Did you face a backlash from fans over Alannna choosing George over Jon in the lioness series?
Tammy: Not a backlash, prezackly. People do ask me why, and I explain that Alanna would be a disaster as queen, which is a diplomat’s job, while when she enters any place where George is, she feels that she has come home. That romantic love doesn’t last, and that it’s important to build up a lasting love and a lasting friendship for a relation to exist for the long term. Sooner or later Jonathan would run out of patience with Alanna’s temper and her lack of graces, and she would always feel like she couldn’t put a foot right. She can relax with George, and be herself.
The pro-Jon fan usually doesn’t like that explanation, and s/he usually goes away still wishing it had been Jon, but at least s/he understands my thinking!
George and Alanna still have plenty of romantic love floating around when she comes home. or is that the lasting love you mean. personally, i think there’s a companionship love, a deep comitment type love, and then the physical romantic love that all have to work together to make a good match.
Tammy: But it’s not that swoony, hearts-and-flowers, I’ll-die-if-I-don’t-see-him/her, s/he-has-a-special-glow-to-her-him, fireworks kind of love, the giddy, dizzy, make-make-your-friends-yark-up-hairballs kind. Haven’t you ever been totally caught up in someone at school, and come back the next year and wondered if you weren’t possibly on drugs or something the year before? What George and Alanna have is solid. When they fight, they don’t feel like their world is ripped into shreds. They know it will continue because at bottom, they love each other. When people are “in love,” every little spat is something that has to be mended with cement or the whole thing will go to pieces.
Thayet and Jon appreciated each other’s circumstances at first, and understood they would be a good match and a good solution to each one’s problems. Then, as they got to know each other, they began to really like each other’s cool dispositions, their common sense about the problems facing royalty, and the particular elegance with which each dealt with their daily lives. They had known the other was an attractive person before, but they had their fill of attractive people at some point in their lives. But the other was . . . restful on the eyes. Calm, and graceful. Energetic without being frenetic. Appreciative of elegant things, like art, music, and dancing. Neither of them lost their heads over a wedding, even though everyone around them was going crazy. Both savored their wedding night, and Jonathan handled it with tact and kindness, for which Thayet was deeply grateful. She knew few men would have behaved as well as he did, or gone to so much trouble to make her laugh. And so it went, day by day.
Love. It’s a nice thing.
And what do you think of love at first sight, and eternal love, as well as only having One True Love, or do you believe there is more than one?
Tammy: Remember I’m a cranky Old Person with arthritis and a cynical world view. Moreover, I usually ended up with guys that other women had passed over (because they were blind). I tend to think that love at first sight is more like a brain-frying surge of hormones. Eternal love–well, I don’t know about eternity, but for this time it has to be shored up by respect, liking, friendship, and shared interests, or eternal love will die. I prefer the solid, less fireworky kind, the kind that makes you soup when you have a cold, and will search all the late night groceries for Nilla Wafers because you had a bad day. The kind that will go with you to the hospital, when your love hates hospitals.
I don’t believe in One True Love. I think it’s an agreeable fantasy that sells romance novels, but the real world gives us real people with their good sides and their flaws. One True Love would be someone from the Doll House, someone who is entirely configured to reflect who we are and what we want, including “one true love.” After a while you’d just want to smack them to see if there’s a human being in there.
Also, you know how it is when you’re having a really big day, like a major party, or a wedding, and there’s a lot of excitement, and it’s all good and fun, and by around five you wish you were four so you could just sit down on the ground and cry for an hour? I can’t help but think that’s how my one true love would make me feel–great to a point, and then I’d get tired and fussy and I’d throw up all the candy I’d eaten.
I don’t even know if that makes sense, but I tried to explain!