5 Questions: Toni Tennille

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5 Questons is a series by Steve Duffy –

TT

Since bursting onto the scene in the mid ‘70s, the pop duo “Captain and Tennille” have long defined the sparkling, optimistic idea of everlasting love, both in their music and through their image as a happy and, seemingly, unbreakable couple. The duo’s biggest hit was, “Love Will Keep Us Together,” but underneath the image was an entirely different story that the fans never saw: a woman who fought a lonely struggle against the controlling and often bizarre behavior of her emotionally inaccessible husband.

SD: What inspired you to write your memoir?

TT: I wasn’t going to write one, it was never on my radar to do one. As I struggled with my relationship with Daryl, I knew that I had to do something. It took me a long time to make up my mind whether or not I was going to divorce him. He is the only man I have loved. Once I made up my mind to divorce him, I felt like I now had a resolution that I could talk about in the book. I wanted to explain to our fans how I came to the decision to leave. If it wasn’t for my niece, Caroline, I would have never had written the book. I did not want to write it with someone I didn’t know.

SD: What was the writing process for you?

TT: The process of writing was wonderful. I would write what happened and then Caroline has a wonderful gift of bringing the reader into the story or scene that I was writing about. She really made it feel real on the pages. It took about 2 years to write. At the time, we lived 2500 miles apart from each other so we would communicate through email or on the phone. It was a real labor of love for me.

SD: What was most challenging for you in writing your memoir?

TT: Personally for me it was being alone in my little house and writing about the things that brought back so many memories good and bad. At times, I had to make myself sit down and write. It is never easy to write about yourself or the people you love.

SD: Your divorce came as a big surprise to your fans. It must have been freeing to write so honestly about your marriage with Daryl?

TT: It was.  I knew I was going to have to leave him, I just didn’t know when or how. I am very thankful for the huge support system that I have. My sisters have always known what was going on in my life and they have been very supportive. I found a fantastic therapist who helped me walk through the stages of finally getting the courage to leave. I felt horrible about disappointing our fans, but I had to learn to live for myself and find my own happiness. What has amazed me is that 90% of comments from our fans have been extremely positive. It is amazing to find out how many people like me have or are going through the same experience as me. I hope that my story with help others find the courage to help themselves.

SD: What was Daryl’s reaction to your book?

TT: I did tell him that I was going to write the book. I wanted to be fair to him. I told him that he should write one too, because my story is going to be from my point of view and the fans would love it if he wrote something. He did tell me that he was not worried. While in NYC doing some promo’s for the book, I called him on the way to the airport to ask how he was doing. He said, “I just saw you on the Today Show and I’m proud of you.” It is very comforting for me to know that he is doing fine.

 

For more information on Toni visit www.tonitennille.net and to purchase her new memoir visit www.rowman.com


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