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Official Website of Music Maven & Author


Raw, Relatable, Unfiltered & Soul Healing
Available on Amazon Now!

Celebrated music maven Erin Riley looked like she had it all: a 1960s Mad Men–style upbringing on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, then an escape to “find herself” in glamorous 1970s Hollywood, where she landed some of the most influential positions of the 1980s music industry. She hung out with rock stars like Keith Richards, Steven Tyler, James Taylor, and Jon Bon Jovi and chose the hit records for America’s #1 rock & roll radio station, WMMR-FM. But her colorful, raucous, rock & roll life hid dark secrets. 


An emotionally neglected child with a generational legacy of stoicism and hiding painful truths, Erin had no real experience with love and healthy relationships. The marriage she thought would be her happily-ever-after led to 20 years of confusion, heartbreak, anger, and betrayal, all fueled by a malignant covert narcissist. 


Erin’s honest, searing memoir recounts her self-discovery journey through a series of life’s traumas and tragedies, her many bad decisions, and two toxic marriages. Her story will bring insight and guidance to survivors of narcissistic abuse and those questioning their relationships, and the hope that they, like Erin, can find a joyous rock & roll redemption. 

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Light and Shadow
about me

Erin Riley was born in New York City and attended Trenton State College in New Jersey where she studied as little as possible.


At the tender age of 19, she escaped to Los Angeles and quite by accident fell into what would become an exciting and influential 40-year career in the music and entertainment industries, choosing hit songs for Major Market Radio stations and developing new artists, helping expose their music to the world.


She led the Philadelphia GRAMMY Chapter and dabbled in repertory theater before opening her greatest professional achievement, a children’s music school called Rock & Roll After School, which taught kids to write and perform their very own original songs. In 2014, Erin delivered a TEDx talk on her work with children.


Ms. Riley currently resides outside of Philadelphia with her French Bulldog puppy, Murphy, where she practices yoga, enjoys hiking in Valley Forge Park and is totally rocking retired life.

a dark force timeline | 1959-2020

Click the Polaroid for photos of Erin's Mad Men years growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1960's, the New York Times article, close family friend and heralded actress Nancy Marchand with her family, Mom and Dad's professional shots, Dad at the bar, the cute blond brother, and the author looking "ugly."



These are just a few of the hundreds of celebrities the author has worked with during her 40-year career in the Music Industry.


The dream that never came true,  Bocas del Toro, Panama.


The move to New Jersey into the 250-year old, "off-grid" farmhouse  Erin's family renovated in the 1970's, high school cheerleading squad, marching band, Junior & Senior proms & Erin's chubby Senior class portrait.


The Valley Forge house we renovated together, scuba diving in Curaçao, Calle, Rock & Roll After School, TEDx talk as well as a few additional memories.


Difficult topics can often read like lectures but in Erin's hands this heavy topic's presentation is as entertaining as it is insightful and helpful. Told against the backdrop of a life growing up in Manhattan then moving to Hollywood her stories of the colorful characters that came into her world gives the reader a feeling of envy. All juxtaposed to the pain, betrayal and humiliation which conveys the real tragedy of a life lived with a covert narcissist. Her strength of character and typically upbeat tone show that even through it all, everything's gonna be alright, she's a survivor.

Once you start to read her story,

this book's hard to put down.

Next Event
  • VFMA Book Club
    May 18, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Phoenixville, 1025 Horse Shoe Trail, Phoenixville, PA 19460, USA
    Discussion with neighbor Erin Riley, author of A Dark Force
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