Trotter's work has covered a variety of genres and markets. His first published work was "Sibelius and the Tides of Taste" for High Fidelity in 1965. Lawyer Rob Newsom III invited him to write Deadly Kin, a true crime book, which was published in 1989. A research project Trotter started while at Davidson College about the Winter War eventually became the history A Frozen Hell, published in 1991. It was awarded the Finlandia Foundation Arts and Letters Prize. A trilogy of books on the American Civil War in North Carolina was published in the 1991 and 1992. Winter Fire, his first novel, was published in 1993. A horror novelette, "Siren of Swanquarter", published in Deathrealm magazine, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 1994. His biography of conductor Dmitri Mitropoulos was published in 1995. He wrote two guides for the Close Combat series of computer games in 1999. A pair of historical novels set in North Carolina during the Civil War, Sands of Pride and Fires of Pride, were published in 2002 and 2003, and his most recent novel, Warrener's Beastie, was published in 2006. He has also written "The Desktop General" column for PC Gamer magazine since 1988. Trotter also has spent time in Filmography as an Assistant Director for Ghost Recon 2 in 2004 and as the musical consultant for one episode of Live from Lincoln Center in 1976
Trotter is also a classical music expert and collector, housing one of the largest collections of vinyl and CD recordings in the Southeast. He has written on classical music for the Charlotte Observer, the High Point Enterprise, and the Greensboro News & Record, among others, and has served as program annotator for Greensboro's prestigious Eastern Music Festival. He is an acknowledged expert on the works of Jean Sibelius, the subject of his "Winter Fire" novel, and Leopold Stokowski, whose Trotter-penned biography has gone as yet unpublished but has made the rounds of the Leopold Stokowski Society for many years.
Trotter was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the age of fourteen he wrote his first novel, Glorious October (unpublished) about the Hungarian revolution of 1956.He married his second wife, pianist Elizabeth Lustig, in 1983. They have one son together and one son each from previous marriages. Trotter and Lustig published The Northstate Reader monthly tabloid from 1981 to 1984. They live in Greensboro, North Carolina.