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Relentless Aaron 1964(?)- (Dewitt Gilmore)

Relentless Aaron 1964(?)- (Dewitt Gilmore)

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1964, in Mount Vernon, NY. Education: Attended Pace University and Westchester Business Institute.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New Rochelle, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, publisher. Relentless Content (publishing house), Mount Vernon, NY, founder and publisher. Superstar (magazine), former publisher.

Author of Relentless Aaron Web log. Military service: Served in the U.S. Marines; honorable discharge.

WRITINGS:

FICTION; EXCEPT AS NOTED

Rappers 'R in Danger, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2000.

Push, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2003.

The Last Kingpin, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2004.

Platinum Dolls, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2004.

Triple Threat, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2004.

I Did It! You Can Too! (nonfiction), Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2004.

Seems Like You're Ready, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2005.

Sugar Daddy, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2005.

Topless, Relentless Content (Mount Vernon, NY), 2005.

Extra Marital Affairs, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2006.

Lady First, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2007.

(With 50 Cent) Derelict, G-Unit Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Single with Benefits, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Relentless Aaron is the pen name of New York writer Dewitt Gilmore, who vigorously delves into his own family background and prison experiences for material for his novels. A practitioner of the genre known as street lit, Relentless Aaron fills his books with "graphic descriptions, crude language and ghetto slang," noted Corey Kilgannon in an interview with the author in the New York Times. "The plots are gripping and often unfold in a real-life cityscape, often in New York's rougher neighborhoods," Kilgannon observed.

Relentless Aaron, who grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, learned about the rougher side of life from the customers at his father's strip club. Later, serving a six-year jail term for check fraud, Relentless Aaron began writing to allay the unrelenting boredom of confinement. In fact, two of his novels were written while he was in solitary confinement for fighting in prison. As the author told Kilgannon, "‘Nothing could match solitary for writing…. You couldn't use pens in there, so some of the guards who respected my discipline and my writing would pass me pencils.’" He developed a style and discipline whereby he could write an entire novel in two weeks. By the end of his prison term, Relentless Aaron had penned thirty novels. Once released from prison, he self-published ten of these novels, and personally sold them throughout New York and on buses to and from New York state prisons. The books' mixture of hard-boiled action and erotica found a large audience. Relentless Aaron claims to have sold more than 200,000 copies of his self-published titles before signing a major, four-book contract with St. Martin's Press in 2006.

One of Relentless Aaron's first self-published titles, Push, was termed "a riveting tale of big money, incredible sex and gut wrenching violence," by a reviewer for the African American Literature Book Club Web site. The novel features Reginald "Push" Jackson, a hit man who is "a criminalized modern day hero of sorts," the same reviewer stated. In an interview for Streetfiction, Relentless Aaron described the character of Push Jackson: "He is the ultimate man. He is courageous, focused, agile and mighty. Push is also human and humble, however goal oriented. I wish a man like Push on any female who has been long missing those characteristics in a man." Relentless Aaron's plots range from rappers who become involved with criminals, as in Rappers 'R in Danger, to pornography merchants, as in Platinum Dolls.

In his first mainstream publication, the 2006 Extra Marital Affairs, Relentless Aaron tells a tale of a professional, middle-class, African American couple who indulge in somewhat experimental sex with a third partner. However, when this woman turns up dead in their bed, the couple realizes that the dead woman was actually a prostitute and now her pimp is on her trail. Leslie Hayden, in a review for Library Journal, stated that Extra Marital Affairs is "an interesting and suspenseful book about life in the suburbs for African Americans, especially for those who have made it but cannot forget their humble beginnings." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also praised the novel, noting: "It won't make many Mother's Day gift lists, but Relentless Aaron's latest is a full-throttle tour of a sordid world."

Lady First features protagonist Spencer Lewis, whose idea of getting ahead in life is to please his female employer, Tia Stern, a has-been actress, in every way she demands. A Kirkus Reviews critic stated that the book was "an entertaining if predictable street-lit novel," but one that "often reads like the fantasy diary of a man with a sexually vivid imagination." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly also presented a mixed assessment of the book and stated: "[Relentless] Aaron's depiction of Tia as the dream woman-turned-nightmare devouring diva is over-the-top, but that's [his] style, and the book's a hoot."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Black Issues Book Review, July 1, 2006, "Relentless Aaron, the Nom de Plume of the Entrepreneur Dewitt Gilmore, Signed a Four-book Deal with St. Martin's for a Sum in ‘the Low Six Figures,’" p. 8.

Booklist, November 1, 2006, Lillian Lewis, review of Extra Marital Affairs, p. 29.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2007, review of Lady First.

Library Journal, September 1, 2006, Leslie Hayden, review of Extra Marital Affairs, p. 132.

New York Times, February 14, 2006, Corey Kilgannon, "Relentless Aaron's Journey from Prison to Four-Book Deal," author interview, p. 1.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006, review of Extra Marital Affairs, p. 27; September 3, 2007, review of Lady First, p. 40.

ONLINE

African American Literature Book Club Web site,http://www.aalbc.com/ (June 30, 2008), author information.

Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (June 30, 2008), author information.

Latestreviews.com,http://www.thelatestreviews.com/ (June 30, 2008), review of Extra Marital Affairs.

Relentless Aaron Home Page,http://www.relentlessaaron.com (June 30, 2008).

Relentless Aaron MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/relentlessaaron/ (June 30, 2008), author profile.

Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (June 30, 2008), Tee C. Royal, review of Extra Marital Affairs.

Streetfiction,http://www.streetfiction.org/ (June 30, 2008), author interview.

Urban Reviews Web log,http://www.urbanreviews.blogspot.com/ (November 13, 2007), review of Lady First.

Vibe,http://www.vibe.com/ (September 16, 2004), Lynne D. Johnson, "Relentless Aaron—Urban Fiction's Don," author interview.

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