MEET BERNARD FOONG

Bernard was 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, Bernard worked for Liberty’s bridal department as their in-house designer until on  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, designing casual wear, swimwear, lingerie, and fur garments, men’s wear, bridal and evening fashions to accessories (bags, shoes, and head-wear). Bernard also participated in 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 - traveling 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, 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 of the United States, he has assisted many charity organizations in their fundraising events with his extravagant fashion and performance shows/presentations. In 2005, he and his husband, Mr. Walter Jay Bissett opened Fire Dragon Bistro Orient & Design Shop. He also designs costumes/fashions for numerous theatrical productions locally and abroad.

Appointed as the chief lingerie designer for Cerie International Limited – Hong Kong, Bernard's 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 definite 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 appointed as 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 Things (decorative bustier) & Diva Bitch (sexy erotic wear) collections.

Bernard just completed his autobiographic five-book series of his young life:  A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young, which earned him the status of  an internationally best-selling author.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK.

Metanoia is the fifth and final volume to A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young (five-book series). This erotically sensual and captivating autobiography is about a young man coming-of-age in a secret society before being spirited away to serve in several Middle Eastern male harems.

Metanoia follows Young and Andy’s (the young man’s lover-cum-chaperone) journey to their fifth Arabian Household at the opulent residences of their patriarch, Tad; an athlete of international fame. Although the couple had to maneuver through a minefield of explosive sentiments, they also acted as their “Master’s” confidante as they move through the world of the wealthy and elite.

This book is steeped in preternaturalism and spirituality. It is enlighteningly educational in the Middle Eastern way of life and the different aspects of Arabian culture.  This memoir is also an epic love story between Young and Andy. The joys and pleasures together with the trials and tribulations that come with heroic and unconditional love.

 

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR THIS BOOK?

Metanoia is a transliteration of the Greek word μετάνοια. It is "a transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion.” The term suggests repudiation, change of mind, repentance, and atonement; but "conversion" and "reformation" may best approximate its connotation. Rather than using the word atonement, I felt metanoia better relates to the overall message within the pages of this final volume of my autobiography.

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? IS IT PART OF A SERIES?

I’ll answer the 2nd part of this question first. Yes, this is the final volume of a five-book autobiographical series. It is educational and enlightening documentation of my teenage life in my fifth wealthy Arabian household. My then patriarch – Tad Abdul Hafiz who was an accomplished international Sportsman.  This book also chronicles the final months leading up to the end of an epic love story between my ex-chaperone/mentor/guardian/Valet, Andy (my first love).    

 

HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES OR THOSE OF SOMEONE YOU KNOW?

A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young series is base entirely on my personal experiences. The series is not an expose of the secret society I was inducted into or the names of the people involved. I took the liberty to change the actual locales and names, to protect their identities. 

WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH WENT INTO WRITING YOUR BOOK?

A lot of research went into the writing of the volumes. Each book took approximately one-an-half to two years to complete. Since my experiences happened close to forty-nine to fifty years ago, I cannot remember all the social, cultural and political situations of that period. My research helps me to recall my memoiries. Although I have many photographs taken during that period of my life and I remember the gist of the conversations, but the dialogues in the books are creative writing.

 

WHAT CRITERIA DID YOU USE WHEN SELECTING THE COVER FOR YOUR BOOK?

Although I am an artist, designer, and photographer, I work closely with a book cover designer to come up with images that closely resemble my various Arab Household patriaches, and their passions that best represent their characters.

 

WAS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WERE TRYING TO CONVEY?

There are many messages in my books that are highly illuminating, enlightening, educational, spiritual and transcendental.

 

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR BOOK?

No.

 

IF YOUR BOOK WOULD BE MADE INTO A FILM, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY THE LEADS?

A Harem Boy’s Saga – I – Initiation; a memoir by Young (the first book in the series) is currently in film production. The casting is in the producers’ hands. I do not have a say in who should play me. But if I’m given a choice, I would recommend a young Korean actor/singer by the name of Teaceyon. He looks very much like me when I was a teenager.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?

I started writing in early 2011 after I closed my fashion boutique at Ala Moana Shopping Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. An overwhelming urge beckoned me to document my unique teenage life. That was when I succumbed to the calling. I needed to write down my sui generis experiences before I am too old to write. LOL!

 

WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?

I don’t consider myself a writer. I am a memoirist because of my calling to document my life. Although writing is one form of my artistic expression, I have other artistic passions I want to return to: such as my fashion work, photography, and art.

