About Me



I was a reporter at newspapers and magazines for 30 years, most recently at the Los Angeles Times where I was a national reporter based in L.A. In various newspaper jobs I’ve covered county zoning boards, state legislatures, and the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department. I’ve specialized in long-term projects, often immersing myself in an assignment for months or occasionally years.  I’ve written on an enormous range of subjects: radical Islam; the financing, design and construction of skyscrapers; the search for a rare blood molecule; the California Dream; and growing coffee in Indonesia among them. I try to write stories that are heavily reported, textured, place-based and complex, written in a strong, distinctive voice. I’ve won numerous journalism awards from a variety of organizations, including those that honor writing about economics, science and foreign affairs.

I’m a native of Iowa. In addition to journalism, I have  worked as a carpenter, a political campaign manager and an interpreter of satellite  reconnaissance imagery in the U.S. Air Force. I have a graduate degree in urban studies. While a metro columnist at the Seattle Times, I published a serial mystery novel about the disappearance of Bill Gates. I live in southern California.


PERFECT SOLDIERS – The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It,  HarperCollin, 2005.

101 THEORY DRIVE: A Scientist’s Pursuit of Memory Pantheon, April, 2010.

THE HUNT FOR KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, co-authored by Josh Meyer, Little Brown March, 2012.

OFF SPEED: Baseball, Pitching and the Art of Deception, Pantheon, May, 2017.


4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Terry, sorry I missed your book-signing today at Third Place. After the Sox beat up the M’s this afternoon, I needed a drink much more than an autograph. The defeat ended, believe it or not, the six-game winning streak I’ve witnessed this season at Safeco. (I have 26 games and now am 8-2.) I’ve only started “Off Speed,” but I’m hooked. I not only attended the 8-15-12 perfecto, but also Kuma’s 8-12-15 no-no. Out of my family’s hearing, I’d say 8-15-12 was the greatest day of my life. Good luck with the book.

  2. Hello,
    I didn’t know you where from God’s country..better known as Iowa!!.Just read your article in Pacific..”A Slower Time”. My husband handed it to me and said”you’ll want to read this!”.
    My hometown is Bellevue,Iowa. Although I moved to Bellevue,Wa2001,I still have a home and lots of family back there. Cascade was always a rival school for sports with Marquette High School. My 45 reunion in Sept.! . I completely agree with you about the modest,easy life in a small town.You described my childhood in this article.
    And in my years to come,I will find my way back there to enjoy my family and friends.

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