Bill and Sandra McGee are a husband/wife writing duo … and claim they seldom disagree. They each have a favorite saying about writing:
Bill: “To anyone who has ever considered writing, there is only one way—ass in seat.”
Sandra: “The strongest drive is neither love nor hate; it is the urge to edit another’s copy.”
A few words about Bill and Sandra…
Award-winning author William L. McGee’s writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 nonfiction books, nine of them with his co-author/wife Sandra V. McGee.
Bill McGee is an award-winning author with 22 non-fiction books to his credit. His writing career has spanned over six decades and his writing style has been described as straightforward and journalistic. In the words of Barnaby Conrad, founder of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference: “Bill McGee is no armchair historian … He’s lived what he writes about whether it’s joining the Navy in ’42 at age seventeen simply to get into the fight, or cowboying in the West in the postwar ’40s, or working in broadcasting in the early days of 1950s and ’60s television.”
Sandra’s writing career began in the 1990s as a publicist for the performing arts. In 2000, she joined forces with Bill and to date they have co-authored nine books. Charles Champlin, the late film critic and arts editor of The Los Angeles Times, wrote about Sandra: “Though too young to have experienced an era firsthand, Sandra McGee immerses herself in the subject and captures in her writing the essence of the time.”
Awards and Recognition:
In 2018, The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville won the Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Award for History. In 2009, Pacific Express: The Critical Role of Military Logistics in World War II was selected by the Marine Corps Commandant as required reading on his Professional Annual Reading List for Logistics.
The McGees are members of Broadcast Legends, Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), Naval Order of the United States (NOUS), Western Writers of America (WWA), and the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV). Bill and Sandra live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
William L. “Bill” McGee’s (1925– ) writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 nonfiction books; nine with his co-author/wife Sandra.
Bill was born in 1925 in Livingston, Montana, and raised in the small cattle town of Malta, on the Montana Hi-Line. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific theater 1942–1946. After the war, he returned to cowboying 1947–1950. He worked as a horse wrangler in Yellowstone National Park, a trail and deer hunting guide at Lake Tahoe, and was the head dude wrangler on the Flying M.E., an exclusive Nevada dude and divorce ranch 21 miles south of Reno that catered to wealthy Eastern socialites and Hollywood celebrities, most seeking a six-week divorce.
In 1950, Bill turned in his Levis and boots for Brooks Brothers suits, and made a successful transition into the business world. In eight years, he rose to a top-level position as an executive in the worldwide import/export business. In 1958, he made the move into the broadcasting industry where he enjoyed a successful 32-career.
In 1971, inspired by Henry J. Kaiser’s sayings “Find a need and fill it” and “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes,” Bill launched Broadcast Marketing Company (BMC), a nationwide retail sales training and development program designed specifically for radio and television stations coast-to-coast. He authored ten “how-to” broadcast sales guidebooks, plus the best-selling encyclopedic, “Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in the New Electronic Media”. He produced two sales presentation films for radio and television. Fourteen years later, BMC had 1,000+ radio and television station clients nationwide. In 1984, Bill sold BMC’s profitable subscription service, CO-OPPORTUNITIES, to a client group broadcaster and retired comfortably at age 59.
However, retirement was not in the cards. Inspired by his insatiable interest in history, Bill researched and wrote ten more books, including the acclaimed Pacific war trilogy, Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in World War II (The Amphibians Are Coming! Vol. I; The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943, Vol. II; Pacific Express, Vol. III). In 2009, Pacific Express was selected by the Marine Corps Commandant as required reading on the subject of Logistics for all officer and enlisted Marines. In 2018, The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943 won the Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Award for History.
Sandra V. McGee is a former publicist for the performing arts in Santa Barbara, CA. She has co-authored nine books with her husband, including The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, which garnered critical praise from the Nevada Historical Society as “the best book yet about Nevada’s famous dude-divorce ranch business.” When not trying to edit her husband’s copy, Sandra’s passions are black-and-white movies from the 1930s and ’40s, and ballet.
The McGees are members of Broadcast Legends, Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), Naval Order of the United States (NOUS), Western Writers of America (WWA), and the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV).
(Photo Joanne A. Calitri International)