A Relentless Interview – February 2008

On 2/20/08, Shaila Mentore wrote: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  This is a personality profile and it has to focus on you overcoming adversity. Relentless Aaron at Newark Symphony HallBasically, why would anyone want to read about you, also, how can the reader relate to you.

I thought you would be ideal for my piece because you do what ordinary people are not willing to do–you persistently go after what you want even though you were imprisoned and dealt with other obstacles.

Here goes:

  1. Who is Relentless Aaron? Please talk a little bit about your upbringing and also what do you do in your leisure time. What motivates you?

Relentless: Relentless Aaron is the brand I created in effort to separate myself from the fictional-reality that I write. In the teachings I’ve learned that “suspending the reader’s belief systems” is a necessary part of a fiction writer’s job. Also, in brand building, it is important to have a brand that is highly recognizable and easy to remember. Furthermore, the A in Aaron puts me at the top of alphabetical lists worldwide. Therefore since I have a universal product, a universal brand name is essential. Hence, the Relentless Aaron name. My upbringing was wayward. My parents were always working and that led to me getting into mischief. A lot of it. My leisure time was spent setting fires to houses, stealing bicycles, trespassing, vandalism, and (on the lighter side) even subscribing to every magazine in print. I’d go to the local library and snatch out every type of subscription card. 2 to 3 weeks later, the mail truck would drop off stacks of magazines because it was too much for the carrier to bring to the door step. Other than that, I snuck or conned my way into the adult strip club my dad owned, or I would draw, or listen to music. When I got a little older, by age 17, I shifted interest to girls.

2. Do you consider yourself successful?

Relentless: Absolutely. I’ve done in the past 14 years what no other author/writer has done ever. That is largely due to the advent of desktop publishing and the open lines of communication that the Internet offers.

3. While in prison, what made you start writing? Were you a writer before? Did you see it as a way to turn your life around when you got out?

Relentless: I began writing because I had stories to tell. At my age, I had experienced more than the average person if you consider producing stage shows and concocting international financing deals at age 17, the Marine Corp at age 18, college, and nightclub promotion at age 19, directing a regional talent competition, real estate ventures, publishing, developing two nightclubs, producing a cable TV show, and eventually spiraling into all of the various crimes I indulged in… it all added up to so much. I had so much experience packed into this one body; into this one brain, and I needed to get it out. Writing books was the absolute perfect vehicle for my therapy and my want for exposure of a life lived and of lessons learned. Yes, writing books has TOTALLY turned my life around. Nobody can out-write, out-sell me or out-think me as it relates to this particular field I’m in.

4.What are some adversities you faced? How were you able to overcome them? What did you learn about yourself in the process?  (If you have many, you can choose one and give me some detail, because that will be the main focus of my piece).

Relentless: My greatest adversity was myself; my ignorance, and my lack of direction. That may all stem from family upbringing, from various circumstances & experiences, and the environment in which I grew up. It was only later (at age 32) when I had 7 years to consider the direction of my life, that life too a different turn. I began to think before I acted. Meanwhile, I learned that I was very talented in many ways. I could draw. I could create. And I could write books like a magician performs magic.

5.What are your feelings about the prison system in this country?

Relentless:The prison system is unbalanced. But it’s also an incubator for good and evil. I happened to be one of those who made the best of it.

6. Why were you in prison?

Relentless:This is well documented in the various press done about me. But in a nutshell, within a 6 month period, I robbed banks across the eastern seaboard. I did it with a small organization, and we made a lot of noise. Prison was the best place for me since I was out of control.

7. What advice would you give to men who are in prison about how they can turn their lives around and re-assimilate in society when they get out?

Relentless: My suggestion is to observe discipline, to find an interest that can lead you closer to your ultimate purpose in life, and then to go after that purpose relentlessly.

8. What are some of the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur?

Relentless: Pros: liberty and freedom to do what you want and when. I can never be “fixed” to some other man’s 8-hour work schedule. I make my own rules and I use my days accordingly. The cons: lack of funds can make it difficult to live your dreams. And many times you destroy credit, relationships and you bare the burden of pressure that is often times not good for a writer who requires a free mind to do his/her best.

9. Talk a little bit about self-publishing and being an author, for people who may be interested in getting their work to the public.

