Welcome once again to our Author’s Interview series. Today, we have Bernard Foong (pen name Young), who has agreed to come over and let me introduce him to you all. I met Young via my open invitation on Twitter, and even though we’ve only exchanged a few tweets and emails, I have enjoyed the chance to learn more about him. I hope you enjoy learning more as well. Young presents more than just literature in his work. There is a lesson in understanding presented in both the interview, and the follow up character interview, along with the work itself that needs to be heard out in the world. For this alone, I would fully support the work. So, without further interference, I will hand the stage over to him.
Thanks for stopping in today! What can you tell us about your current work in progress?
I’m working on A Harem Boy’s Saga – book IV – Turpitude; a memoir by Young. It’s a lengthy process since there are a lot of my young life experiences to cramp into each volume. Each book is approximately 3 months of my life, spend in service at a total of 7 different Arab Household harems.
For readers who don’t know what A Harem Boy’s Saga is about, here is a synopsis:
A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation; a memoir by Young.
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers’ footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknown to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.
My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.
There are 7 books to this series.
What’s your primary method of writing? Do you brainstorm, work from an outline, or just jot down whatever comes to mind?
Writing a memoir or an autobiography is vastly different from writing a fictional novel. I’m writing about events, situations and emotional feelings that had happened, of ‘remembrance of things past.’ My outline, inspirations come from an abundance of old photographs, journals/diaries I had kept during the various periods of my life.
Although in the books, I’ve changed the names and places to protect myself and those involved, the experiences and events that happened are true. The creative part of my writing are in the dialogue throughout the books. Although I am able to remember the overall gist of what was said, I had to make up the dialogue since it’s been over 40 odd years since these events/situations occurred.
Who inspired you to get into writing as a profession?
An inner calling told me to document my unique education. Now, is the correct moment to tell my story. Other factors that influenced me to write are:
- Provide Tolerance to Sissy Boys by understanding parents/peers and the community.
Anderson Cooper 360 documentary on the devastating treatment of effeminate boys influence me to tell my story.
- Bullying can be Avoided through Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer programs in school or outside school system. Older students acting as mentors to younger students.
- Gay Adolescent Tolerance – parents/child/siblings relationship issues.
Support/mentorship program to all parties involved to foster understanding and acceptance of Gay kids.
- Provide an Alternative Educational System;
Understanding Big Brother/adolescent mentorship programs in schools, BB as protector to keep younger kids from being bullied.
- Human Relationship Building Program;
Between parents/teachers and young students on sexual topics/issues, especially when adolescent are just discovering their sexuality. They can be guided on a healthy and honest sexual journey instead of “don’t ask, don’t tell” hide it behind the closet policy.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a writer?
Staying focus to write daily especially writing a 7 volume epic saga of my adolescent teenage life. I had considered changing the book main title to The Chronicles of A Harem Boy instead of A Harem Boy’s Saga but my literary agent advised me not to.
Let’s go silly for a moment – if you could be any character from a TV series, who would it be and why?
I love the BBC TV miniseries, Downton Abbey. I will like to Lady Mary. She is elegant, cool, sophisticated, worldly and stylish. Not to say I’m not all of the above but I miss the wealth I was inducted into during my young years.
Do you have a particular favorite spot to write? How about a favorite food or drink to stoke the ingenuity?
I move between my writing desk in my workroom and the lanai (balcony). It is very pleasant to sit outdoors to write, especially when living in Hawaii. The winters here (like now) are very temperate and cool. Perfect place to write and be surrounded by nature.
What sort of advice can you give to those who are just getting into this field?
Stay focus. My modus operandi: the 3Ps: Perseverance, Persistence & Patience.
Thank you Mr. Young for stopping by today. One more question. Is there somewhere an interested reader can connect with you?
- My Website – A Harem Boy’s Saga
- My Blog – In the Harem
- On Facebook at either Bernard Foong or A Harem Boy’s Saga book page
- Twitter @aharemboysaga
- My Amazon Author’s Page
- My Goodreads profile
- Video trailer for all the 3 books in A Harem Boy’s Saga series (conservative version): http://youtu.be/F0Lv80yhhq0
If you are interested, here is the link for the available books in the saga:
Amazon.com: Harem Boy Saga