relentless aaronAuthor Gets Removed from
National Book Club Conference

by Taylor Nix
August 2008


When Relentless Aaron, the prominent and acclaimed author of more than 10 books, entered the NBCC (National Book Club Conference) in Atlanta, Georgia, he didn't know his presence would inspire chastising and a discourteous removal.

According to Relentless Aaron, on Friday, August 1, 2008 he caught a last minute glimpse of the literary studded event. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to do what I do just about everywhere else in the country, and that is to meet people and market some of my three dozen books," Aaron says. Familiar faces in attendance included: Terry McMillian, Omar Tyree, Richard Jeanty and Troy Johnson (AALBC.com)—who introduced Aaron to the coordinator of the event: Curtis Bunn.

In the dinning area of the lavish event is where he was introduced to Bunn, they shake hands and he says to Aaron, "Let me talk to you for a minute. I don't appreciate you coming in here without first speaking with me." Aaron feels like he's just been reprimanded and Bunn continues, "Well, it's alright. Make yourself at home. Enjoy."

Aaron stuck on stupid now by the flow of conversation, returns with, "Well, thanks. I'm not really eating, just playing fly-on-the-wall."

In the common area is where Aaron heads and proceeds to setup his laptop with a PowerPoint Presentation. "I figure this is the best place to be seen, to offer up books to new readers." The crowd starts to pour in and Aaron does what he's best at: mingling amongst the people. Other unnamed authors are spotted and they too seemed to have just "shown up" to benefit from the undertaking. Books are signed and before he knows it, with little to no effort, Aaron's already sold several books.

He proceeds to set up his camera to start interviewing authors and readers. "[It's] something that I do all the time as the programmer for some 50 Internet broadcast channels." Within roughly 2 hours, a woman approaches Aaron, and asks if he is a part of the book event. "I didn't quite know how to answer that, but I simply told her the truth, that I spoke with Curtis earlier and that he said it was okay to be here."

Here is where the story takes a twist.

Five minutes after Aaron's exchange with the woman, who identified her self as Curtis's fiancé, hotel security shows up and notifies Aaron that he has to pack up and leave the hotel room.

And it doesn't end there, "The next morning, I text Curtis," Aaron says.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

RELENTLESS AARON: "Make yourself at home you said. Enjoy you told me. And then, when I do what you say, you call the cops."

CURTIS BUNN: "And my fiancé called the cops. But I'm not mad at her for doing so. You were wrong."

RELENTLESS AARON: "Cowards. Both of you."

CURTIS BUNN: "Kiss my a**."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We contacted Mr. Curtis Bunn for his side of the story and here is what he said:

"He [Relentless Aaron] was removed from the National Book Club Conference because he was not a part of the event. I spent 11 months planning the conference, and authors either contacted me about participating or received invitations from me about participation. Additionally, there were 26 authors who paid a fee as a vendor to be a part of the NBCC.

This guy shows up because he hears about the event and assumes it is okay for him to proceed as if he is a part of the occasion. He was not. Worse, I was told he was there not only pushing his work, but denigrating a fellow author who was an official part of the conference. Not cool, or professional.

Bottom line, we have to stop with this notion of trying to get over. This is a professional organization and it is run professionally, and so the proper protocol was needed to participate. Period. Nothing against him; I don't know the guy. But we as black people have to set new standards on how we function. Crashing someone's event is not the route to a better way. And he was not the only author who just showed up and tried to be a part of the event. They [the other authors] were discharged from the event, too, and with much less the drama he tried to create."


Taylor Nix is a writer and photographer for the Urban Book Source. Questions, comments and concerns can be sent to: taylor@urbanbooksource.com


Comments page 8 of 8:
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Aleyna :
Posted 794 days ago
Ann! Imagine my surprise when golgoing my name (yes, I confess) upon coming across your blog post! Wow. I am so surprised! And I feel it would completely disappoint you were we ever to meet in person. But maybe not. Note, though, that I do not work *at* the Star Tribune; I'm merely a stringer reviewer, as are all the others. However, I do occasionally frequent Open Book, and since you were lucky enough (!) to get an internship at Milkweed, perhaps I will see you there yet this summer! Still, I would hate to disappoint you the reality never quite lives up to the hype. Thanks for the kudos, you made my day, and good luck with your reading, writing and interning!
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Posted 1092 days ago
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Posted 1093 days ago
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Relentless Also :
Posted 2799 days ago
Good to see both the LOVE & the HATE. I LOVE it all. This Bourgie event and it's organizers should be branded with a red-hot iron for how they treated Relentless. He did what he does. If they welcomed him, they probably KNEW how he gets it poppin. He was dead RIGHT for his actions. Key word HIS actions. (The Relentless Hustle)
And Bunns? He was DEAD right for his actions: HATER! And that's JUST what haters do. Effin HATE. Urban Fiction LIVES!
 




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