Ross was born in April 1947 and grew up in California. She has always told stories, even as a very young child. Ross attended Portland State University, graduating in 1973. After two degrees (biology and psychology), a marriage, and trying to split her time between her career as a chiropractor and her first child, she decided to settle down to write professionally.
Around this time, she became friends with Marion Zimmer Bradley. When Marion was asked to edit the first Sword and Sorceress, Ross submitted a short story for the anthology, "Imperatrix" (1984). "Imperatrix" became her first published short story, under her married name of Deborah Wheeler. Deborah Wheeler continued to write for years, producing a number of short stories and two novels, Jaydium and Northlight, through DAW books.
Before Marion's death in 1999, Ross was invited to work on a project with her set in Darkover. As she explains on her website:
As Marion's health declined, I was invited to work with her on one or more Darkover novels. We decided that rather than extend the story of "modern" Darkover, we would return to the Ages of Chaos. Marion envisioned a trilogy beginning with the Hastur Rebellion and the fall of Neskaya, the enduring friendship between Varzil the Good and Carolin Hastur, and extending to the fire-bombing of Hali and the signing of the Compact. While I scribbled notes as fast as I could, she would sit back, eyes alight, and begin a story with, "Now, the Hasturs tried to control the worst excesses of laran weapons, but there were always others under development . . ." or "Of course, Varzil and Carolin had been brought up on tales of star-crossed lovers who perished in the destruction of Neskaya . . ."Marion passed away in September 1999, and I was privileged to participate in her funeral. In completing this project, I hope to honor her memory and the enduring vision she has left to us all.
After a divorce, she changed her legal name back to Ross. She now lives in the wilderness of the Santa Cruz redwoods with her husband (and fellow writer), Dave Trowbridge. She is mother of two children, has two cats and one german shepherd.
Currently in progress. Teaser, from Ross's website:
When an ambitious Emperor conquers a tiny mountain kingdom, he shatters the magical boundary between the human and elemental worlds, and an ancient evil, an unholy fusion of Fire and Ice, is reborn. The Seven-Petaled Shield is a three-volume epic fantasy, roughly corresponding to the time of the Romans and Scythians, with the magical Seal of Solomon, a supernatural embodiment of evil, and Genghis Khan's Mongolian Horde providing a world filled with action, suspense, and romance.