Richmond author taps into love of thrillers with debut book

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Richmond author taps into love of thrillers with debut book
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By Kathy Chouteau

What began as a childhood passion for Richmond native Latuan Wheaton—tapping out stories on her kiddie typewriter—has blossomed into a writing career and the debut of her first book, The Turn.

Wheaton’s book, which she describes as a collection of horror/suspense stories “with unique messages of justice fulfilled, in a distinctively thrilling manner,” is rooted in some of her favorite pastimes growing up as an only child in Richmond. An avid reader, she regularly used her allowance to purchase books and also enjoyed “stories told on the small and big screen,” especially those in the thriller and horror genres.

In The Turn, Wheaton’s favorite genre has found a fitting home on the written page. Each story in the work tells of “a horrific deed that is met with the justice of Universal Law,” said the author, culminating in the final story, entitled The Turn, which “ties together each story” while the various characters “meet with their just fates assigned by God, himself.”

Aside from the title tale, The Turn, other stories within the book include: The Merman; Supply & Demand; Time Stolen; and Scaredy Cat.

Wheaton, who grew up on South 49th Street in Richmond and “summered in Oakland,” published The Turn in late 2021 as she readied to graduate from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts.

She said the experience of releasing her first book, on the cusp of graduating from college, put her “over the moon” that some of her stories had finally “made it into the hands of [an] audience.”

“It was such a grand accomplishment, and quite the self-education, to publish and distribute my stories,” said Wheaton about releasing The Turn, which she self-published on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and is available in paperback and as an e-book.

The El Cerrito High School grad, who was part of the school’s fiftieth graduating “Golden Class” in 1989, already has plans to publish another compilation of horror/suspense stories in her next book.

“For those of you who have stories to tell, I welcome you to message me on Facebook and share your experiences navigating the literary world,” said Wheaton. Community members can also connect with the author on Instagram at: latuan_wheaton. Learn more about Wheaton’s book, The Turn, here.