Sunday, February 19, 2006

Books With Street Cred

Relentless Aaron, according to his website, is a bestselling author, publisher and visionary. He is the self proclaimed “Father of Urban Fiction”. He is also an ex-con.

During his seven year sentence, Relentless Aaron completed numerous manuscripts just to pass the time. Upon his release, Aaron self published his manuscripts and hit the streets to sell them. This “relentless” drive, comined with tactical guerilla marketing techniques, soon landed him a four book publishing contract with St. Martin’s Press.

This is more than just a mere success story of an ex-con turning his life around. Aaron’s story highlights large publishers’ growing interest in street lit. With titles like Rappers ‘R in Danger, Sugar Daddy and To Live & Die in Harlem, the books are filled with excessive sex, drugs and violence. Often set in prison or on the streets, the prose is marked with slang and the rough personality of cell block walls.

These explicit tales that play themselves out in Relentless Aaron’s novels are not just jailhouse scribblings, but according to St. Martin’s Press, show craftily weaved narratives with strong stylistic potential. Coupled with the street credibility that Relentless Aaron brings to his prose, it makes him an ideal street lit author.

This combination has worked well for rappers, but will it work for serious authors? As hip-hop continues to increase its presence in mainstream culture, it seems that street lit is an ideal off shoot. With stories that are a combination of a Sue Grafton novel and a 50 Cent music video, the growth of street lit is inevitable.

Street Lit With Publishing Cred: From Prison to a Four-Book Deal


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