Budding author wants to help victims of fire | NevadaAppeal.com

Budding author wants to help victims of fire

Karl Horeis
Budding author Ryan J. Cunningham holds his book 'A Gray Gray World' at an area burned by the Waterfall fire. Cunningham will donate a book to every family that lost a home to the fire and half the proceeds from book sales to victims of the fire. Rick Gunn Nevada Appeal

How does a children’s book author help victims of a fire storm?

Ryan J. Cunningham of Gardnerville wants to donate copies of his book to families who lost their homes in the Waterfall fire.

The book’s title describes west Carson City: “A Gray, Gray World.”

It tells the story of Gary Gray, a boy who lives in the town of Grayfield. He wears a Gray Sox jersey and his father drives a gray sedan. His world is drab until he weathers a storm to see – like Carson City residents did after

the Waterfall fire last week – a colorful rainbow.

“So he sees the colors he’s been missing in life,” Cunningham said Friday. “It’s inspirational. It gives children and anybody else who reads it hope.”

Cunningham wrote the book over two months in 1999. He spent a year going back and forth with a publisher, Vantage Press out of New York. In 2001, 500 copies were printed.

He’s sold about 250 copies of the little book, which is geared toward readers ages 7-12.

He’ll give a copy to any family who lost a home in the fire. Half the proceeds from other books – which sell for $6 – will be donated to victims.

“It’s just my way of giving back – helping out where I can,” he said.

Cunningham moved to the area from Florida with his family about three years ago. He’s working on another book, this time an action/adventure story. He’s taking writing and film classes at Western Nevada Community College. The budding poet would like to be a full-time writer someday, but for now he’s a receiving associate at Wal-Mart.

“I stock shelves,” he said. “It pays the bills.”

Cunningham said he hopes to brighten lives darkened by the Waterfall fire, which destroyed 15 homes and burned 8,723 acres between July 14 and July 20.

“I’m hoping it will give them a little faith, help them to not give up, try to rebuild and start over,” he said.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.