Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan7 posts
17 Sep, 2013

Who Asked You

tm6McMillan releases her book Who Asked You, which follows Trinetta, a mother who decides to leave her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean. BJ soon finds out that Trinetta has disappeared for good. BJ already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, a sick husband, and her own postponed dreams. Not only does she have her family to deal with, but she is also holding down a job.  Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison and taking care of two grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. 

For this book, I was primarily interested in two things. The first was what it might feel like to be forced, when you’re close to retirement, to raise your grandchildren. It’s pretty common, and not just in the black community. I was always curious about what it took out of you.

7 Sep, 2010

Getting To Happy

tm4McMillan releases book Getting To Happy, which follows four American American woman 15 years later who is still on a search for love. All four women are learning to heal past hurts and to reclaim their joy and their dreams; but they return to us full of spirit, sass and faith in one another. They’ve exhaled: now they are learning to breathe.

McMillan on her journey to happiness like the characters in her book:

At one time, my anger felt like a termite eating away at my best self. So whenever I started clenching my teeth or thinking ugly things, I put the brakes on.

12 Jul, 2005

The Interruption of Everything

tm5The Interruption of Everything follows Marilyn Grimes, wife and mother of three who has deferring her dreams to live in California home in the suburbs. She adviser her grown kids, cares for her live-in mother-in-law, Arthurine, and keeps tabs on her girlfriend, Paulette. In addition to that, her friend Bunny and her aging mother and foster sister is being taken care of too by Marilyn. In spite of doing everything, Marilyn still holds down a part-time job. But at age 44, Marilyn’s got too much on her plate and nothing to feed her passion. She feels like she’s about ready to jump. She’s just not sure where.

I try to create characters that I am fascinated by on some level or intrigued by or can’t stand. By writing about them I have to be compassionate in order to understand what makes them function the way that they do. And so I do a lot of background things about my characters that a lot of people would never know. And I do…

6 Jan, 2004

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

tm2McMillan’s book follows Stella in the book How Stella Got Her Groove BackStella Payne is a 42-year-old divorced mother of 11-year-old Quincy. Despite Stella’s accomplishments, she still cant seem to find a good man. Stella decides to take a vacation to Jamaica where she meets a young, tall, lean Jamaican. She can only hope that she can find love in this unexpected meeting.

McMillan on her own love and divorce story used as inspiration for her book:

It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on deceit. I was humiliated.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

tm3McMillan’s book follows the Price family in A Day Late and a Dollar Short. The families matriarch Viola, her husband Cecil and their four adult kids has scattered across the country. They all seem determined to send her to her grave because she constantly worries about them. Paris is divorced mother to a 19 year-old son, a successful businesswoman and is always the glue that holds the family together. Lewis always finds jail and can’t seem to stay out. Out in Chicago, Charlotte knows she’s gotten the short en of the stick, has nothing in common except blood. And if it was up to her, should would divorce everyone. They must all find healing in order to come back together as a family.

Viola came to me first and Cecil (the parents in the book). I’ve known so many late-aged women whose husbands wound up running off with the secretary or some hoochie. I wanted to have a woman whose husband left her at the same stages that I’m talking about. But instead of him being an evil man I wanted him to be a good guy. He becomes estranged from his wife because she can be mean. A lot of woman think its a always the man but it’s not always all them. We can be mean. I love Viola. She’s a great person but she can be a bitch.

May 1992

Waiting To Exhale


tmWaiting To Exhale follows the friendship between four African American women who lean on each other. Each one is hoping that the man of their dreams will come along soon. This story is about the lives of Savannah Jackson, Bernadine Harris, Robin Stokes, and Gloria Matthews who reside in Phoenix, Arizona. The women support each other through personal and professional challenges and successes. They are savvy enough to manage every element of their lives, but stereotypes and bad habits seem to ditch their efforts.

I’ve had 1,500 people show up for a reading for Waiting to Exhale. Twelve hundred in Chicago, a thousand people waiting in line in Washington. I think I’ve signed more than 10,000 books, and the people who come are 90 percent black. In some cities 98 percent.

6 Aug, 1989

Disappearing Acts


tm1McMillan’s novel Disappearing Acts follows Zora and Franklin who is having difficulty in their marriage. Zora is a beautiful teacher who married Franklin, a man who is always in between jobs. When Franklin starts to feel like he can’t provide for his family, he decides to seek solace from another woman. Although, Zora is relieved he is gone. She can’t help but to miss her husband. The two must decide if their love can overcome layoffs and faithfulness.

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