Relentless: Self publishing is as simple as taking something you’ve written and going to a copy machine to make copies of the same. that’s publishing. Use desktop software programs to make that original work look more appealing to the eye; but it’s all the same. You can publish your handwritten words if you choose. Being a writer means pretty much the same as being a mechanic. You need to study, go to school, or become an apprentice to learn the craft. And then you need to practice until you improve. And Improve until you are noticed. Once you’re noticed, ride that wave until you reach paydirt. Master your craft, and the world will fold into your palms like a juicy love letter.

My Meeting the Actor With 2 First Names: Keith David

  bstreet1016 (2)   I had a most AMAZING night. The other day I was on my way to my being interviewed for TIME magazine, an ongoing interview regarding my “grind” in urban fiction, publishing, prison, etc. And, instead of parking where I was supposed to meet the reporter, I decided to pull over on Broadway, close to 51st St. I had realized some success there just 8 months earlier, and thought I’d run into an established readership. Anyway, long story short, who walks by but the actor we all know and love, Keith David. Now, I had seen an article in the Amsterdam News regarding various appearances that Keith was making in Harlem, however (and I’m sure this had been mentioned in the article) I must’ve slept on this latest engagement that Keith kindly informed me about.

“I’m doing a show at The Metropolitan on 22nd street.”

 300px-The_Nat_King_Cole_Show_premiere_1956It just so happened that this was THE night. The opening night, and I immediately thought: “Gee… I need to see this show. Then, I need to interview Keith.” See, I feel that Keith is just as powerful an actor as Denzel Washington, as Isaiah Washington or Blair Underwood. And I hadn’t realized it, but Keith has acted in more movies than any of us can remember! Dead Presidents. Marked For Death. Final Analysis. There are over a hundred movies (and TV shows) that Keith has acted in, and it seems as though I have found the “next” hardest working man in show business. Next to me, that is. (lol)

Well, getting back to 51st st… Keith invited me to the show. Of course, I have the “I’m a best selling author” clout, so I get the red carpet treatment to go and see Keith do Nat King Cole. (Sure even if KD did merely want to fill a couple more seats, its gotta make sense in my mind, right??)  Now, I love me some Nat. From Chestnuts, to Nature Boy, Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup, Route 66 and of course, Unforgettable. So, I’m expecting a show. Otherwise, one of my favorite actors was about to hear a brotha get rowdy up in the Metropolitan. But folks… an hour and a half of Keith David on stage, with his perfect baritone, tenor and alto voices, will make you forget ALL about Beyonce’ and her ringing alarms!

557px-KeithDavidJune10And, to be honest, Keith has the advantage over most EVERY other cat who ever picked up a mic. Because, as crisp as his voice is, you’d swear that his “day job” was to sing as a permanent fixture here at the Metropolitan, or even at Birdland or The Blue Note. But instead, it’s just damned spooky to sit there and hear Det. Lester Wallace (from the Barber Shop movie) singing Sweet Lorraine; and how uncharacteristic is it for Kirby (from the Dead Presidents movie) or Max, (Steven Seagal’s sidekick in “Marked For Death”) *Remember the movie’s nemesis-Screwface? “Everybody waan go Hell, but noobody waan die!“ (Gotta be one of my all-time favorite movie lines)

…Well, the hear Keith belt out a heartfelt rendition of Nature Boy? #Priceless

Thank God I’m a great media mogul and that I was smart and able enough to capture a taste of the show for ya!

So, then Jamie Fox isn’t the only Triple Threat on the market? Hmmm… Have we been sleeping on Keith David’s singing potential? Perhaps pigeon-holing him as “Just” an actor while LL, Busta Rhymes and Jamie Fox enjoy the fruits of variety? Are we short-changing this man from the acknowledgement he deserves as the renaissance man who came somewhere after Paul Robeson and before, well, everyone else? I hope not.

large_l9XNWcqLS2AmUDpFJfMMgzS2pqzMeet David Keith. He’s been in our lives for decades, folks. He is part of the movie ,the song and the book that we indulge in from day to day; the glue that keeps so many of those films in tact and relevant for years to come. Here is a man who has more than definitely “been there and done that” in Hollywood, and now, in song. You dare not miss this performance this weekend in NYC. And, if you do, you need to hope that Keith has a return engagement, since you’ll be missing out on something so wonderful and life affirming you’ll be floating out of the restaurant.

