McMillan gives festival goers taste of new novel in W-S

Well-known author Terry McMillan signs a copy of her new novel “I Almost Forgot About You” at Sweet Potatoes on Friday, Sept. 9. McMillan’s visit was part of the 12th Annual Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors.

McMillan gives festival goers taste of new novel in W-S
September 15
07:00 2016



Nearly 50 people enjoyed a breakfast they will never forget last Friday, Sept. 9, when they had the pleasure to sit down and dine with well-known author Terry McMillan at Sweet Potatoes restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem.

The eat and greet with McMillan was part of the 12th Annual Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors.

During the event, McMillan, who is best known for her best selling novels that were made into films “Waiting to Exhale,” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” read excerpts from her new book “I Almost Forgot About You.”

The novel tells the tale of Georgia Young, a successful 55-year-old optometrist who has grown bored with her love life and is seeking something new and exciting. After receiving word that an ex-lover has passed away, Young began a journey to find other men from her past, not to rekindle an old flame but to re-discover herself and become a better person.

Before introducing the main characters and reading a few pages from the book, McMillan said like other novels she has written, “I Almost Forgot About You” is about overcoming obstacles and struggles.

“Everyone has struggles that they must overcome,” said McMillan. “That’s what ties all my novels together. “The main characters all face some kind of challenge just like people in real life do.”

After enjoying the breakfast complete with bacon, eggs, grits, salmon and  other courses, each person received signed copies of the new novel. A number of festival goers said, they were excited to meet McMillan and ready to dive into the book.” Advance native Tamara Smith said, “It’s a real honor to have someone like this come into town.

“The impact that her novels have had on our culture is just amazing,” she continued. “The fact that her novels have been made into box office films is just phenomenal, especially for a black woman.”

Smith mentioned what she enjoyed most about the event was hearing McMillan read the book. She said having the author read the book with her voice inflections gives the characters more personality.

“Hearing the words from the author has a greater impact than when you just read by yourself,” said Smith. “She draws you in with her words, and knowing they are words she wrote makes it even more special.”

Candice Johnson from Greensboro said, although she hasn’t read “I Almost Forgot About You,” she thinks there are a lot of themes in the book that she and other readers will be able to relate to.

“Just like her other works, I know there will be themes that a lot of women and men can connect to,” said Johnson. “We all reach that point where we begin to reflect on where we have been and where we are, so I’m interested to see what themes she pulls out of this one.”

While everyone who attended the event left with a signed copy of the novel, McMillan didn’t leave Sweet Potatoes empty handed. Well-known local photographer and artist Owens Daniels presented McMillan with a copy of his latest work, which represents the struggles of people of color. Daniels, who has multiple pieces lining the walls of Sweet Potatoes, said it was an honor to be able to present McMillan with his work.

After receiving the artistic photo, McMillan said she already had a place to hang Daniels’ work. She mentioned when she walked into the restaurant she was drawn to the portraits on the wall.

“When I first arrived, I was asking who the photographer was on the wall and to get my own piece is just amazing,” said McMillan. “I wasn’t expecting to get any-thing today, but this is a wonderful surprise.”

On Saturday, Sept. 10 McMillan made a second appearance at the Hanes Brand Theatre. During that event, she discussed the new novel and shared her thoughts on her past works that were made into films.

McMillan said, although she did play a part in writing the screenplays for “Waiting to Exhale” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” she is not a big fan of the big screen.

“It was an honor to have my novels made into films but, I prefer writing books,” she continued. “It’s just different.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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