From Tar Valon Library
An interview with Eleyan Teyal Al'Landerin The Amyrlin Seat
Back in the early days did you ever expect this site to become so popular and gain a cult like status with WOT readers?
I can say without hesitation that I never expected this site to become popular at all, but remember... when we started out, we weren't a "web community," really. We were a few real life friends who were trying to create, of all things, satirical "home pages" for each of the Ajahs. We were simply playing around to amuse ourselves, and to keep us from going absolutely insane at our exceptionally boring jobs. Then we discovered message boards, made one, and like-minded folk came and joined the party.
I had no idea what we had started until almost 5 months after people started joining us. Our biggest goal in that time, really, was just to be one of the fans known to other fans in the greater online community. But I'm very proud of what we've all managed to achieve together.
And cult-like status? Really? Naaah. More like joining your local Elks or Kiwanis Club.... We're a social group with a charitable mission and we wear funny clothes. If we were really at that other status, I'd expect I'd have a lot more money.
Were you ever teased by Real Life(non Wot Friends) about this website?
Yes; from my family. But they got sucked in. And those friends who raised an eyebrow were equally sucked in *waves to her RL sucked-in friends and family* In truth, because I started it, it was never really a problem for most people who were close to me.
If you were on an LOA and you pass a Cyber Cafe would you be tempted to log on?
Yes. There is a reason my husband and I chose to take a cruise for our honeymoon: no cell phones and no affordable internet. I think it was the first *full* LoA I've taken in 8 years.
In the most recent Admin meeting note you stated that you had allowed others to make choices regarding the site how hard was it to accept other may know better?
Of course it's difficult when I feel strongly one way and I have a room full of people saying that they disagree. When I have people I trust tell me they disagree, I listen. When a whole bunch of them disagree, I sometimes have to weigh my own gut with the guts of a dozen other people I know and trust. There will be times (and there have been times) where I will insist on my own point of view, but they are very few and far between, and I can provide solid reasons. But I think any reasonable person would have to consider their own opinion in such circumstances. It doesn't make it easy. But if it were easy, I'd be worried that I wasn't surrounding myself with good advisors.
On Being Green
How did you come to the decision that you would be an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah?
Wendy had started the Blue page so that didn't really get to be an option. Truth be told, though, I think I always identified with Green. I was hooked, pretty much, from Alanna's quote to Egwene on the subject.
First I'd like to congratulate you on finding your husband may you have many happy years together. For someone who I imagine as a very independant woman how has this changed your life?
I have a marvelous partner in my husband. What's changed? Now I have someone who opens jars and saves me from spiders. I no longer have to feel like I'm facing problems by myself. I get to go to sleep being snuggled and wake up seeing a face I love. But again, anyone knowing me would not be surprised that I feel happy and strengthened by my relationship with my partner.
Any plans for babies?
Not for the next few years. Right now we're concentrating on Patrick getting his PhD.
From what I understand you love the stage and have worked in a fair number of places how has this added to your experience?
I'm not sure which experience you're referring to. If you mean work experience? It has taught me crises management. Aside from a life or death situation, I cannot imagine greater pressure than getting a production up on time despite major obstacles, or calling (stage managing) a show with ground crew, 3 fly crew, a light op, orchestral sound, live sound mixing, 2 live microphones, pre-recorded sound, 3 spotlight ops, and a cast of 150.... when your entire stage goes black during a performance. You learn to make decisions very quickly. You hope they're correct, but in the end any action is almost preferable to non-action.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ohh.. Patrick working as a Professor. Me having babies. Seriously though, it would be nice to be able to have him making a nice living, us being able to start a family, and me being able to concentrate on volunteer work and in being active in the local arts community. I'm not sure that sort of scenario is as achievable as it once was, though, and I doubt anything I plan 5 years from now will happen as I imagine it. I'm certainly not where I planned to be 5 years ago, but it's been a very interesting path.
You asked about work in general and current projects... I can't go into a lot of detail at this time, though I'm working on a few very exciting things. I can tell ya later! Of course, I'm moving towards actively becoming Online Community Director for Red Eagle (I have business cards... that's a step), and we're moving in some very positive directions. I'm doing my work with the site, most recently concentrating mostly on the fundraiser we did for Heifer. I'm working at one of the local performing arts centers and trying to settle into a new State and City community. I'm looking for a day job to take care of my family. I'm cooking dinner for my husband every night. That's about as specific as I can be right now.
On the Companies
You created these as a place for the male half of the tower do you think this has worked out as you first planned?
I had one major goal with the Companies. Before them, male members were given a "place" in the community only through their bond to a female member. We had a hard time retaining male members. It did not take a lot of personal reflection to figure out why. I personally would have no interest to join an organization where my status was determined by my being attached to another person.
We have always tried to stay within the idea of a "White Tower" structure, so Asha'man were out. It would have brought us into roleplay territory, given where we were and the current trends in WoT communities at the time. So we created Companies along similar lines as the Ajahs. They would be groups of men held together by common world views and goals. They would have their own symbols, customs and cultures. They would, being their own organizations, be better able to cater to their membership than they would if they were made from the exact same mold as the Ajahs.
In the end, I think we exceeded our goals with Companies. They were needed, they worked, and I am very glad to have them.
Each company has its own Animal how did you seek inspiration for them?
Each company has its own Animal, Stone, Colors, part of body (head, heart, muscle, spirit), and general idea of how the members might approach battle. I wanted to give them something as defined as I could. Ajahs have these sort of things to define them; so should Companies.
Simply, though, inspiration for each Company came from one or a few members who were present at the time.
VC was firmly based on Morni. I believe I used Thalion when thinking of DM. SDS was a combination of Driggy and Jakeb. MDD was Sat and a little Gwyn. Each company was created around dominant personalities at the time that seemed to also attract other members. If SDS has a Bear, it is because there were members who reminded me of a bear. I tried to find mascots the guys would like. Simple as that.
You have bonded twice into VC first Valo then Josef how has this been for you?
I've bonded three times into VC, actually. Morni's bond was passed to Aliandra, and it's turned out to be such a phenomenal thing for them. He and I remain good friends, and always have.
Valo and Joe are exceptional men, and I'll never know what I did to be lucky enough for them to put up with me. They're strong guys, dedicated to their families, incredibly funny, very patient with my eccentricities, and I'm lucky to know we have one another's backs. My friendships with them both have been, and remain, an important part of my life. They are friends I can talk to when I need a brutally honest opinion (from "Ok.. what does he mean when he says this?!" to "Does this make me look fat?" They'll tell me ). They are guys I can turn to when I need help moving my fridge. They're friends I can rely upon when I need someone to tell someone else to back off, and they don't judge me if I ask for a refill of wine.
They're my best guy-friends. Moreover, they get along really well with my husband, who is my bestest friend.
I'm pretty lucky, overall, aren't I?
I would like to thank Eleyan for the time she gave in answering my questions and giving us all a personal insight to who she is for those that do not know her.