James Anderson O’Neal, Author of the Riley historical fiction series and a gripping novel of Liberia

Hello, I’m glad you could join me.

The first two novels in my historical fiction series involving heroes Riley and Cornelius were published by Three Ocean Press of Vancouver, BC. The first is Riley and the Great War, and it was followed by Riley and the Roaring Twenties. Six further volumes are planned. 

Three Ocean also published my novel of Liberia, that fascinating country where I worked with the Advocates for Human Rights to investigate war crimes.

“Captivating and engaging, James Anderson O’Neal’s Riley and the Great War is a blend of historical fiction and nonstop adventure. … The dynamic between Riley and Cornelius definitely steals the show.”
— Foreword Reviews, May/June 2018

Riley and the Great War is a rollicking good historical novel that will keep the reader turning pages from start to finish. James Anderson O’Neal is a consummate novelist who knows both the craft and the art of good writing. Highly recommended.”
—William C. Hammond, author of A Call to Arms and For Love of Country, winner of the Military Writers Society of America 2011 Gold Medal for Historical Fiction Protagonist

“O’Neal’s evocative prose immerses you in the past, as if you’d stepped inside a painting.”
— Brian Freeman, bestselling author of The Night Bird

“O’Neal (with Riley and the Roaring Twenties) drew me in. His 1920s story of gangsters, gambling and murder left me hungry for the next Riley story.”                                                                                                                                                                  —Dean Hovey, award-winning author of the Pine County mysteries

Praise for O’Neal’s latest novel, The Devils Came in from the Country:

“O’Neal’s enthralling ‘The Devils Came in from the Country’ kept me riveted during the entire course of a six hour flight. It is historical fiction at its best-recent history, that is, and African history that Westerners don’t normally encounter.”

—–Mark Fitzpatrick, veteran of U.S. State Department diplomatic postings in Vienna, Seoul, Tokyo and Wellington and former head of the Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, on Amazon Reviews

The Riley Series: Riley and the Roaring Twenties is Out Now

Riley and the Great War is the first in a series of novels that follows best friends Riley and Cornelius, two Missouri boys born in 1898, through wild adventures involving the most fascinating characters and the most transformative events of the twentieth century.

From chasing Pancho Villa with George Patton, to cracking wise with Dorothy Parker, trading bullets with Lucky Luciano, spying for Winston Churchill, marching with Martin Luther King and foiling the plans of villains from Chairman Mao to Roy Cohn, Riley and Cornelius will never cease to amaze you.

Don’t miss Riley and the Roaring Twenties, the compelling latest in the thrilling Riley series, out now from Three Ocean Press.

About Me

I’ve had many run-ins with the law.

I’m a lawyer, you see. I retired from my career as a trial lawyer at the end of 2015 and devoted myself to writing, as I’ve always wanted to do. I write historical novels because I’m a fan of them, particularly the Flashman books by George Macdonald Fraser.

Of course, in Riley and the Great War you will learn that I did not actually write any novels. Instead, I was given notebooks written by my grandfather Cornelius that told of his adventures with my other grandfather, Riley. Is any of that true? Well, it’s a post-truth age, so don’t worry about it.

My wife Sally and I live in the Twin Cities. We enjoy our children, children-in-law and granddaughter Mae, and we spend summers at Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota. Currently, I chair the board of the Advocates for Human Rights, an international non-profit based in Minneapolis.



You can reach James at his publisher’s office:

Three Ocean Press
8168 Riel Place
Vancouver, BC, V5S 4B3, Canada.