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. Basically, 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.
- 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.