Greetings all!

This member spotlight is for our most recent Assistant TVT Editor! Because real life is a bit hectic, Leala and I conducted this interview via PM. So, thanks to her for doing a bunch of the typing herself. 🙂

Adina: Tell us a little about yourself in real life- where do you live, what you do for a living, and what’s your home life like, etc?

Leala: I am from from Shreveport, LA. In early April I moved to Rockford, IL, to be with my then fiancé, Ignis al’Caleum. I work in the purchasing department of a small pharmaceutical company. Ignis and I married on July 10, which was a date we set after we got engaged on December 22, 2019. We have two cats, Trify and Ruby. Trify is 11, and I named him Triforce, because when he was a tiny jellybean, I saw that he had a Triforce on his cheek. Ruby is seven, and we’re not sure of her birthday. She wandered up [to us], so we celebrate their birthdays on the same day.


Adina: How do you like living in Illinois so far?

Leala: This is my first summer in Illinois, and it’s so nice not to have 100+ degree days. My asthma really appreciates it.

Adina: Do you have other hobbies/interests outside of Wheel of Time (WoT)?

Leala: I love to draw! I started drawing when I was 8 and discovered the anime Sailor Moon. My little sister and I grew up watching it together, so it’s a big part of our sibling bond. We still love anime [although] now I lean more toward manga than anime. I’m much more picky about how my manga is arranged than the rest of my books.

Adina: What brought you to TarValon.Net? What made you want to stay and get more involved?

Leala: I had heard of TarValon.Net from other WoT communities. When I signed up, I was in kind of an anxiety fog because of a major change in my life. The community offered the social engagement that I needed, but if there was one thing I could pinpoint that made me decide to stay, it was two members: Jarl Lewin and Alora Sionn.

Adina: What “makes” you White Ajah?

Leala: I liked the idea of the White Ajah from the books, and feel I’d probably fit in there. When I guested with the White Ajah, I enjoyed the sympathetic and logical atmosphere there while we sought for the truth. So I stayed because I’m also a sympathetic and logical person. I seek logic during the hard times of life naturally, and I’m accepting to those around me.

Adina: What interests you most about the Tar Valon Times?

Leala: The Tar Valon Times has a special place in my heart. It was the first staff position I held here, way back when. I wanted to get back into the game, so to speak. Also, I knew I’d get along with the Editor. I live in her Pocket, you see. I’ve been enjoying reading all the new material that’s come out, and wrapping my head around the publishing process.

Adina: I’ve always wanted to know the Pocket story too.

Leala: When I was a Novice, Senior Members were putting Junior Members in their pockets, and she pocketed me.

Adina: Do you have any specific goals for the TVT?

Leala: My goal for my tenure is to archive all backlogged TVT articles, and organize our archive in the Library to be easier to read. It’s…going to take some time, but I’ve already learned so much about wiki editing.

Adina: What is your favorite Non-Ajah forum to hang out in?

Leala: Frivolous Fun! I’ve made many close friends there, including two of my first-sisters. It’s a relaxing place to hang out and SPAM!

Adina: What is your favorite non-WoT book or series?

Leala: I have many and can’t narrow it down to one, so I’ll recommend one of my favorites. Welcome to Night Vale, the Novel. It’s based around my favorite fictional podcast, and written so that you don’t have to have listened to it to be able to read the book. The podcast and novel are set in a little desert town called Night Vale where weird and usually dangerous things happen, but there’s an air of normalcy to it. The citizens are all used to the hooded figures, shadowy government entities hanging around. My favorite character is a five-headed dragon, and each head has five distinct personalities.

Adina: What is your favorite thing to eat?

Leala: Spaghetti.

Adina: What is a movie that makes you cry?

Leala: Not many movies hold this distinction. But, Kubo and the Two Strings made me cry at the very end.

Adina: Give us a fun fact about Leala!

Leala: After I finished going through all my DVDs for the move, what was left was mostly anime and Shakespeare movie adaptations.

Adina: You’re now a member of the “Really Long Tower Names Club” of member who’ve married members, and I hear your have a fun proposal story. Would you please share it with our readers to wrap up this interview?

Leala: So, [this is] the story of how Ignis proposed to me, and I then returned the favor. When you start talking to me about the Wheel of Time, the first thing I’ll start fangirling over will probably be the Aiel. They are genuinely my favorite part of the series, and Aviendha is my favorite character. So of course, Ignis knew this.

At the time, we were long distance, and I was visiting him for Christmas, in 2019. After the first night (I was tired from traveling all day, then going to a play of his), he woke me up all excited and told me he had a present for me. He told me to put my glasses on and brought me to the living room. He put a present in front of me, and I opened a large wooden plaque with the Aiel battle chant on it, along with the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai.

I looked up, and he was on one knee, holding the ring box, and said, “Will you fight the Dark One with me until the Last Day?”

When I came back home and gushed about it to my Ajah, I got the idea to drop a bridal wreath (another Aiel tradition) at his feet during the next Anni Party. COVID then happened, but I still made the wreath. I consulted Alora, who suggested I use the language of flowers to pick the flowers, like Aiel women do in the books. I went with white chrysanthemums for truth (because I’ll always be honest with him) and sweet williams for gallantry, because I have a strong independent streak. I also wove a red and orange ribbon around it. Those are our wedding colors, because red is my favorite colors, and orange is his. It’s hanging in our home.

Because of the COVID situation delaying Anni, I set up a thread in the White Ajah Sitting Room where all my Ajah siblings, and my first-sister who’s a Warder of ours, could post “Remember Honor,” what the Aiel say when they approve of a suitor. I printed it out, wrote him a letter, and mailed him the whole thing without letting the secret out.

Adina: That is such a great story, thanks for letting me interview you Leala, and thanks for reading friends! I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting to know our Assistant Editor a little bit better now.

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