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By Matt Oakes Matt Oakes is a managing editor at Olympia Media Group and a columnist for WCHL. You can find him on Twitter at @moakes3.

Renaissance Man: Local Author Finding Success In New Realm

By Matt Oakes Posted September 6, 2013 at 5:44 am

executive-deception-pat-riley-paperback-cover-art“This novel is humorous and fast-paced. The author seems to know the subject well; I wonder if he might be ex-law enforcement. Buy it, drive to the beach, and sit under an umbrella with Executive Deception in one hand and a Corona in the other.”

No, Mr. Pat Riley does not come from a police background. He’s known some cops though. Riley freely admits he has to work at this writing stuff. He’s no natural. But that hasn’t stopped this vivacious Chapel Hill resident from landing on the Amazon Best-Seller list.

And what’s more, how does a guy with little to no experience as a writer script a fictional novel that oozes with incredible, realistic plot lines that engage the reader in a web of intrigue? Well, it all started with a letter to his daughter.

Riley wanted to tell his daughter a little more about himself and his life, and the words just kept flowing. And flowing. And before he knew it, Riley had a full-fledged autobiography on his hands.

Riley’s life is ripe with attractive experiences and opportunities that most people only dream about. But instead of just dreaming about them, he made his dreams come true.

Riley looks back fondly on his days immersed in the music industry. Eventually, he started his own production company, owned his own songs through his publishing company, and even founded his own label, Bayshore Records.

With the offices located in the Coconut Grove district of Miami, Riley says he enjoyed every moment of those days in the tropical south Florida sun. He soaked it up. He met a ton of people. And he registered the sights and sounds that would later feature in some of his books.

Politics and government tend to surface in his works. But is Riley a political guy? Yes. The man says he can’t deny it. He is a very political person. And naturally, his works reflect that fact.

One of the other recurring themes in Riley’s books is payback. He says that everyone loves a hero. Riley knows that all of us wonder what we would do if thrown into extreme circumstances. And we are afforded that opportunity in his stories. We want to pull for the protagonist.

Brian O’Brien, the main character in Riley’s best seller, Executive Deception, is one of those fellas that have readers firmly in his corner, pulling for him every step of the way. And it should be no surprise that O’Brien is a Miami police sergeant. Riley just couldn’t help himself.

Riley admits that part of his writing enjoyment comes from his own personal fantasies. He gets lost in the plot weaving. He can explore areas of life in which he will likely never have the chance to encounter in his own. But it’s not all fun and games.

The writer does a whole lot of research to paint a realistic picture that jumps off the page. He is a meticulous study. In fact, Riley says he regularly consulted with Duke and UNC professors to get accurate medical names and pertinent information for his works.

He’s happily married to Laura, a visual artist, and is proud of his two daughters, both musically inclined Tar Heel alums.

Today, Riley owns his own company that treats mold and mildew on local university campus buildings. How did he get into that business in the first place? One of his friends told him it was a good possible industry to tap into a few years. And Riley never looked back.

But what about the future? Folks, Mr. Riley is not stopping there. He has a new book coming out this fall. And he thinks this one is sure to hit home with many of his readers.

The Cookout focuses on those left behind after a soldier’s death. How can one death make an impact on so many people’s lives? Riley tackles this question with an emotional and social clarity rarely seen.

Check his site out for more info on this local writer.

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