When cousins Kanye Conway and Ryon Conway were just 8 years old nearly a decade ago, they formed a special bond that helped each other get through their growing years.
Part of that closeness came when they would sit at their grandparents’ dining table as they talked to each other while also drawing pictures and writing stories. They may have been too young to know it at the time, but their synergy had begun.
And now it has led to the publishing of a book titled The Nightman, a collection of their stories and artwork that they continued creating all through their teenage years. As a way to celebrate the book, Gentry’s Education Center will be hosting a book signing Saturday from 12-2 p.m. at the Natchez Street Community Center at 233 Natchez St. in Franklin.
The cousins have had a couple of book signings in Columbia and another in Spring Hill, where they met with an audience and sold signed copies of their book. The one scheduled for Saturday will be more of an opportunity to give back to the community, as Kanye and Ryon will be giving away 60 books and visiting with attendees.
Both are rising seniors, Kanye at Spring Hill High School and Ryon at Hume-Fogg High School, and are devoted members of Liberty Temple Church in Franklin. They will graduate next May and plan to further their education in business, film and art.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had an opportunity to go through their notebooks of small stories and drawings and asked them what they wanted to do with them,” Kaliente Conway, Kanye’s mother and Ryon’s aunt, said in a biography she released on the cousins. “Both young men shared that teens needed something to read they could relate to, something to distract them from all the negative things going on in the world.”
The Nightman is the first of a trilogy that took the two young men and their families and mentors about two years to complete. They have sold more than 300 copies.
Not only are Kanye and Ryon continuing to grow in their skills in writing and illustrations, but they are also progressing in business development and motivational speaking.
They use their book sales and signing events as a platform to give back to the community and reach out to youth to give them a voice, encouragement, networking and a place for positive idea exchange.