W.E. Daniel Ross

Summer Romance, W.E. Daniel Ross.
Summer Romance, W.E. Daniel Ross.

William Edward Daniel Ross (actor, writer, soldier, entrepreneur, and playwright) was born in Saint John 16 November 1912, where he died 1 November 1995. He is the son of the late William Edward and Laura (née Brooks) Ross.

Ross attended high school at Saint John High. After graduation, he went on to study at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York (1934), which led to further studies at the University of Chicago. He then pursued creative writing at the University of Oklahoma and Columbia University.

Ross’ primary residence was Saint John, New Brunswick, where he returned after the death of his first wife, Charlotte (née McCormack) Ross, in 1959. Prior to that (1930–1948), he lived in numerous places throughout the United States as an actor and manager of a traveling production company. Walter Pidgeon had also encouraged him to return to New Brunswick and start his own theatre company, which he did between 1948–1957. During the Second World War, Ross served with British Entertainment Services. With the advent of television and economic decline in theatre, he decided to enter the field of creative writing and became a full-time writer for the latter half of his career (1957–1995). His second wife, Marilyn Ann Clark (m. 1960), served as Ross’ assistant throughout the years of their marriage, proofreading and editing his work.

Ross is considered to be “Canada’s Most Prolific Writer” (New Brunswick Consortium of Professional Writers) and “the fastest fiction writer that ever lived” (Alden Nowlan). He is the author of an astounding 358 novels, 12 plays, and over 600 short stories. His chosen genres are gothic, mystery, western, and romance. Ross wrote under a number of pseudonyms, including Leslie Ames, Rose Dana, Ruth Dorset, Ann Gilmer, Ellen Randolph, Dan Roberts, Clarissa Ross, Dana Ross, Marilyn Ross, Jane Rossiter, Tex Steel, and Rose Williams. His complete works are housed at Boston University, and many of his novels and short stories continue to sell after his death. He was recognized for best first novel in Canada with the Gibson National Literary award. His other achievements include recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records, an honorary doctorate from the University of New Brunswick (1988), and The Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal (1978).

Under the name “Marilyn Ross,” Ross published Alice in Love (1965), Fog Island (1965) and 33 novels based on the TV series Dark Shadows from 1966 to 1972. The following is a partial list of writings that he published under his given name, Dan Ross: The Journey to Love (1967), Love Must Not Waver, Winslow’s Daughter, Our Share of Love, The Ghost of Oaklands, The Third Spectre, The Castle on the Cliff, Fogbound (1967), Dark Villa of Capri, The Twilight Web, Behind Locked Shutters, Dark of the Moon, Let Your Heart Answer (1968), Christopher’s Mansion, Luxury Liner Nurse, The Need to Love (1969), Sable in the Rain, The Web of Love, An Act of Love, Magic Valley, The Man I Love, The Whispering Gallery, Beauty Doctor’s Nurse (1970), The Yesteryear Phenomenon, King of Romance, The Room Without a Key, Music Room, Wind Over the Citadel (1971), Rothhaven, The House on Mount Vernon Street, Nurse in Love (1972), Dark Mansion (1973), Mansion on the Moors, An End of Summer (1974), Nightmare Abbey, One Louisburg Square, Witch of Goblin’s Acres (1975), Dark Is My Shadow, Summer’s End, House on Lime Street (1976), Pattern of Love (1977), Shadows Over Garden, Return to Barton, Queen’s Stairway (1978), The Dark Lane (1979), Magic of Love, Phantom of Edgewater Hall, Nurse Ann’s Secret (1980), Onstage for Love (1981), Nurse Grace’s Dilemma, The Uncertain Love (1982), Flight to Romance, The Ghostly Jewels, Moscow Maze (1983), Rehearsal for Love, A Love Discovered, Nurse Janice’s Dream (1984), Dangerous Heart (1985), Summer Playhouse (1986), and Dangerous Holiday (1987). In addition, he published the plays Murder Game (1982) and This Frightened Lady (1984) under the same name.

