Gillian Royes was born in Kingston, Jamaica and spent her childhood in a house overlooking the harbor. That experience–the presence of water, passing fishermen, sunrises over the surrounding hills–colored her life and her later work. She attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and later went on to the University of Wisconsin and Emory University, where she gained a doctorate in American Studies.
Since then, she has worked in the Caribbean as an author, newspaper columnist, editor, and entrepreneur, and in the United States as a communications consultant and university lecturer. Her first book was Business Is Good, about a historical Trinidadian corporation. Her second book, Sexcess: The New Gender Rules at Work, appeared in 2004. The Goat Woman of Largo Bay is her first work of fiction.