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AofA People: Monique Roffey – Author, Lecturer


1 Minute Read

Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. Her erotic novel The Tryst, was published in the summer of 2017. Her novel House of Ashes, 2014, was shortlisted for the COSTA Fiction Award, 2015, as well as the OCM BOCAS Award 2015. Her erotic memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth, caused controversy and critical acclaim in 2011. She is a Lecturer on the Novel MFA at Manchester Metropolitan University and has also taught creative writing and mentored emerging writers in Trinidad for several years, for COSTAATT, the OCM Bocas Literature Festival, and privately in Port of Spain.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Monique Roffey

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

52

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

East end of London and Port of Spain, Trinidad

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a writer and university lecturer

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Cooler than I had expected.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

A lot of life experience. I can call myself worldly. I have thirty-year-old friendships too; that’s amazing, when you know people and they know you for all your life.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

I went out there, went to the buffet and tasted wheat was on the table. I’m so glad I did too. I’ve had many lovers and been loved and loved in return. I’m currently part of an advanced tantra group. I see myself as a sexual seeker, a sex positive lover, a tantrika, and very open to my body’s desires. I’ve developed the tendencies and the language of a tantrika to discuss sexual love.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Currently single. Last long term lover was a sex worker. We’ll see what happens.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Entirely free.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

My work, my books, and that I have mentored emerging writers in the UK and in Trinidad. It’s important for me to give back. I’m a good teacher, too. In fact I’d say teaching is as much a vocation as writing.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Life! If you live a rich life and you have an active imagination, ideas keep coming.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

In the summer, here in the UK and I’m always happy in my home town of Port of Spain. I love the sea too, a beach gives me so much pleasure. I just spent a week alone writing in a cottage by the sea in Tobago. I was visited every day by a small dog called Pepper. A cottage, a beach and a happy dog, that’s my idea of perfect contentment.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Into my books. I’ve also recently started drawing. I plan to do more drawing at the Royal Drawing school in Shoreditch near where I live.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

I’m a Buddhist, a mitra (friend) of the Triratna order. My philosophy is that of non duality and of compassion to self and others. One of the meditations Triratna teaches is called the metta bavana. Metta means loving kindness in Pali. The meditation is about 45 mins long and involves sending metta to yourself, a person you care for, a person you find challenging and a person you hardly know at all. I think that’s so simple and yet very advanced humanity.

AND DYING?

See above, I’m a Buddhist. Live well and when we die the soul moves on. The universal principal of creating karma in this life will decide what kind of life the soul moves onto.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Yes!

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AofA People: Linda Devo – Art Teacher, Bass Player


1 Minute Read

Linda Devo has charisma shining from her pores. Thank goodness, she’s just formed a rock band.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

46

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Bristol

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I teach art in a mainstream school 3 days a week, one day a week with a 15 year old rock god who is autistic. The rest of the week is spent servicing my desire to explore what I’m going to do next.

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

It’s a heady mix of exhilaration that I’m still alive (thought I might be not by now), grumpy cos things hurt coupled with a very large desire to be healthy and fit for some serious living ie fulfilling my dreams of travel,  rock stardom (finally formed a band of equally unskilled, middle-aged women) and creating community wherever it is I find myself.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Wisdom, nouse, self confidence, strong sense of responsibility, experience of winning, creativity and knowing what to do with it, assertiveness in large measure and a healthy dose of not giving two f*#*s what others might think!

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

What about it? Time is an issue, with a partner it’s less simple, having individual desire be in rhythm with the demands of daily life can be challenging. I imagine if I was single, it would be easier to have non-committal, animalistic fulfillment of sexual desire but I’m more discerning now so maybe that’s just a fantasy.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Richer, clearer now I have better self-knowledge and have done lots of work on healing my wounds and untangling neuroses, much more enjoyable, less hurtful, less deluded.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Hmm, it’s complicated, more responsibility, conversely much freer.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

Transforming my circumstances; the person I’ve grown to be ; my wonderful son ; my relationships ; my ability to be creative and resourceful,  the ability to change and grow…

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Practicing Nichiren Buddhism, my family and friends,  my work,  role models , technology , life itself.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

Often

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

My home,  work,  making art and music

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Create value , respect the dignity of life,  seek the potential for good in everyone,  create happiness,  remove suffering.

AND DYING?

Be prepared for death so I can live joyfully in each moment.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Yes, more so than ever

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

Define outrageous?

AofA People: Mary King – Painter, Gardener, Art Teacher


1 Minute Read

Feistily independent artist/art teacher, Mary King tells about her preference for younger men.

WHO ARE YOU?

Mary King

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

54

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Scotland

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Self-employed painter, gardener, art teacher. Employed at a local pottery as ceramic decorator and gardener; part-time hospitality

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

I feel exactly the same as I did in my 30s. I don’t really accept my age or think about it much. Age is a state of mind. I tend to forget how old I am. I’m not exactly cock-a-hoop when I remember, but that’s more to do with having less time left.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

More debt. A little more freedom as I’m now single.
More bulges. But I care less about them.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

I don’t have a partner at the moment, but I am always interested if someone hot comes along!
I tend to prefer them younger.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

I am not too interested in men my age as they are usually pretty staid and boring. I have had a variety of relationships with guys younger than me but am currently single and not actively looking for the moment.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Apart from finances, I feel pretty free. I am aiming to be completely free within the next couple of years!

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

My artwork and the fact I’ve always followed my heart, and never accepted a life which was less than I wanted.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Travel, nature and exploring our beautiful planet

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

On top of a mountain or on the sea in my kayak. In sunshine. At an airport on my way to somewhere exciting.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Into paintings, gardens and planning new ways to make money.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Live while you’re alive.
Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.
Life’s too short to put up with crap…if you’re not happy with your life, change it!

AND DYING?

I am not comfortable thinking about it.
I am scared of dying before I’ve done everything I want to do.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Of course, constantly.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

Sex in the mangroves with a man half my age?

Surprise Me

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