I’m a writer based in southern California. This site is mainly an archive of my work from newspapers, magazines and books over the years. It also contains news and notices of what I’m doing and a heavily-edited account of what others have to say about my work. That work has ranged around the globe and across the encyclopedia of subject matter. It’s been a great ride so far.
The directory to the right contains links to more of my pieces than any sane person could possibly want to read. First person who claims to have read it all gets a beer. I like to drink beer with insane people so we’ll have fun. You can reach me through the Contact Me form on the directory. I’m buying.
OFF SPEED: Baseball, Pitching and the Art of Deception
George Vecsey says Off Speed is “a literate and knowing little gem (that) has already rejuvenated me.” McDermott’s description of his first big-league game “reminds me of a boy’s rambunctious bus pub crawl with Welsh elders in the classic Dylan Thomas short story ‘The Outing.’ ”
“What lover of the game will not delight in McDermott’s field-of-dreams nostalgia for the baseball he played and watched growing up in his small Iowa hometown? No one passionate about America’s national pastime will leave these pages disappointed.” – Booklist starred review
Publishers Weekly: Off Speed is “entertaining and wistful. . . McDermott demystifies baseball, illustrating the game’s “secret beauty” from being built over a very long time.”
“The narrative is filled with passion and insight into how the game’s measured pace can seem both out of touch with fast-paced contemporary life and a temporary corrective to that fast pace.” – Kirkus Review
Coming Spring 2017. Pre-order here: Powells, Amazon ,Barnes & Noble
See more at: off-speed.com
THE HUNT FOR KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, co-authored by Josh Meyer
The definitive account of the decade-long pursuit and capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Named one of the best books of 2012 by both the Washington Post and Kirkus Reviews!
“Superlative storytelling and crackling reportage define a pulse-pounding narrative.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A flat-out thriller.”
— Los Angeles Times
“Eye-opening investigative reporting. . .”
— The Boston Globe
“The two authors of “The Hunt for KSM” have reconstructed an almost decade-long clandestine manhunt in exacting detail, an undeniably impressive feat of sleuthing.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“One of the most revealing dispatches yet from the war on terror.”
“Fabulous reporting and great storytelling make it one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read.”
–bestselling author Michael Connelly
“McDermott and Meyer have given us a fact-filled inside account, in the voices of those on the job.”
–Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker
“Reads like a real-life episode of the show ’24.’”
–bestselling author Jane Mayer
Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers – Who They Were, Why They Did It
“The definitive book on the nineteen men who brought such devastation and terror to this country. . . . A well-told, meticulously researched cautionary tale.” —Washington Post Book World
“Absorbing. . . . [A] richly textured narrative full of the sort of small, telling details that turn these men from faceless figures of evil into individuals.” —New York Times
“Fascinating. Perfect Soldiers is a simultaneously passionate, compassionate, and dispassionate book that neither indicts Islam nor excuses the terrorists’ crimes but draws a chilling, clear, and cautionary map of the small, fateful steps with which ordinary men cross the dangerous line between faith and fanaticism.” —Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine
101 Theory Drive: The Discovery of Memory
“McDermott is a total bad ass, and his writing is a high-wire balancing act of providing the perfect mix of candy and vegetables.” – Corduroy Books