May 04, 2017 

By Shannen Hill 

Contributing Writer 

 

Terry McMillan continues to give us great stories as her newest novel, I Almost Forgot About You, tells the story of a middle-aged woman looking up the men that she cared deeply about earlier in her life to see if they're still alive and what they’re up to.

 

The main character, Dr. Georgia Young, is a successful optometrist but she wants more excitement in her life. She has great people around her, including her friends, kids and mother. However, she wants to go on this adventure to find these men whether it leads to love or not. Along with looking up men from her past, Young is also thinking of her next career move.

 

“I like to write about characters going through some change and challenge in their life,” said McMillan. “It’s my job to make sure that they don’t run from it and if they do run from it, they ultimately are going to be faced with it anyway because that’s how life works.”

 

Publishing books hasn’t changed for McMillan. She moves at her own pace, making sure that the story is right and in her vision of what it should be. What has changed is the increase of Black authors, coming from all types of backgrounds.

 

“There are more African American authors out here, which is refreshing. All of us come from different backgrounds and have different interests,” said McMillan. “My first novel was published when I was 36, but there are a lot of fine young authors now. The publishing industry is much more willing and eager to publish new voices, including African Americans.”

 

McMillan did not know that she would be an author early in her life. While in college at UC Berkley, she wanted to major in Sociology. Her college advisor had seen her editorials in the campus newspapers and told her that she should really think about becoming a writer.

 

“When he told me to consider writing, I didn’t say it but I was thinking, ‘I’m Black, how in the world do you think that I can make a living writing, let’s get real,’” said McMillan. “I didn't have any dreams or aspirations of becoming this best-selling author and then my books would be turned into movies. That wasn’t even happening back in the ‘80s. I never in a million years thought that my books would become movies and that’s not why I wrote them.”

 

Fame and money are not how McMillan views success, but rather being able to do something that you love is how she determines being successful. When it comes to being an author, McMillan’s advice is to be consistent and honest with the characters. She says you must be willing to jump out of your own skin and realize that it's not your story but somebody else's.

 

McMillan will be reading excerpts from her novels at the California African American Museum with Eso Won Books next Friday, May 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free, but make sure to RSVP by calling (213) 744 – 2024.

Category: Arts & Culture



Taste of Soul Sponsors