Deborah J. Ross writes and edits fantasy and science fiction. She’s a former SFWA Secretary and member of Book View Café. Her short fiction has appeared in F&SF, Asimov’s, Star Wars: Tales From Jabba’s Palace, Realms of Fantasy, Sword & Sorceress, and various other anthologies and magazines. Her most recent books include the Darkover novel, The Children of Kings (with Marion Zimmer Bradley); Lambda Literary Award Finalist Collaborators, an occupation-and-resistance story with a gender-fluid alien race (as Deborah Wheeler); and The Seven-Petaled Shield, an epic fantasy trilogy. She has just signed contracts for three more Darkover novels and another Darkover anthology.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was legendary not only for her own literary creations, including the Darkover series and The Mists of Avalon, but for inspiring and nurturing new writers. One of the joys of editing Stars of Darkover was discovering authors who sold their first stories to Marion’s anthologies and went on to notable careers. Even when Marion didn’t buy a story, she would often send a letter explaining why, suggest resources for the young writer, and offer encouragement. Here’s what some of the authors in this stellar new Darkover anthology have to say about how Marion influenced their careers…
Deborah J. Ross, as Deborah Wheeler, published two science fiction novels, Jaydium and Northlight, as well as short stories in Asimov’s, F&SF, Sisters of the Night, Star Wars: Tales From Jabba’s Palace, Realms of Fantasy, and almost all of the Sword & Sorceress and Darkover anthologies. Using her birth name, Ross, she has worked on a series of Darkover, under dual byline with the late Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Fall of Neskaya (2001), Zandru’s Forge (2003), A Flame in Hali (2004), The Alton Gift (2007), and Hastur Lord (2010, from a partial manuscript Marion produced during the last year of her life). Forthcoming from DAW are the Darkover novel, The Children of Kings, and an original fantasy series, The Seven-Petaled Shield, based on her “Azkhantian tales” from Sword & Sorceress. She’s a member of SWFA and Book View Café.
An Apprenticeship With Marion
by Deborah J. Ross
I am frequently asked how I came to work with Marion Zimmer Bradley and to continue the Darkover series after her death. Senior author-junior author dual-bylines are not unusual these days, but each partnership has its own story. In this case, the answer lies in our long-established professional relationship. That in itself would be insufficient to produce a smooth collaboration, but through working together, she knew that my natural literary voice would match hers, and she trusted my understanding and love for her special world.