FLINT, Michigan — Flint native Quion Wheeler released his debut book, Becoming Me
, and held a book signing event for it on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Totem Bookstore (620 W Court St) in Flint.
is an autobiographical collection of stories from Wheeler as he recounts moments in his life when he faced challenges that lead to valuable life lessons. Throughout the book, he addresses some of his personal struggles with self-doubt and acceptance while in pursuit of finding his true identity.
While going through the writing process of Becoming Me
, Wheeler admitted that he didn't quite know the process of writing a book, but after tapping into his local network for resources, he soon saw his book idea come to life.
Wheeler enlisted help from some fellow Flintstones, including Keyon Lovett
who designed the book cover, Tamisha Denson (Thirty8special
) who shot the promotional photos, and Kellen Brandon of Brandon Publishing
who helped publish the book.
During his interview with Flintside, the new author spoke about self-identity, how therapy definitely helps, letting go of expectations from others, and what he wants readers to take away from Becoming Me
Flintside: Alright, so let me just say congrats on your book release! Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
: "Thank you! I appreciate it. I was born and raised in Flint and grew up on the South side. I went to Flint Southwestern where I graduated in 2008, and then from there, I went to University of Michigan-Flint where I spent time getting my bachelor's in criminal justice, and my Master's in Public Administration. I worked in law enforcement for the Flint Police Department for four years and loved serving the city of Flint. I now work as a school resource officer for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. I've been down here for over a year and a half"
Flintside: What made you want to write a book about yourself?
: “My dad wrote a book about 10-12 years ago, and I was really inspired by that. The book (Where's Adam?
) is pretty much about understanding a father’s role. He wrote about his experience of not really having a father present in his life and compiled his experiences as an educator and as an officer. It was just inspiring to see him achieve so much knowing all he went through, so, where he stopped is kind of like where I started."
The cover of 'Becoming Me.'
Flintside: What made you decide on the book's title?
: "To be honest, I've always struggled with other people's perceptions of me. I feel like, from my late teens to my adult life, it's always been other people's suggestions for me but I wanted to follow my own. I got to a space recently, like, within the last three years, where I felt like I was just having an identity crisis.
And so I came up with the title 'Becoming Me' because I felt like I finally was in a place in my life where I was comfortable breaking away from expectations of me. I just want to be myself, authentically. I just like who I am, what I wear. I just want us to be able to be ourselves."
Flintside: In Becoming Me, you talk about your experience with therapy and how it helped you through some dark times. Would you say you're an advocate for therapy?
: "I'm definitely an advocate for therapy, for sure. A therapist does not solve all your problems but compassionate listening goes a long way.
It’s good to be around someone who can listen without responding, and can assess or figure out moves a person should make in the right direction. I've had the experience of having two therapists, one of which started because of trauma and distress from my job that led to me even wanting to speak to someone. I was struggling with stuff that I saw and didn't know how to process it. So, I think it's fair to talk to someone who is licensed or trained in that aspect."
Flintside: What do you want people to take away after reading your book?
Q. Wheeler: "
The title has a lot to do with stepping into my own, stepping into myself, so when people read the book, I just want them to see the unguarded version of me — not this person who always tries to make chess moves without making any mistakes. I want people to read it and see that it exists and to see that in themselves. Read my story as a person who hasn't quite figured it out still, but is working and moving in the right direction. I just want people to feel that peace, you know? We're all just trying."
Flintside: Do you have plans for another book down the road?
"I do have plans for the second one. I actually made a post about it today (laughs). I'm already thinking about what I can avoid and what I can go straight to now so I feel way more confident. I'm getting good feedback from my editor and publisher and some of my close friends who were kind enough to read through it. It gave me confidence in my writing because I'm not a poet or anything, I consider myself to be more of a realist. For me, it was a big confidence booster just getting an email from my editor saying how she felt empowered by my work. I would definitely do it again."
'Becoming Me' can be purchased through Quion Wheeler's website as well as Amazon.