Mel Odom (born 1957 in California) is a writer primarily known for his science fiction and fantasy novels set in existing properties.
Odom graduated from Byng High School in Byng, Oklahoma in May 1976, and later graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He teaches undergraduate courses at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication in the Professional Writing program at the University of Oklahoma.
Odom sold his first book in January 1988 and wrote dozens more books over the next ten years. He wrote two novels for the F.R.E.E.Lancers campaign setting for TSR's Top Secret/S.I. role-playing game, F.R.E.E.Lancers and F.R.E.E.Fall. He followed these with his first Forgotten Realms novel in 1998, The Lost Library of Cormanthyr, and then his Threat from the Sea trilogy.
Odom has written dozens of novels in several fields - action-adventure, computer strategy guides, fantasy, game-related fiction, horror, juvenile, movie novelizations, science fiction, and young adult - as well as comics.
Odom wrote several novels in the Forgotten Realms series, including the trilogy The Threat from the Sea, and two short stories. He has gained renown with his The Rover and Left Behind Apocalypse series, and two novels for the NCIS franchise.
He has published original novels for popular TV shows, including Roswell and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The most popular show for which he has written original novels is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has also written novelizations of movies, including: Blade starring Wesley Snipes, xXx starring Vin Diesel, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie.
One of his best known fantasy novels is The Rover (2001), which in 2002 won the Alex Award, an American Library Association award given to novels written for adults that would also appeal to young readers (see the link below). Three sequels have appeared since then: Destruction of the Books (2004), Lord of the Libraries (2005), and The Quest for the Trilogy (2007). These stories are high fantasy in the tradition of J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.
In 2003, he published Apocalypse Dawn, a military spin-off of the enormously popular Left Behind Series; Odom's book made the Christian bestseller list.
Odom also writes DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray reviews for AVRev.com.
He is known to have written under several pen names, among others Jordan Gray. Additionally, under the pseudonym of Don Pendleton, Odom has written several Mack Bolan novels, an action-adventure series.
On 7 February 2015 it was announced that Odom would be writing the new companion novel to the upcoming Shadowrun: Hong Kong game. The novel is scheduled to be released in December 2015, coinciding with game. Shadowrun: Hong Kong is the third crowdfunded game set in the Shadowrun universe by game developer Harebrained Schemes.
He lives in Moore, Oklahoma, with his wife and five children. By 1998, he had begun playing an AD&D Forgotten Realms campaign with the two oldest.