For six years until 1979, McMillan attended the University of California at Berkley, graduating with a journalism degree. It was during this time that her short story "The End" was published. Afterwards she attended Columbia University earning a Masters degree, attended a workshop at the Harlem Writers Guild, and gave birth to her son Solomon.
The first draft of her book "Mama" was written after being accepted at the MacDowell Colony in 1983, the book was published in 1987. Marketing this novel herself to the Black public, she tirelessly proved that African-American readers are there to be informed and entertained.
In 1988, McMillan became associate professor at the University of Arizona and retains tenure there. Her second novel "Disappearing Act" (1989) did very well and "Waiting to Exhale" (1992) was on The New York Times best-seller list for months; its paperback rights were sold for $2.64 million. "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (1997) was very successful and these last two novels have been made into rewarding feature films (1995 for "Waiting to Exhale). Present reading from McMillan is "A Day Late and A Dollar Short" (2001). She currently lives near Oakland, California.
Excerpt from www.anothershadeofcolor.com.