Relentless Aaron

Related:

“Back To Back”

wpid-black-relationship-issues

Dear Diary: I know that so many people must be going through this very situation. My significant other is right there in the bed next to me, except we’re sleeping back-to-back. I’m sure she’s frustrated since I’m in her way, in the very space where another caring, affectionate man could be. And I’m sure as hell just as frustrated, because I know that I could have it all, too. I know there’s a down-to-earth woman out there who has the affection I need, but her place in bed next to me is occupied. Basically, we’re both in a place we don’t want to be in and we’re making each other sick to our stomachs, enough so that we have to sleep back-to-back.

As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. And I know that I’m as much at fault as she is, with as much potential and ability as she has, to turn over in the bed and say “baby, this is silly. Why don’t we just both make the effort to fix this before it gets out of hand. Why don’t we just look for those feelings we once had and try to at least fake our way through this until it becomes normal again to love and hold one another.” But my thoughts are getting in the way just as much as hers. Just as she is, I’m thinking about all the foul things that have been said. Just as she is, I’m thinking about a better life, the new love, the fresh start and the appreciation that I could indeed receive from that next mass of walking, talking human energy; an energy that is unconditional, a woman who can appreciate the total man that I am and that I aim to be. I know I deserve this and that I can have this. I don’t have to put up with her fair-weather faith in my dreams, hopes and wherewithal to succeed. I don’t have to put up with her blatant disregard for the information age and how necessary it all is to us. Jesus, the woman doesn’t even have an e-mail address. I set up a Myspace page for her, and that is even outside of her ability to understand or to indulge.

But there are other issues here. We’re married, with responsibilities. Our children. We made two of them. And they’ve grown into intelligent, self-motivated, achievers with their very own dreams and ambitions. The children are not mistakes; they look like the two of us; they both have our various attributes; our son has his mother’s quick wit. Our daughter is just as quick-witted, except that she is a lot more patient and cunning and calculating than her brother. That is not to say that she is all-the-way patient, just that she is more patient than he. I can’t quite say why our son is such a klutz sometimes; I guess it just is what it is. The whole point here is that we made these two children intentionally, in a one-bedroom apartment, over ten years ago, when love and passion was waaaaaaay more abundant than money. And now, more than ten years later, women are throwing pussy at me just as much as men are throwing money and promise at her. All of that temptation only makes it harder to focus on togetherness and unity. Couple that with the challenging time we have paying bills, and you have a fucking fiasco in the making. At one point, I would’ve given everything I had to maintain this relationship. But now, with the promises of 7-figure earnings strolling down my path, and with more possibility and more encouragement than ever to just wing it as a single man once again, it makes things so much more convenient to just walk the fuck out of this storm. I can almost smell a bed of roses right around the corner.

And yet, while all of that feels so appealing, and while all of these mixed emotions are driving me insane, I can say I still love this bitch to death. She puts it down like no other woman I know. Kinky sex. Cooking. Housekeeping. All the stuff an above-average chick on the side is gonna envy until it oozes out of her perky tits. Plus, I know in my heart that I’ve contributed so much to the woman that she is, and the family that we are. Okay sure, the left side of my brain can come up with all sorts of excuses why this shit is going down hill. But, that’s a common man’s thinking. That’s for the weak dude who can’t find an ounce of discipline in his body. Now, it’s up to me to find that old flame. It’s up to me to be the driver and to urge towards solution and glue this thing together. No, she hasn’t thrown a knife at me, and she hasn’t created a mess with irreversible acts such as breaking precious memorabilia, or worse. It’s only this back to back thing that has pulled us apart. Can I be the stronger one and reverse this silly shit? Can I be the man, (with all my ego and cock-strong affirmations in life), to the point that I can control something that seems to have gotten out of control?

She said some slick, intelligent Dr. Phil-shit last night: “It all starts right here. The karma you have here in the home will follow you wherever you go and in whatever you do.” And I’m thinking, well if you’re that intelligent, why the hell don’t you work towards fixing this! Weren’t you the one that said “we don’t have a relationship” just hours earlier? I’m saying karma? And I’m thinking about just a week ago, how I woke this woman up out of a deep sleep only to press my face between her legs to the point of orgasm. This woman was reaching for things that were never within reach, so satisfied with how I “serviced” her. Okay, so sex isn’t necessarily affection, but I’ll be damned if it ain’t close.

