In 1986, McFadden wrote a positively reviewed personal memoir entitled Rain or Shine: A Family Memoir, in which she described her childhood growing up as the daughter of free-spirited parents. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer that year. Her father, Cy Taillon, was arguably the most famous American rodeo announcer of the mid-20th century. After being out of print for several years, Rain or Shine was reprinted in 1998.
McFadden wrote a biweekly column for the San Francisco Examiner for six years, mostly in the 1980s, and was also a features writer for that daily newspaper.