Terry Trueman has been an educator, counselor, and writer for about thirty years. He draws on his own experiences with young people, personal and professional, to create the story of Stuck in Neutral. Trueman was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947 but soon moved to Seattle, Washington. He declares in his "unauthorized autobiography" ("unauthorized" because he does not claim to tell truth), that he was not an exceptional student when young. However, he did attend the University of Washington where he received a bachelor of science in creative writing, and later, he received both a master of science in applied psychology and master of fine arts in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. Trueman has also lived in Australia and Honduras.
Part of Trueman's youth was somewhat "misspent" as he lived the life of a hippie, traveled through Europe on a motorcycle, and married and divorced three times. For twenty-five years, Trueman's writing remained largely unsuccessful, as well. Then, in 1992, his long narrative poem, Sheehan, was published in Washington and became a regional best seller. Sheehan is about the impact of an injured child on the people who love him. Trueman also co-authored a book with Michael Gurian called What Stories Does My Son Need? (2000). This "guidebook" shares narratives Trueman came to know as a film, video, and media commentator on a Spokane radio station.
Trueman converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of fifty-one. He has two sons he loves very much, teaches at a community college, and lives in Spokane, Washington, with his partner, Patti. His newest nonfiction work, which he co-authored with Michael Gurian and Patricia Henley is Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents (2001). This work draws on brain research and learning style theory to help parents and teachers better meet children's learning needs. Stuck in Neutral, Trueman's first novel based on the life of his disabled son, received a number of excellent reviews and won the Michael L. Printz Honor Book award for 2001. In addition, the book has been optioned for film by actor Craig T. Nelson, and Trueman has been working on the screenplay.
Trueman concludes his unauthorized biography, "If you want to really know a writer, just read his work."