There are just a few more days of relaxation since the kids are out of school. It’s the holidays. Things are in play-it-by-ear mode. And the payday is that much closer to getting us the house we want and the lifestyle we aspire for. So, no haste here, buddy. Hold on tight before this woman drives you mad. The world is counting on you to succeed, and twice as many people are watching and waiting for your demise. Hold tight young warrior, and remember the really tough times you’ve survived. Does this small feud match the death-defying battles you’ve won in your life? Does this misunderstanding even come close to the great sacrifices you’ve made and the struggle you’ve endured? Naw. Cross over that hurdle for a hug. Get past that karma-comment for a kiss. And match that negative energy with your raw emotions. Because, after all, you are not like other men. You are Relentless.

The right brain is taking over again.

Book Marketing Advice From "The Father" of Urban Fiction


Question: If someone gave you $2000.00 that you could only use to market your book,
what avenues of marketing would you use?


Relentless Answers: WOW. Why ain’t nobody think to invite ME into this forum!!!!! Wassup y’all. This yours truly, and I SO appreciate how much people have taken time to answer questions to help this man spend his $2,000. May I add a few cents here? First of all, any marketing that you do must bring back the equal value (or more) of your time and effort, since we all have these Godforsaken priorities to look after. See, (and some of you know this already) if your bills add up to $4000 a month, your focus should be to sell over 400 books per month. That is, if your 1st job is to be an author. Now, if your bills are not that heavy, and maybe writing and marketing is your side joint, then your money is probably best spent on Bookmarks. Now, this is how I built my dynasty, but it’s is merely my opinion, family. Since everything ain’t for everybody. But, when it comes to the most cost effective ways to market, so long as you have access to mass transit, and that you live where millions of people are your potential buyers, then bookmarks is the answer. You can get 20,000 or so for close to $700 at Barone Press in New York. Tell Vinny I sentcha! Meanwhile, geography is a very important matter when it relates to marketing, because if you live in Oklahoma, and your market is not where you live, then you’d need to measure what it would cost to get to your market, as well as the cost vs. the exposure factor. Here’s one for you family: Most every major press I’ve done was not paid for but for my own sweat equity. If you’re trying to be an author with a book that’s one thing; however, if you’re trying to be an author with best selling books, that’s another thing altogether. New York Times (Front Page/Arts&Leisure) reporter passed me on the street. Daily News (half page/pg 10) reporter passed me on the street. KISS FM radio host passed me on the street. And all of these have led to other interviews, all of them having perpetuated a “snowball effect” that to this day keep s growing. I don’t want to give too much of a speech here, family. I do want to say that you can’t leap before you crawl. Every step of my journey, or your journey is going to begin with those tiny steps. Those tiny steps help you grow and understand what you’re doing. Me or Zane or Terry are only going to be able to share with you the things we know. And some of us know more than you think. But nobody but nobody can tell you what is going on in your own town. You may have a union president that likes you and is willing to invite you in to speak with everyone. I’ve befriended traffic cops over the years which helps me in two ways; it got me into their offices where they strap-up with their ticket scanners and radios. It also gives me that added protection when I’m parked illegally. And still, a traffic cop wouldn’t know my truck unless my truck was wrapped. And then again, it wouldn’t make sense to wrap my truck if people hadn’t already seen the TV interviews, the newspapers, etc. And, of course, I told you where that began, didn’t I? Soooo… it all starts (for me) in the streets. The back pack. The exclusive attention and discussions with people, the very people who matter. The majority of people who matter are on the ground floor, not in the mansions and skyscrapers which radio & TV & Internet advertising would be paying for! Don’t pay for ads unless you’ve got an audience which says you have an incredible book!
Peace Family

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PROCLAMATION


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I am Relentless Aaron, Author, Publisher & Visionary. Many say I’m talented. Some say I’m famous. Some say I’m a genius. A few have called me arrogant. Others still call me crazy, a freak, and even “the man.” I’m with all that. I love it that people are acknowledging my existance, since, otherwise (minus my talent and experience), I might not be recognized at all. Not long ago that was me. Unknown. Trying to become somebody. Today, I am blessed that so many hundreds of thousands of people have read my books. Not only have they read them, but most of them feel the same way about the work. Which to me, substantiates all my hard work. In the meantime, some of my pastimes are writing, publishing meeting people and good sex, not necessarily in that order 🙂
Welcome to my constant updates and I look forward to your generous time in adding your comments to it. I trust that it will get heated and passionate, just like the conversations
I have with readers in person.
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