CCCHS student, teacher co-author book

Cheatham County Central High School junior Ryley Knox and English and Creative Writing teacher Siobhan Delaney have teamed up to co-author a book, “Code of Silence.” 

Knox has taken creative writing for three years with Delaney. Over those three years, they have developed a mentorship of sorts. Delaney has a knack for working with her students to develop and nurture their creative writing skills on top of their general English education so they can find a love of writing no matter what they choose to do. It is because of this that Knox, who plans to become a lawyer, still takes this class and enjoys letting her creativity shine.

It was this mentorship that led to this book project being born. It all started in October before the creative writing classes started their work on National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” is a global writing project where authors spend November attempting to write a 50,000-word novel in November. They have a young writers program in which the Creative Writing students take part.

They are tasked with writing a 10,000-word story over the full course of the month, demonstrating that with consistency they can achieve anything. This lines up with the writing standard where students write both short- and long-term pieces. The students are welcome to go above the goal of 10,000 words but are not required to.

Then in February, they edit the pieces until they are happy with them. This overlaps with the editing work standard as well. Delaney then compiles the stories into a book that they get privately published (not for sale) that the kids get a free copy of to show off their hard work and dedication at the end of the year. A student is also tasked with designing a cover, making the entire project student created.

The beginning of the book’s creation began because Delaney will scroll through Pinterest looking for new writing prompts and writing tips for her students (she keeps a Pinterest board for her them to reference if they need help or ideas) and as she was scrolling she found a pretty picture that she liked which she voiced out loud.

Knox heard this while sitting in the seat beside her desk and said Delaney should write a story about it. Delaney already had a couple of books she was working on solo and didn’t want another one on her own so Knox volunteered to write it with her. It was going to be a side project for them, but when Knox’s NaNoWriMo idea felt too unprepared to start writing just yet they agreed to both start the book together and write it during NaNoWriMo.

Delaney makes it a point to do NaNoWriMo with her students every year so that they know she would not ask her students to do something she was not willing to do with them. As they kept working on the story, they found it was going well and it expanded into a trilogy idea and that they plan to continue. It was only after they started that they decided it might be fun to self-publish it and see how it did.

The book is titled “Code of Silence” and is a story that takes place in an alternate universe in which a couple decades from now an asteroid shower hits Earth and introduces a new biology to the world giving people elemental powers. It is now generations later and these powers have become commonplace. Where the asteroids hit, the gravity was affected, and you will find floating islands that have developed into cities.

“Code of Silence” picks up in one of these cities with a girl, Wrenly, who is on a scholarship studying to get her doctorate and is tasked with tutoring other students to help cover the cost of her schooling. It is one of these students who introduces her to the underground world of the city she lives in and in one day is introduced to both mafia groups that control the new world. The Saints, whose main family is made up of three brothers, and the Sinners, with boy/girl twins as the face of their family, are struggling with thefts around the city that at first they assume are each other but come to realize is some third party. Can Wrenly and the Saints find the third party, and can The Saints' leader, Alessandro, keep from falling in love with Wrenly in the process?

It was decided that the next two books would each individually focus on the other two brothers from the Saint's mafia and their love interests while culminating in an overall plot that builds throughout.

The website for the book is and the social media pages for Instagram and TikTok are all under the title d.k.literaryworks.