The Root Interview: Terry McMillan on Getting to Happy
The novelist opens up to The Root about her new novel, Michelle Obama, Twitter, getting along with her ex and why we need a national coming-out day.
TM: Not so much as a writer, but Michelle Obama is a role model. She is an inspiration, and I'm in awe -- she has style, she's pretty, sexy, smart, educated and has a handsome, brilliant husband and two beautiful kids, and she knows who she is, and I have the utmost respect for her. And she was like that before she got to the White House!
TR: What do you think of the political scene in general?
TM: I went off on the Republicans the other day. They are intimidated by having a black man in the White House telling them what to do. They didn't go off on the Clintons like they go off on Obama.
TR: But they accused the Clintons of murdering Vincent Foster!
TM: Well, the Clintons aligned themselves [with] and had a lot of respect for black people. The Clintons invited me to the White House, but I didn't go.
TR: Why not?
TM: The way they do it, they don't give you too much lead time. And you have to say yes immediately and be available. But my mother told me she'd never forgive me if I didn't go to the White House. Then my mother died and I had to go to the wake the same day. So I ended up going to the White House, and then I turned around and went back to my mother's wake. I walked in the White House and felt a breeze on my face, and I knew my mother knew that I made it. And then I turned around and walked out before I even saw President Clinton.
TR: Why have you come back to these characters in Getting to Happy?