Terry attended high school and colleges in Illinois. He played basketball at Waubonsee Community College. He is a U.S. Army veteran and was attached to the Sports Special Services Division during the Viet Nam War Era. He officiated, conducted seminars, played and coached basketball. He was involved in many other sports activities, including boxing.
At an early age Terry loved music, novels, and movies. They overwhelmed him and he immersed himself in them. He has been quoted as saying — I never once took a book home to study for anything in school, but I’ve read every fiction book in the library of any school that I attended.
In 1980, as he was working as an actor in Chicago, he saw a Sam Shepard play which had a great affect on him and he began to write plays. Since then, he has worked as a writer, producer, and director in theater, video and film. He is a graduate of Players Workshop of Second City and was a founding member of the Chicago-based Blackbird Theater Company, where he served as co-artistic director. Three of his plays were produced during this time — The Sandman, Renegade Farewell, and Pistoleer.
The Los Angeles production of Renegade Farewell garnered him Hollywood Dramalogue awards for outstanding achievement in writing and direction. Renegade Farewell was a theatrical expose on the sub-culture of dog fighting. In the Hollywood Dramalogue review of this play it was described as ‘being very close to a brilliancy’. This play was later adapted for the screen as Tooth’n Nail.
After his return to Chicago from Los Angeles he wrote and directed the theatrical/video performance piece, Truth is Best. It was performed at the Abby Hoffman Died for our Sins Theater Fest. Soon after he wrote the story and lyrics for the rock-opera, Flames of Desire which was performed through the Midwest in opera houses and music halls.
He has written The Far Riders Trilogy, an epic adventure consisting of the three novels –The Horsemen, In the Devil’s Skin and Children of Thunder.
He wrote and directed the film short, The Night they Killed Sonny Liston. This was a fictional account of the final day of former heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston’s life, but based on actual facts surrounding his death.
His song, The Call of Freedom, was the song used at the Freedom Exhibit at the Washington Monument after 9-11.
He lives on a ranch in Illinois with his wife and is working on his fourth novel. After that novel is finished he plans to write his first non-fiction expose on high school basketball based upon his experiences as a high school coach at one of the smallest schools in the state and also at a private, Catholic school just down the road. The title of the book will be — Heroes, Villains, and Fools — small town basketball.