Photo by Corinne Nicholson
CONYERS -- The man sitting behind an iMac super computer almost every day at the local Starbucks, with his RV parked in the coffee shop's parking lot, admitted his routine may be a little unorthodox.
DeWitt Gilmore, also known as Relentless Aaron, told the Citizen that he is the published author of three dozen books, with more in the works. Gilmore writes in the book genre referred to as Street Lit and has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC World News.
According to Wikipedia, Street Lit, or urban fiction, is a literary genre set in a city landscape. The genre is defined more by race and culture than its settings. Street Lit is usually written in a dark tone and focuses on the underside of society. "Profanity, sex, and violence are usually explicit, with the writer not shying away from or watering-down the material," according to Wikipedia.
For the past three years, he has been ensconced at the Conyers Starbucks, working on his literary career, doing video production, photography, marketing and some consulting work.
"It's only the last six to eight months that I've been in an RV. So the RV is what's caught everyone's attention," Gilmore, 45, said.
Police have been called to the coffeehouse to respond to complaints about him. And he said reactions from other patrons vary from "admiration" to "total apprehension."
"They look at me as if they detest my appearance ... I don't dress shabby. I'm clean. I shower every day. I'm probably at peak health in my life," Gilmore said, mentioning his regular exercise regimen.
Gilmore said he supposed people could not get over his lifestyle because of hate.
"It's not a hate that's intentional. It's a hate that's grown inside of them," Gilmore said. "Because they've always known a home. They've always known an address. They've always known 'mow the lawn, pay the bills.'"
Gilmore said he understands the reaction and knows he is "literally going against the grain."
"It's really a culture shock to a lot of folks to see a guy doing what he wants to do, on his own schedule, in his own time, not according to the standards," Gilmore said.
He has also had people ask Starbucks employees how much coffee he drinks.
"And I find that offensive," Gilmore said. "Because there are people in here who don't drink a lick of coffee. There are people in here who come in and do their business and run."
"I have bought coffee for people, just being nice," he added.
Starbucks assistant store manager Philip Morris told the Citizen that people can come in the coffeehouse "whenever they want to," and Gilmore's daily presence is not an issue.
"It's no big deal," Morris said.
Gilmore said he doesn't park overnight.
"I leave here when they close," Gilmore said.
The New York native came to Georgia about four years ago for a business deal with Bronner Brothers. He said an ex-girlfriend took a lot of money from him and he ended up homeless in 2007, living in a van and relying on the kindness of strangers who took him in.
Now he has an RV and is working and writing his books in Starbucks, surrounded by his iPad, high-definition video equipment, cameras and a couple of external hard drives.
"I'm pretty much a studio on wheels," Gilmore said.
Gilmore pointed to the author of the Harry Potter books, who wrote her books in Starbucks coffee houses.
"J.K. Rowling did this and she's a billionaire," Gilmore said.
For more information about Gilmore, visit his website at relentlessaaron.com.