He followed Joseph Conrad, HG Wells, and Robert Louis Stevenson into the wildest of places. The sense of adventure and fulfillment he gained from those literary journeys never left him throughout his upbringing, and as an adult, he decided he wanted to give that same feeling to others.
Thus, the author was born.
But he didn’t start with pen and paper. Recalling the words Hemingway famously said, “In order to write about life, first you must live it,” he spent his childhood seeking adventure. One such regular example was on fishing trips with his father, where he found tranquility and purpose buoyed by the deep waters below.
As an adult, he continued traveling far and wide; fishing, hiking, and indulging in the pleasures of the place. All the while preparing for the time to finally put pen to paper.
In the meantime, he had also built a career in medicine that ranged from the emergency rooms of the San Francisco Bay Area to the anesthesia partnerships of Kentucky’s Jackson Purchase region. His professional life kept him busy enough to keep his creative endeavors at bay.
But the urge to write finally became too powerful.
Riley cut his teeth on fishing articles. Although it is reductive to leave it at that. Through his writing, he sought to communicate the inner experience of being on the edges of civilization in far-flung places the same way the authors of his childhood did for him. So he wrote…and wrote prolifically, published in most major sport fishing publications.
In college, the books filled with adventure and excitement were replaced with books about science and medicine. He escaped (in the little spare time he had) into film. He became engrossed with the classics. Cary Grant, Maureen O’Hara, Bogey, and the outstanding actors of classical Hollywood called him to adventure the way those brilliant authors had in his childhood. In those repeated viewings, they called on him not only to partake passively as an audience member but also to create as a screenwriter. It was then the duality of his authorial persona was complete. Half adventure writer, half screenwriter.
Riley’s aim is to put you under the spell of that sense of place he has experienced. Without ever stepping foot out of your door, he wants you to feel the mist on your face and hear the clear waters bubble across the tops of your boots, imagining how they glimmer under the morning sun.