Vanessa Riley

About Vanessa Riley

I love History, Romance, the Regency, Food, Family, Faith and Friends.

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Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of Island Queen, A Good Morning America Buzz Pick and the forthcoming Queen of Exiles. Riley's historical novels showcase the hidden histories of Black women and women of color, emphasizing strong sisterhoods and dazzling multicultural communities. Her works encompass historical fiction, historical romance, and historical mystery and have been reviewed by the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publisher Weekly, and the New York Times. Riley was named the 2023 Georgia Author of the Year Awards Literary Fiction Winner for Sister Mother Warrior.
This Southern, Irish, Trini girl holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and an MS in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University. Riley also earned a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Penn State University. Her research skills have helped NASA, GM, Hewlett Packard, and several startups. Yet, her love of history (Caribbean, Georgian, and Regency) and lattes overwhelmed her passion for math and has led to the publication of over twenty titles. 

Vanessa is a member and former president of Regency Fiction Writers, a member of Georgia Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, Crime Writers of Color, and on the Board of Directors of Christian Book Lovers Retreat. She's an avid baker who loves creating her Trinidadian grandma's cake recipes. You can find Vanessa writing on her southern porch with proper amounts of caffeine.

Sarah Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency represents Vanessa. 

Standing: Tessa Dare, Sabrina Jeffries, Vanessa Riley, Scarlett Peckham, Sarah Maclean

Seated: Julia London, Ursula Renee


Vanessa practicing for Good Morning America with Island Queen.

Workshops & Events

Dr. Vanessa Riley loves to interact with readers, romance and history buffs, fellow writers, and people on a journey to find their second act. Keynotes, lectures, workshops, and corporate chats--Vanessa is a gifted speaker and has presented to large audiences in auditoriums as well as intimate zoom chats.

Invite her to speak on the following topics:

  • Changing Perspectives of a Woman's Place and Power in History
  • Claiming Your Story - How to Journal to Write the Book of Your Heart
  • The Writer's Journey: Seven Things I Wish I Knew at the Beginning
  • The Hybrid Author's Path: Traditional Publishing and Independent Publishing, The Five things to know to Design Your Path
  • Using History and Fiction to Change Corporate Culture
  • Using Historical Fiction to Grow Organizational Empathy
  • Pushing Past the Patriarchy to Empower Women: Four Key Steps that Everyone of Influence Must Know to Inact Change
  • Cinderella has a Voice and Gets Her Fellow Even in the 1800s: Tools to Re-examine What We Think We Know About History
  • Faith, Forgiveness, and Forging Your Own Path: Five Steps to Take to Build Your Better Future
  • The Rich Caribbean Regency: Understanding the History of the West Indies in the Context of Freedom and Geopolitical Politics
  • The Five Tools Every Armchair Historian Needs when Writing and Researching


Contact her to Invite Vanessa to present a Workshop

View her Current Tour/ Event Schedule

Vanessa often Zooms from her desk.

More Fun Facts on Vanessa

Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women's and STEM events. She's known for her love of romantic gestures, hidden histories, and humorous delivery of poignant truths. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Vanessa loves to write at night and research during the day. Weekends are for reading.

Learn More About Her Novels Past Events & Workshop