Odom, Mel 1950–

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ODOM, Mel 1950–

PERSONAL: Born 1950; married; wife's name Sherry; children: five. Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.A.; attended graduate school in England.

ADDRESSES: Home—Moore, OK. Agent—Simon Pulse, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Former illustrator for such publications as Blueboy, Playboy, and Omni; CBS records, sleeve illustrator; illustrated cover art for numerous books.

AWARDS, HONORS: Illustrator of the Year, Playboy, 1980; Gold Medal in the editorial class, Society of Illustrators, 1982, Silver Medal in the Book Class, 1987.

WRITINGS:

Dreamer: Drawings, introduction by Edmund White, Penguin (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Warren Norwood) Stranded, Lynx Omeiga Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Freelancers, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream: The Official Guide, preface by Harlan Ellison, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1995.

Angel Devoid: Face of the Enemy, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1996.

F.R.E.E. Fall, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1996.

Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1996.

Oddworld Abe's Oddysee: Unlock the Official Secrets, GW Press (Auburn, CA), 1997.

Redneck Rampage—in Your Face!: Unlock the Secrets, GW Press (Auburn, CA), 1997.

Shadow Warrior: The Unauthorized Game Secrets, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1997.

Zork Grand Inquisitor: Unauthorized Game Secrets, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1997.

(With Michael Brown) A, D, and D Descent to Under-mountain: Unlock the Secrets, GW Press (Auburn, CA), 1997.

(With Ted Chapman) Blood: The Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1997.

Duke Nukem Sixty-four, GW Press (Auburn, CA), 1997.

Duke Nukem PSX: Unlock the Secrets, GW Press (Auburn, CA), 1997.

Ecstatica II: The Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1997.

The Lost Library of Cormanthyr, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1997.

Nightmare Creatures: The Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1997.

Black Dahlia: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1998.

Glover: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1998.

Nightmare Creatures Sixty-four: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1998.

Spacestation Silicon Valley: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1998.

Rayman Two, the Great Escape: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1999.

Rising Tide, TSR (Renton, WA), 1999.

Under the Fallen Stars, TSR (Renton, WA), 1999.

Xena, Warrior Princess, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1999.

Young Hercules (based on the teleplay by Andrew Dettman and Daniel Truly), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Blaine Dee Pardoe) My Blood Betrayed, New American Library (New York, NY), 1999.

Croc Two: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1999.

Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm, Prima Publishers (Roseville, CA), 1999.

Hybrid Heaven: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1999.

(With Donato Tica and Jeff Barton) Jet Force Gemini, Prima Publishers (Rocklin, CA), 1999.

Legacy, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Prima Publishers (Roseville, CA), 1999.

Silent Scope: Prima's Official Guide, Prima Publishers (Roseville, CA), 2000.

Snowday, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Realms of the Deep, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2000.

Die Hard Trilogy Two: Viva Las Vegas, Prima Publishers (Roseville, CA), 2000.

Mummy Dearest!, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Redemption, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Prima Publishers (Roseville, CA), 2000.

The Sea Devil's Eye, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2000.

(With Michael A. Sommers) Gene Marshall: Girl Star, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2000.

Bruja, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Pirate Pandemonium, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Revenant, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.

The Rover, Tor (New York, NY), 2001.

The Sea of Mist, HarperEntertainment (New York, NY), 2001.

The Black Road, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Jewel of Turmish, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2002.

Hunters of the Dark Sea, Tor (New York, NY), 2003.

The Destruction of the Books, Tor (New York, NY), 2004.

A Conspiracy Revealed, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2005.

Lord of the Libraries, Tor (New York, NY), 2005.

The Mystery Unravels, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Today's Christian Woman.

NOVELIZATIONS

Sabrina Goes to Rome (based on the teleplay by Daniel Berendsen), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Vertical Limit (based on the screenplay by Robert King and Terry Hayes), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Tomb Raider (based on the screenplay by Patrick Massett, John Zinman, and Simon West), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Tom Clancy's Net Force: High Wire (based on characters created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik), Berkley Jam Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Crossings (based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2002.

Image (based on Angel), Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2002.

Shades (based on Roswell), Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2002.

Tiger Tale (based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Cursed (based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2003.

"LEFT BEHIND" SERIES

Apocalypse Dawn, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2003.

