Wonder how Terry McMillan is doing these days? Well, let’s just say her theme song could be the Mary J. Blige hit, “Just Fine.”
The 58-year-old author has rebounded from the implosion of her marriage and has a new book “Getting to Happy” due out in September. (Look for excerpts in the June through September issues of Essence magazine.) “Waiting to Exhale” fans should be particularly happy as it’s a continuation of the beloved characters from the hit book and movie. And yes, 20th Century Fox has already purchased the movie rights, and – fingers crossed – it’s hopeful that all the actresses will return for the sequel.
If you’re heading to Miami to get on board for the Fantastic Voyage 2010, look for a special female-only pajama night with McMillan where she’ll read from the new book. We talked to her recently about her new addiction to social media, why she decided to do a sequel to her most popular book, and why sex just gets better with time.
BlackAmericaWeb.com: How are you, Ms. Terry?
Terry McMillan: I’m good, had a nap earlier.
A disco nap?
(McMillan loves the term, goes to tweet it to her almost 5,000 followers on Twitter, giving this writer credit for the term.)
You’re on Twitter? Do you like it?
I have a really good time. I write first. I do my [tweeting] about 12 noon, East Coast time, ‘cause it seems like most of the people [who follow me] are on the East Coast. I have a fan page on Facebook also. On my regular page, I didn’t do anything. People kept wanting to be my friend, and I was like ‘I don’t know these people!’ I like the fan page because it’s intimate. The people that I follow on Twitter are pretty smart. I only follow about 25 people. I haven’t been doing it very long. I’m not following everybody. I get Webster’s dictionary every morning and I retweet to my followers and they’re like ‘Thank you for that word, Ms. McMillan.” I don’t want to know everything about what’s happening in hip-hop, but there are people’s opinions that I really admire. I’m a little addicted to Twitter, but it’s addicting in a very good way. Sometimes I say funny, crazy stuff. I’ll say, ‘If you see that movie “Waiting to Exhale” on Oxygen, don’t tell me! I’ve seen it!’
So tell us about the new book, “Getting to Happy.” What is it about?
I was emotionally dead for a few years, so maybe – just symbolically – it’s based on my life. It basically revisits the women from “Waiting to Exhale” 15 years later. When my last book was out, and I was on burnout on reading from that, I had a reading in Oakland, and there were 600-odd women there. Some were women I had been to college with, some were professors, and I just could not read from that book [“The Interruption of Everything”] again. I read this poem about the breakup of my relationship and how it was like cigarettes loving this person. It was like a bad habit, so I likened it to cigarettes. And when I read this poem – and I’m no poet, honey – these women were a mess. One of the things that dawned on me as I sat and signed books is that there was this aura of sadness on a lot of their faces that was so obvious. Some of the women I did not recognize, and they looked so much older than they should have. It was obvious to me how many women – and at least …..