough, though). What better time to hammer away than in prison. I wrote every day (practically). I won't go into any lengthy details, but the basics are:
"Jackpot" A comedy/thriller about a lottery conspiracy gone wrong.
"Remnants of the Past" (Book 1 of a 3 book series) Sci-fi/Fantasy that contains a horde of fan fiction elements from influential video games of my past. Some might say they were Remnants of my past...
"Honorless" Action/Thriller A suicidal hitman enters the afterlife as an "Honorless" (a supernatural bounty hunter contracted to capture Hellions).
Aside from these, I have another nonfiction book heavily outlined. "Everyone You Know is a Sex Offender, Including you!" And, yes. it is as aggressive as it sounds.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Post Coitus. That, or House Fire. You decide.
What did you edit out of this book?
Holy-fuckin'-shit, Batman! Lots! Pages and pages. Chapters. Jokes. Entire characters. I think the line I miss most is (referring to my grandfather) "Cho Mo racist." Most of what I took out was more supplementary than necessary. It needed to go. If I were being VERY aggressive, I could find more to cut, but I write pretty sparse to begin with. Over the course of several edits, I've had to ADD a bunch because it was too lean, and many test readers were confused (I left off a lot of dialogue tags and direction because I felt it redundant). Now, the book leaves no questions, while not being overly wordy (unlike this post).
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