Bill and Sandra are a husband/wife writing duo and claim they seldom argue. When asked how they work together:
Bill says, “To anyone who has ever considered writing, there is only one way—ass in seat.”
Sandra says, “The strongest drive is neither love nor hate; it is the urge to edit another’s copy.”
William L. “Bill” McGee’s (1925– ) writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 books, including five World War II military histories and seven memoirs.
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 cowboyin’ 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 transition into the business world. In eight years, he rose to a top-level position as an executive in the international import/export business. In 1958, he made the move into broadcasting and enjoyed a successful 32-career in syndicated television program sales, television and radio station representation, and television station management.
In 1971, inspired by Henry J. Kaiser’s sayings “Find a need and fill it” and “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes,” Bill started BMC Communications, a nationwide retail sales training and development program designed specifically for the broadcast industry. He wrote ten “how-to” sales guidebooks for the broadcast industry, plus the best-selling encyclopedic, “Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in the New Electronic Media,” and produced film/video sales presentations for station clients coast-to-coast. Fourteen years and 1,000+ radio and television station clients later, Bill sold one of BMC’s most profitable services, CO-OPPORTUNITIES, to a client group broadcaster and retired comfortably at age 59.
However, retirement is not for everyone. 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 third volume, Pacific Express, was selected by the Marine Corps Commandant as required reading on logistics for all officer and enlisted Marines.
Bill is a member of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS), Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV), San Francisco Bay Area Broadcast Legends, Western Writers of America (WWA), and numerous World War II veterans groups.
Sandra V. McGee is a former publicist for the performing arts. 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.”
Sandra is a member of Western Writers of America. When not trying to edit another’s copy, her passions are black-and-white movies from the 1930s and ’40s, and ballet.
Bill and Sandra may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo credit: Joanne A. Calitri International)