Melinda Snodgrass was born in Los Angeles, CA, but the family moved to New Mexico when she was five months old. Under her father’s tutelage she was given every possible opportunity—she learned to ride, shoot, swim and fly fish, she sat in on his business meetings and traveled with him from a young age.
She inherited her father’s musical ability and studied ballet, voice, and piano. She starred with the Civic Light Opera, and also performed the role of Gretel with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Hansel and Gretel. Her love of music took her to Vienna Austria where she studied voice at the Conservatorium der Stadt Wien.
She soon realized that while she had a good voice she didn’t have an extraordinary voice, and she returned to America to finish her college degrees, majoring in History (Magna Cum Laude) and minoring in music. Since you could spit on the street and hit an out of work history major when she graduated from the university, she entered the New Mexico School of Law. Her focus in school was Constitutional law, jurisprudence, and legal history.
After graduation she practiced law for three years working first for Sandia National Laboratories, and then with a corporate law firm, but discovered that while she loved the law she wasn’t terribly fond of lawyers. At the urging of Victor Milan, she tried writing and never looked back.
She published a number of books—the Circuit Trilogy about a Federal Court judge riding circuit in the solar system, two fantasies from Avon, one co-written with Victor Milan, and then in 1984 she and George R.R. Martin cooked up the Wild Card Series, a shared world anthology with a focus on the real impact of super heroes in our world. The series is 22 books strong and was nominated for a Hugo award.
At the urging of George R.R. Martin, she entered the world of Hollywood, writing a spec script for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The script, “The Measure of a Man,” was nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award for outstanding writing in a drama series, and has been shown in the museum of computer science and artificial intelligence in Paris, France. It has also been voted as one of the ten best Star Trek episodes from all series.
While in Hollywood she worked on Reasonable Doubts and Profiler, wrote episodes for The Antagonists, Sliders, Strange Luck, and Odyssey 5, to name only a few. She also scripted an adaptation of Star Blazers for Disney. She has written six pilots—one of which, Star Command, aired on the UPN network.
In 2002, she took over the management of a small natural gas company in northern New Mexico. Her father had been one of the founding members and managed the company until his death in 1977. There was a satisfying sense of closure to take the reins of this company and begin to expand and grow the business. She has also found the oil and gas industry fascinating. (Get her to tell you the story about the two test wells that were fracked with nuclear devices back in the early 1960s.)
Her current projects include a story for the newly revived Wild Card series published by Tor books. She has delivered the third book in the Edge series, a contemporary fantasy that explores the tensions between science and rationality and religion and superstition also due out from Tor. Book one, Edge of Reason and the second book, The Edge of Ruin are currently on the shelves. Her latest novel This Case Is Gonna Kill Me, written under the pen name Phillipa Bornikova has just come out.
Melinda is currently working on the Wild Card movie script for Universal Pictures.
In her spare time she owns a beautiful Lusitano stallion. She is an accomplished horse woman, riding and showing at the Grand Prix level in dressage.
But above all else she writes. Because that’s just what you have to do.