Terry McMillan: From Waiting to Exhale to Getting to Happy

By Donya Blaze Comment

Back in the early 90s, Terry McMillan was just another author trying to make it. Then, came a little book called Waiting to Exhale. McMillan’s novel about four single women and their love lives helped birth a new genre of African-American fiction and became a hit film.

Now, over 15 years later, McMillan has released the sequel, Getting to Happy. But she said she never intended to revisit Savannah, Bernie, Gloria, or Robin — in fact, she wasn’t that in love with them in the first place.

“After Waiting to Exhale, I think that book never even crossed my mind when I was telling new stories. And, even with [Getting to Happy], I thought about [the characters] a lot differently,” McMillan said in our Media Beat interview. “I thought they were somewhat… They got on my nerves. I thought that they were a little desperate.”

Watch the full video to hear more of McMillan’s inspiration for Getting to Happy and to find out which segment of Black fiction she is not a fan of.

Part 2: Terry McMillan Puts the ‘Ugliness’ of Divorce Behind Her

Part 3: Terry McMillan’s Advice to Young Authors: ‘Focus on Your Stories, Not the Fame’