However, Bride of Donnybrook (1966), The Hungry Sea, The Hidden Chapel (1967), The Hill of Ashes (1968), and King’s Castle (1970) were written under the pseudonym “Leslie Ames.” The following novels were published under yet another pen name, Rose Dana: Citadel of Love (1965), Down East Nurse, Nurse in Jeopardy (1967), Labrador Nurse, Network Nurse (1968), Whitebridge Nurse (1969), and Department Store Nurse (1970). “Ruth Dorset” wrote Front Office Nurse (1966), Hotel Nurse and Nurse in Waiting (1967). Under the pseudonym “Ann Gilmer,” Ross produced The Fog and the Stars (1963), Winds of Change (1965), Private Nurse (1969), Nurse on Emergency (1970), Skyscraper Nurse (1976), and Nurse at Breakwater Hotel (1982). Ross wrote only one novel under the pseudonym “Diane Randal” (Dragon Lover [1981]) and one under the name of “Marilyn Carter” (The Reluctant Debutante [1987]). Using the pseudonym “Ellen Randolph,” he wrote the following: Personal Secretary (1963), The Castle on the Hill (1964), Nurse Martha’s Wish (1983), and The Rushden Legacy (1987). Under the pseudonym “Dan Roberts” he published a number of westerns, including The Wells Fargo Brand (1964), The Cheyenne Kid, Durez City Bonanza, Outlaw’s Gold (1965), Stage to Link City Vengeance Ride (1966), Wyoming Range War, Yuma Brand, Lawman of Blue Rock (1967), The Dawn Riders (1968), Sheriff of Mad River (1980), and Wyoming Showdown (1969). As “Clarissa Ross,” he published the following: Mistress of Ravenswood, The Secret of Mallet Castle (1966), Secret of the Pale Lover (1969), Beware of the Kindly Stranger (1970), Gemini in Darkness (1970), Glimpse into Terror (1971), The Spectral Mist, Phantom of Glencourt, Whispers in the Night (1972), China Shadow, Drafthaven, Ghost of Dark Harbor, A Hearse of Dark Harbor (1974), and Dark Harbor Hunting (1975).

Amanda Marie Lee, Winter 2008
St. Thomas University

Bibliography of Selected Primary Sources

Ames, Leslie [W.E. Daniel Ross]. King’s Castle. New York: Lenox Hill Press, 1970.

Carter, Marilyn [W.E. Daniel Ross]. The Reluctant Debutante. New York: Warner Books, 1987.

Dana, Rose [W.E. Daniel Ross]. The Brooding Mists. London: Robert Hale, 1967.

---. Down East Nurse. New York: Arcadia House, 1967.

---. Resort Nurse. New York: Arcadia House, 1969.

Dorset, Ruth [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Surgical Nurse. New York: Lenox Hill, 1970.

Gilmer, Ann [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Private Nurse. New York: Avalon Books, 1969.

---. Surgeon’s Nurse. New York: Avalon Books, 1969.

Leslie, Miriam [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Cavanaugh Keep. New York: Lancer, 1968.

Randolph, Ellen [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Journey to Love. New York: Avalon Books, 1967.

Roberts, Dan [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Wyoming Showdown. New York: Arcadia House, 1969.

Ross, Clarissa [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Durrell Towers. New York: Pyramid Books, 1965.

---. Istanbul Nights. New York: Jove Publications, 1978.

Ross, Marilyn [W.E. Daniel Ross]. Alice in Love. Paperback Library Romance 5. New York: Paperback Library, 1965.

---. Barnabas, Quentin and the Body Snatchers. New York: Paperback Library, 1971.

---. Barnabas, Quentin and the Crystal Coffin. New York: Paperback Library, 1970.

---. Barnabas, Quentin and the Magic Potion. New York: Paperback Library, 1971.

---. Barnabas, Quentin and the Sea Ghost. New York: Paperback Library, 1971.

---. Behind the Purple Veil. New York: Warner Paperback Library, 1973.

---. Castle Malice. Harlequin Gothic Romance. Toronto: Harlequin Books, 1986.

Ross, W.E.D. An Act of Love. Clinton, Massachusetts: Avalon Books, 1970.

---. Dark Is My Shadow. New York: Arcadia House, 1969.

---. Girl in Love. Clinton, Massachusetts: Avalon Books, 1968.

---. Nurse Janice's Dream. New York: Avalon Books, 1984,

---. Phantom in Red. New York: Avalon Books, 1981.

---. The Queen's Stairway. New York, Avalon Books, 1978.

---. The Smiles of Summer. Avalon Romances. New York: Avalon Books, 1984.

---. Summer Playhouse. New York: Avalon Books, 1986. Avalon Romances.

Rossiter, Jane [W.E. Daniel Ross]. A Love to Cherish. New York: Avalon Books, 1969.

---. Summer Season. New York: Avalon Books, 1962.

Steele, Tex [W.E. Daniel Ross]. The Black Riders. New York: Arcadia House, 1968.

---. Threads of Love. New York: Avalon Books, 1969.

---. Vengeance Spur. New York: Arcadia House, 1968.

Bibliography of Secondary Sources

Evans, Valerie. “Books Have Always Played an Important Role in Ross’ Life.” Telegraph-Journal [Saint John, NB] 8 June 2006.

---. “Paperback Hero: Dan Ross, a Remarkable Talent, Wrote 358 Novels and Sold Millions.” The New Brunswick Reader 9 Dec. 1995: 8-18.

Lesniak, James G., ed. “Ross, William Edward Daniel 1912–.” Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Vol. 32. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991. 378-379.

Metzger, Linda, ed. “Ross, William Edward Daniel 1912–.” Contemporary Authors. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1985. 410-412.

Mountford, Peter. “Ross, Dan (William Edward Daniel).” Encyclopaedia of Literature in Canada. Ed. William H. New. Toronto: Toronto UP, 2002. 987.

Tarvis, Mia, ed. “Dan Ross.” Anthology of Hope: Consortium Edition. Saint John: C. Plus Publishing, 1996.