Terry McMillan’s latest is clearly a book for the times—though McMillan wrote it long before COVID-19. It’s Not All Downhill From Here is the story of a successful small business owner who has to put her life back together after an unexpected event rattles her entire world. Sound familiar … McMillan planned to be in Traverse City on April 9 for a National Writers Series event, and the show will go on! (And it will be free!)

Thanks to the technology, McMillan will chat with guest host Rochelle Riley beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 9. The free conversation will stream on Zoom, the National Writers Series Facebook page and the National Writers Series YouTube channel. (Direct links below.)

There’s also an optional book-and-treat bundle for purchase. Order by April 3 and get a signed hardcover copy of It’s Not All Downhill From Here from Horizon Books, plus a dozen “Cherry McMillan” morsels from Morsels Bakery (dark chocolate cake, cherry frosting and sprinkles). Orders need to be placed by April 3. Only the first 50 people to order will get this deal. The book and the Morsels will be safely delivered to your doorknob (within 15 miles of Traverse City) on April 9. You can order online at the National Writers Series website, https://nationalwritersseries.org/#special-offer. (What a great way to support local businesses!)

Guest host Rochelle Riley is the director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit and a former award-winning columnist for the Detroit Free Press. Author Doug Stanton, a cofounder of the National Writers Series, will serve as moderator.

Reservations are not required, but sometimes it’s nice to have reservations on your calendar! Click the button below for more information and to reserve your spot. 

McMillan follows in the hallowed path of When Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale with her latest book. She explained it to National Public Radio this way:

“Loretha is the main character, but she has a host of friends. They’re all in their 60s and went to high school together. She has a tragic loss, and she has to figure out how to live the rest of her life. And with her friends, everybody’s going through something; in some cases, it’s health issues. But for the most part, they’re aging, and they are not interested in dying anytime soon. Loretha, who is probably the head honcho, owns a beauty supply [shop]. She decides that we need to do something really to pump up the volume, because this is not all downhill from here.”

McMillan’s characters often reflect her own life, even aging along with her.

Time magazine says, “McMillan, 68, is a lot like her characters in that she’s funny, comforting and still surprising. Talking to her feels like talking to an old friend.”

And while aging is a fact of life, how we deal with it varies widely, McMillan says.

“It’s how we basically can figure out and learn how to take better care of ourselves, and to not feel like you’re just living to die. You can live up until the last minute,” McMillan told NPR.