Hi, I’m Riley Costello!
I’m a women’s fiction author excited to help revive the romantic comedy and bring it to the written page.
I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was eight years old and wrote my first book, How the Rainbow Lost Its Colors, in second grade. It took third place in the Crayola Storybook Maker’s Contest, beating out thousands of other entries. I can still remember running around my house, shrieking with excitement when I got the letter saying I had placed.
In junior high and high school I wrote a coming of age novel. Although it was never published (thankfully as it was terrible!) it taught me that I could write 400 + pages and that as challenging as the process was, I loved it.
It was after my freshman year of college that I got the idea for my first women’s book, Waiting at Hayden’s, and I took a year off school to write the first couple of drafts. Being a diehard Nicholas Sparks fan, I moved across the country from Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina (the setting for many of his novels) during this time. I’ve never had a stronger gut feeling that I needed to do something than when I made that decision. And I am a firm believer in always following your gut, even when (strike that, especially when) it tells you to pursue something others might think is crazy.
A few years later, I had another strong gut impulse—to buy a one-way ticket to Europe with a guy friend from my hometown (who also happened to be my first kiss back in the seventh grade!). We had the time of our lives traveling together for several months and ended up falling for each other, but the relationship ended shortly after we returned home. That experience got me curious about the ways travel can affect a relationship as well as what it takes for a relationship today to go the distance and in the year that followed, I wrote my second book, Map of Us, drawing upon inspiration from our journey.
Romantic relationships have always interested me. Any time I meet with friends or strike up conversations with strangers, I usually ask a couple of questions about their love lives. Most of my material has come from talking with others, quietly observing the dating world around me, and my personal relationship experiences.
I have been strongly influenced by women’s fiction authors Emily Giffin, Jane Green, and Liane Moriarty, as well as screenwriters Nancy Meyers, her daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer (obsessed with her first movie, Home Again. Go see it!) and Norah Ephron.
In order to pursue what I consider my real work, I’ve held down a variety of jobs over the years. I’ve written copy and done social media for start-ups all over Orange County. I have been a newspaper columnist at The Oregonian. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a gym in OC I haven’t taught a group fitness class at. (If you find your way to Newport Beach, come take a class from me at Equinox, where I’m currently teaching now!)
The romantic comedy is dying. And I’m excited to help revive it with my novels that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you feel good as you take journeys with characters I hope you won’t forget. Thanks for following along! I can’t wait to share these stories with you.