Riley is a novel about a young man, Riley Wilson, who grows up in Broad Channel, Queens, in the late seventies.
Riley is an only child raised in a devout Irish Catholic home by loving, hard-working parents. They encourage Riley to finish college, pursue his desired career in advertising, and settle down.
A talent scout for models sees Riley one day and sets him up to have professional photos taken. A buying office in Manhattan is looking for a fresh young male model to feature in their next fashion catalog. Riley follows the agent’s suggestion, drops out of Queens College in his junior year, and pursues a modeling career, much to his parents’ disappointment.
Riley’s immediate success and quick rise to super model status bottoms out, as Riley gets hooked on alcohol and drugs. He loses his modeling job and, in desperation, contacts a California agent searching for new talent for the porn industry. Riley jets to LA, impresses the porn producers, and signs a one-year contract. After a photo shoot, Riley catches the eye of an editor of the largest gay magazine. He offers Riley lead roles in gay porn flicks, paving the way for him to become the highest paid, most popular actor in the underground entertainment industry of his time.
Riley’s addiction to alcohol and drugs again derails his career, alienating him from his parents and lifelong friends. After being diagnosed with a heart condition, Riley enters a detox program, Rise Up, in LA. His counselor introduces Riley to the Bible, and that becomes a life-changing experience. Riley becomes a born again Christian, gives up his modeling and acting career, and returns to Broad Channel, desperately trying to put the pieces of his shattered life back together.
Riley is the story of a courageous young man, whose impulsive decisions and substance abuse addiction cause him to lose everything, only to lead him back home to peace, love, and serenity.
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