Gabriella West


Gabriella West was born in Santa Barbara in 1967. In 1969, her parents moved to Ireland, and she grew up in Ireland, studying English and Italian at Trinity College, Dublin. She graduated and left Ireland in 1988.

She earned an MA degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University in 1995.

Wolfhound Press published her novel "Time of Grace" in 2002. It's the story of a young English governess who travels to Ireland in 1915 for work and falls in love with an Irish maid who is secretly caught up in plotting for the upcoming Easter Rising in 1916. "Time of Grace" is now available in e-book form.

"The Leaving" was first published as an ebook at Smashwords in 2011.

Gabriella West lives in San Francisco, CA.

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was stuck in my writing career. I had a book traditionally published in 2002, but the press declined the next novel I offered them. I had a novel sitting in a folder on my computer that I thought would NEVER get published, but I thought it deserved to because it had gotten so much positive attention years earlier, when I was going through the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State. So I read about Mark Coker and Smashwords in 2011 on SFGate, the online news site for the SF Chronicle. I thought.... hmm.

Something about the way Mark Coker talked about the process made sense to me. So I took the leap and published my novel "The Leaving" in May of 2011. I published it on Kindle a few months later. And then things took off for me when I started publishing shorts on both platforms.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Starting with Smashwords was a good choice for me. I got a bit sucked in by Amazon's platform when I started making quite a bit of money there (it didn't last, though!). I find that I have to carefully navigate through Amazon's constant changes, some of which don't seem to have indie authors' interests at heart. Smashwords is more like a fair parent, who says "this is what I will do for you" and then delivers.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Gabriella West online

Where to buy in print


It's Not You, It's Me
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 14,110. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Gay and Lesbian » Dating and relationships
A close friendship between two struggling women writers evolves into a passionate love affair. What could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything... San Francisco in the mid-to-late 1990s and two women are trying to build a successful lesbian relationship. But issues of self-image, love, sexuality, and intimacy somehow seem to push them apart just as much as bring them closer.
Connecting the Dots: My Midlife Journey with Adult AD/HD
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 8,480. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health, Nonfiction » Psychology » ADHD
Most of us have heard of ADHD, so why is it so common for women not to be diagnosed until they are in midlife? Novelist Gabriella West is refreshingly candid about her journey towards a diagnosis of ADHD, which started a few years ago when she encouraged her partner to get a diagnosis. She uncovers a family history of the disorder, looking back at her own mother's life in Ireland in the 1970s.
That Lonely, Sinking Feeling: A Memoir of Love, Friendship, and Letting Go
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,270. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Dysfunctional relationships
San Francisco, mid-1990s. In this poignant short personal memoir, Gabriella West goes back to her twenties to explore a confusing friendship with a married couple that started promisingly, but became a painful and obsessive love. Readers who have found themselves lost in destructive and addictive relationships will find it compelling reading.
10 Frightening New Facts About Sugar
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,790. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Health & Healing / Diabetic & Sugar-Free, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Health & Healing / Weight Control
Want to know more about the toxic, destructive effects of sugar on your body? This special report presents the latest, cutting-edge info in 10 bulleted points. We now know that sugar is linked to obesity and diabetes, but there's more: Did you know that sugar has a pro-inflammatory effect on the body's cellular level, which causes aging--and perhaps Alzheimers, down the line?
Toward the Double Rainbow: An Hawaii Travel Tale
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,990. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Gay and Lesbian » Essays
In this compelling short travel memoir, the author and her partner, Selena, travel to Kauai, Hawaii's garden island, in their first trip as a couple, staying at a new age-y women's guesthouse. The couple struggle with anger, misunderstandings, and a ghostly presence in the guesthouse that terrifies Selena. Will their trip to Hawaii end up tearing them apart?
Is ADHD Caused by Diet? The Food Dye Problem
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 1,510. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » ADHD, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Children’s health
Could our food actually be the main cause of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Did you know that the amount of allowable food dyes in our diet has increased FIVE times between 1955 and 2007? Food dyes have now been officially linked to hyperactivity in children with learning disabilities, but so far the FDA has not acted to warn consumers about their toxic effects.
The Truth About Jack and Ray
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,950. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
English professor Jack, an embittered older man in 1990s San Francisco, has a vivid flashback to his turbulent, secret love affair in North Beach in the early 1950s with tormented young artist Ray, who cares only about ambition and his art. An intense, gripping story about a doomed relationship that changes the course of a man's entire life.
The Leaving: A Novel
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 85,520. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Cathy is a conflicted teenager living in 1980s Dublin. She soon discovers that her charming older brother Stevie, who's gay, is falling in love with her classmate Ron, the one boy she likes. Cathy struggles with school, her dysfunctional family, coming to terms with her growing love for her best friend Jeanette, and leaving Ireland. The novel is a realistic look at adolescence and first love.

