Please welcome returning author Bernard Foong Young to Limelight!
Bernard Foong (designer) – A brief history
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the age of 8, he was assisting his aunt and cousin, learning the art of sewing and fabrics/colors matching. He attended an exclusive private boarding school in the United Kingdom before obtaining his Diploma in Fashion Design at the Harrow College of Art & Technology in London, England. He went on to complete his Master of Design at the Royal College of Art & Design, London, England. During his college years he won several international fashion awards and was already retailing bridal and evening dresses to several well known department stores in England. Liberty of London, Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols to name a few that carried his designs. His Royal College of Art graduation wedding/evening wear collection was sold to Liberty of London and displayed in their store windows for the entire month of June that year.
For four years, he worked for Liberty’s bridal department as their in-house designer until a trip to Hong Kong, while working on a freelance project for ‘Bird’s’(casual wear) company, he was recruited by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as their Fashion professor for the next 6 years. During his stay in Hong Kong, he freelanced for numerous fashion companies. From designing casual wear, swimwear, lingerie, and fur garments, men’s wear, bridal and evening fashions to accessories (bags, shoes, and head-wear). He also participated and organized numerous fashion shows, events, functions, and presentations in the Asia Pacific region.
Working for Keys Far East Hong Kong as chief lingerie designer – travelling extensively to the United States, he was soon recruited as an Associate Fashion Design/Illustration Professor to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also lectured at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design for a couple of years.
Foong was then appointed as the Fashion Development Manager by an established department store – Parkson Grand (22 stores in Malaysia and one in Shanghai, China). Producing under the label, Natural Life by Bernard Foong, he designed casual-wear collections for the Parkson Grand’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur. After a couple of years later, he was invited by the Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore to join their design school to establish a Fashion Design department. For two years, he assisted several founding members of the design school – working on the fashion department’s teaching curriculum.
The Fitzgerald Theatre Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Oahu, Hawaii awarded a full scholarship for Foong to complete his second Master of Art in Theatre Costuming. Now a resident on the Island of Maui, he has assisted many charity organizations in their fund raising events with his extravagant fashion and performance shows/presentations. In 2005, he and his partner, Mr. Walter Jay Bissett opened Fire Dragon Bistro Orient & Design Shop. He also designs costumes/fashions for numerous theatrical productions in Hawaii and abroad.
Appointed as chief lingerie designer for Cerie International Limited – Hong Kong, his lingerie designs can be found in major department stores in Canada and the United Kingdom.
He showcased the BERNARD FOONG R-T-W collections and BERNARD FOONG @ Modern Classic Ltd.(an established – Hong Kong bridal & evening wear company) collections in Hong Kong. His 2008 & 2009 bridal/evening/bridal lingerie fashion show, “Grace” & “Coming Up Roses” were premiered at Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2007 and January 2008 respectively at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, garnering positive interest in many Asian press reviews, including a China nationwide television broadcast of his latest collection. Aika (International Opera Singer) wore several Bernard Foong special occasion dresses at her Japan & European tour in September & October 2009.
Foong was the chief Creative Director for Official (Special Occasion fashion manufacturing company)Guangzhou, China producing– BERNARD FOONG Couture (specialty one-of-a-kind creations),White (RTW – Wedding/Special Occasion wear), Foxy Cute (Smart Casual/Cocktail wear), SexZ(decorative bustier) &Diva Bitch (sexual lingerie inner/outer-wear) collections.
Besides working on his regular haute couture, R-T-W and lingerie collections he is a visiting consultant/advisor for:
- Pivot Point fashion college, Chengdu, China.
- Hong Kong Design Institute (fashion department), Hong Kong, SAR.
- Hong Kong Poly/U, Hong Kong (School of Apparel Design & Merchandising), SAR.
- Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, Hong Kong.
- Singapore Temasek Polytechnic – School of Apparel Design & Merchandising (ADM), Singapore.
Bernard is also writing his autobiography, a seven book series of Mr. Foong’s young life.
1. Please tell us about your Memoir.
A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young
This provocative story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems .”
A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.
2. Why did you choose to write about this topic? Four years ago, after I closed my fashion boutique in Honolulu, I decided it was time to document my positive adolescent life experiences that I’ve kept under wraps for close to 40 years. That’s when A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young (my pen-name) series was born.
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 AdolescentTolerance – 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.
3. Is this a personal story, or is it about someone else? This is a personal story – a memoir series. 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.
4. What was the most difficult part to write in your book? Why? 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.
5. Why should readers choose your book over others in your field? My unique memoir series is highly educationally, spiritually enlightening not to mention tantalizingly provocative. It will change the way people think about harem life and will expose many to a hidden world, our contemporary societies are not aware of.
- I wanted to inform the larger world about my unique and controversial (to many) adolescent educational experiences. To be educated in at the Art of Sensuality and Sexuality at a young age.
- Secondly: to tell my positively enlightening experiences spend in six different Middle Eastern extremely elite/wealthy male harems/households and my induction into an illuminating sexual secret society (I called E.R.O.S. – Enlightened Royal Oracle Society in my books).
- Thirdly: on the contrary to what mainstream society thinks of harem life, I like to make clear that not all harem recruits are slaves (sold into slavery), abused or treated badly. My harem experiences and sexual education are completely the opposite. I was treated with love, respect and most importantly, I did not do perform any sexual services against my will.
6. Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? Solstice Publishing is publishing my entire memoir series. Including A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young audio books.
7. Have you published other books?Tell us about them please. Yes. Some years back I co-wrote an Asian fairy tale children’s short story book – titled Blossoms of the Spirit. I did a series of twelve Flower Goddesses paintings to go with each short story. It is still available on Amazon
Solstice also published another of my short story – No Distance Between Us. This is really a free standing chapter from A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – INITIATION. This E-book is available on Amazon
8. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What did you do to overcome it? 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.
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.
Therefore it is rare for me to suffer from writer’s block.
9. Do you do any of your own marketing? If yes, how do market your book? Yes, I do the majority of my own marketing, mainly through social media/networking/ twittering/facebook promos/ joining online book clubs, etc.
Its time consuming and slows down my writing process. I’ll rather concentrate fully on writing and hire a full-time publicist to market my books. J
10. Have any readers tried to reach out to you? Are your replies short and to the point, or do you partake in a conversation with them? Both. It depends on what my readers are asking about.
11. If you can connect with your favorite author on one of your networks, which author would that be? Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure – The Erotic Adventiures of Sleeping Beauty.
12. What is next on your agenda? I’m currently working on the 4th book in my memoir series: A Harem Boy’s Saga – IV – Turpitude; a memoir by Young. I would also like to mention that INITIATION audio book is now completed and is going through the amazon ‘greenlight’ process. Once my publisher gives me the greenlight, I’ll be actively promoting it. Plus, INITIATION’s screenplay and TV pilot are written. My literary agent is currently pitching A Harem Boy’s Saga (series) to potential TV/filmcompanies and producers.
If you would like to learn more about or contact Bernard Foong, go to:
All of Bernard Foong Young’s books can be purchased at the following locations.
Follow the links below to view the book trailers for all the 3 books in A Harem Boy’s Saga series.
The following are the more sensual versions.