Apocalypse Burning, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

Apocalypse Crucible, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Mel Odom studied fashion illustration at Virginia Commonwealth University and went on to do graduate work in England. He then spent nine months creating a portfolio prior to moving to New York City in 1975, where he attempted to garner attention in the art market. Some of his earliest successes were erotic works he sold to Blueboy, a gay magazine, and to Playboy. In addition to erotic subjects, he began to sell to mainstream clients. His art frequently graced book covers, as well as record sleeves and the science-fiction magazine Omni. Odom did book covers for such series as "Kay," "Hazel," "Nancy Collins," and and a number of books by Ruth Rendell. One of the more identifiable aspects of his cover styles was the use of a face as the entire design, with the eyes standing out in particular. In addition to his artistic endeavors, Odom is the author of numerous books, including fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and young-adult novels, many of them linked in some manner to computer games, television, or film.

Among Odom's novels are several fantasies for young readers involving librarian Edgewick Lamplighter. The Rover tracks the adventures of Lamplighter as he follows a messenger who is sent to deliver a package to the Yonderling Docks and is shanghaied by pirates. School Library Journal reviewer Linda G. Sinclair remarked that "readers will enjoy the wealth of creatures in this tale of magic, mystery, and self-discovery." Sally Estes, in a review for Booklist, called the book "a surefire page-turner," adding that "the characterizations are simply delicious."

With The Destruction of the Books, Odom returns to the world of Edgewick Lamplighter. One hundred years have passed since the events of The Rover, and Wick is now a grandmagicster in charge of a secret collection of books. Sally Estes, in a review for Booklist, remarked that, "as before, plenty of humor tempers the wild action." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews opined that "Odom's bouncy, funny, cliffhanger adventure is perfect for the Potter crowd, with enough puns, wry asides, and satirical send-ups to amuse Tolkien fans." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that "the narrative moves along at a snappy pace, with much good humor, zest, and color." Harriet Klausner, in a review for AllSci-Fi.com, called The Destruction of the Books "an engaging epic fantasy that reaches out to a wide range of readers with its amusing often ironic humor."

Odom also has written several volumes of the popular "Left Behind" series, including Apocalypse Burning and Apocalypse Crucible. These books are based on biblical teachings having to do with the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ. In an essay for Today's Christian Woman, Odom stated that "no one can completely understand everything that will happen in the Last Days, but I believe that overcoming the evil that will be loosed on the world will come from what God has already taught so many people." Odom addresses these themes from various angles, having also written several novelizations based on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, both of which deal with fighting evil.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Advocate, November 21, 2000, Matthew Link, review of Gene Marshall: Girl Star, p. 66.

Booklist, July, 2001, Sally Estes, review of The Rover, p. 1992; January 1, 2002, review of The Rover, p. 764; April 15, 2002, Ray Olson, review of The Rover, p. 1387; August, 2003, Michael Gannon, review of Hunters of the Dark Sea, p. 1957; July, 2004, Sally Estes, review of The Destruction of the Books, p. 1829.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2004, review of The Destruction of the Books, p. 478.

Kliatt January, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of Hunter's League, p. 16.

Library Journal, august, 2001, Jackie Cassada, review of The Rover, p. 171; June 15, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of The Destruction of the Books, p. 62.

Publishers Weekly, January 25, 1999, review of Rising Tide, p. 93; September 25, 2000, review of Gene Marshall, p. 49; April 2, 2001, Karen Raugust, "Star of Page and Screen," review of Gene Marshall, p.24; June 18, 2001, review of The Rover, p. 63; June 28, 2004, review of The Destruction of the Books, p. 36.

School Library Journal, January, 2002, Linda G. Sinclair, review of The Rover, p. 171.

Today's Christian Woman, November-December, 2003, Mel Odom, "An Author Speaks: Mel Odom Shares Why Family Means Everything to Him," p. 20; March-April, 2004, review of Apocalypse Cruicible, p. 8; May-June, 2004, "An Author Speaks: Mel Odom Reveals his Heart in the Writing of Apocalypse Crucible," p. 18

ONLINE

AllSciFi.com, http://www.allscifi.com/ (April 16, 2005), "Mel Odom."

Olaf Krusche Web site, http://www.o-love.net/ (April 16, 2005), "Mel Odom."