Gabriella West's tag cloud

Gabriella West's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Gabriella West

  • You Had to Be There: Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene on June 18, 2011

    I liked this book. It was a quick read and the author came across as complex--a bright girl making foolish decisions as she navigates the Portland music scene in the 1980s while holding down a steady job. I think I would have liked to see a little bit more depth in the descriptions of her relationships. For example, there was one abusive relationship that is sort of played for laughs... although it involves an unplanned pregnancy and a broken engagement. Cathcart for sure doesn't make the alternative music scene sound exciting and sexy. But anyone who was involved with this scene, or similar ones, will surely feel nostalgic.
  • An Expanded Love on July 02, 2011

    This book gets four stars because of its originality and daring and because it's a wonderful picture of alternative life in London: pubs, dances, cold flats, buses and all. I loved the way the narrator, Nadia, is so uncomfortable in her own skin at the beginning of the book and could really relate to it. When Nadia is taking her first tentative steps into poly life with her first girlfriend, Christine, An Expanded Love shone. In the end it's a bit of a rambling story with perhaps too many characters, but still a rewarding read.
  • Scarcity on July 16, 2011

    I thought this story was wonderful, showing two damaged women slowly opening up to each other. Kate Genet has a way of writing strong, vivid prose that gets under your skin. The light, the weather, and nature all figure strongly in her work. But then her earthy characters are also forces of nature! This isn't pretty writing, it's stark, sensual and gorgeous. I plan to read more of her work.
  • Storm of Passion on Aug. 17, 2011

    What makes this story special is that it's a love story between two young men, lifelong friends, set in the South. It's a love story, but Dustin Rhodes sometimes veers into erotic territory--there's an explicit sex scene in the middle of the story. I loved the buildup of sexual tension between the two men, especially as Parker realizes he's falling for Jaime. STORM OF PASSION veered between romance and erotica and then at the end, almost into soap opera territory. I actually would have liked a love scene that included full-on anal sex between them, just because I would have liked to experience that from Parker's viewpoint (!), but what I kept thinking as I read the book was how much a gay adolescent would LOVE this. (And maybe that's why the author kept it a little less explicit.) The two men are believably horny and lusty, though. I read through this piece at great speed, and hope to see more from Mr. Rhodes.
  • The Blue Ticket on Nov. 06, 2011

    This book was a surprise. I expected an erotic novel, but what I got seemed like so much more than that. Of course the book is filled with explicit male-male sexual encounters, but we are locked inside the head of the likeable young narrator, Harley, who is reluctantly coming home for the summer to help out at his Aunt Bird's farm. The small-town Southern setting is authentic and the boredom of the youthful characters is deeply felt. Harley and his childhood pal Tavor enter into an obsessive sexual affair with increasingly disturbing overtones, as Tavor is closeted and violent when challenged. Then, towards the end, a twist throws the earlier action into doubt. But this steamy novel is one of the best ebooks I've yet read. Totally entertaining, but not mindlessly so, it will draw you into its seductive world.
  • The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton on Oct. 26, 2014

    "The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton" is a long novel that deserves a wide readership. A cosmopolitan writer and former academic, an Italian by birth, Rene Natan was new to me, but I soon became wrapped up in Stephen Carlton's story. In Natan's narrative, he is a sympathetic protagonist who tries to do the right thing, a young Canadian working in law enforcement in the 1960s who is really a humanist with a streak of innocence in him. Unfortunately, he has grown up without a father's guidance, and his love life is tumultuous. I loved the character of April and I enjoyed Stephen's growing attraction to this sexually experienced young girl who uses the "F" word (shocking the young Canadian!) but who is really a deeply sweet person. Unfortunately, her dysfunctional past takes its toll, and grief-stricken Stephen is on to his next woman, someone who will give him a real family. But in the last third of the book, the middle-aged Stephen's life becomes a whirlwind of adventure, something that one suspects he always wanted it to be. He is drawn to another bad girl, an outlaw, basically, and must fight to prove her innocence while he is under the thumb of an unsympathetic boss. With aspects of both edgy romance and intense thriller, this novel reads smoothly and takes the reader on an enjoyable "tour" of Stephen Carlton's inner and outer world.