The next chapter in my life is to return to my other artistic passion now that Metanoia is completed. I will document Life After A Harem Boy’s Saga, if and when A Harem Boy’s Saga (movie series) takes flight. 😊

 

DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING STYLE.

Stylishly quirky, humorously enlightening, delectably enchanting, erotically romantic and last but by no means least, sensually educational.

 

WHAT IS THE HARDEST LESSON YOU HAD TO LEARN AS A WRITER?

I am one of those people that goes with the flow, and I see everything/experience as a journey to my goal. When I feel disheartened, I don’t relinquish what I’ve started but forge on. There is more than one hard lesson to learn in any profession, but each is a means to an end. It is a chance to improve my art and my worldview. Since I don’t consider myself a writer, each “hard” lesson is a learning curve I have to overcome; to get from point A to B. 

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A WRITER?

Self promotion and marketing. Not just as a memorist but in all my artistic endevors.

 

NOT INCLUDING FAMILY, WHO SUPPORTED YOUR EFFORTS TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?

My husband of a year and life-partner of twenty-one years. He was the one who encouraged me to document my unusual teenage experiences.

 

WHO WAS YOUR FIRST PUBLISHER AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?

I do not wish to name my first publisher since I do not want to discredit her standing in the publishing business. What I learn after that was to find a reputable literary agent (which I did). It was her who introduced me to Solstice Publishing and a film option contract with an established UK/Hollywood producer.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?

My modus operanti – the 3Ps: Patience, Persistance and Perserverance.

 

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE WRITERS?

Too many to mention. 😊

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?

I am reading several books by different authors from a variety of genres.

 

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?

Cruelty to animals and the human devastation of Gaia.

 

IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE WHO EVER LIVED, PAST OR PRESENT, WHO WOULD THAT BE?

Oscar Wilde and a host of others, too numerous to mention.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES?

I love PBS chanel shows, with a strong historical content such as:

  • Downton Abbey (series)

  • Poldark (series)

  • Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot (series), and many more.

 

I love fantasy fictional and animation movies:

  • J.R. Rowling’s magical and mythical beast (series)

  • Nuckcracker (the movie)

  • Disneyesque aninimation films – too many to mention.

 

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC TOUCHES YOUR SOUL?

Mainly Classical and stupendous film scores

 

WHAT DO YOU WANT WRITTEN ON YOUR HEADSTONE?

There once lived a Rennaisance man by the name of ….

This provocative story is about an adolescent 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.

Unbridled is the sequel to Initiation - A provocative story about a boy 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, his ‘Big Brother’ and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperones and mentors during the boy’s Harem services.

This book follows the boy’s erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at his 2nd Arab Household Harem, the Sekham. He was an apprentice and model, for the household patriarch’s controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places”.

Debauchery is the triquel to A Harem Boy’s Saga, a provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society through his UK boarding school. From there, he was spirited to the Middle East to attend the Bahriji (Oasis) School in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for Harem services for the wealthy elite. It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother,’ and his ‘Valet,’ who served as his chaperones and mentors.

This book follows the teenagers’ erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at their third Arabian Household Harem, the Quwah. There, they became confidants to a prince, assistants in an international dance club venture, “Carousel,” and apprentices and models in a controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places.”

 

Turpitude is the fourth book to A Harem Boy’s Saga, a provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society through his UK boarding school. From there, he was spirited to the Middle East to attend the Bahriji (Oasis) School in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for Harem services for the wealthy elite.  It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother,’ and his ‘Valet,’ who served as his chaperones and mentors.

This book follows the teenagers’ erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at their fourth Arabian Household, the Assalamu Alaikum (Peace Be with You) Harem. There, they became confidants to a sheik, assistants to his numerous international ventures, especially that of a film production: “Kāmasūtra - Lover’s Tale.” The teenagers continue to apprentice and model in a controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places.”

Metanoia is the fifth and final volume to A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young (five-book series). This erotically sensual and captivating autobiography is about a young man coming-of-age in a secret society before being spirited away to serve in several Middle Eastern male harems.

Metanoia follows Young and Andy’s (the young man’s lover-cum-chaperone) journey to their fifth Arabian Household at the opulent residences of their patriarch, Tad; an athlete of international fame. Although the couple had to maneuver through a minefield of explosive sentiments, they also acted as their “Master’s” confidante as they move through the world of the wealthy and elite.

This book is steeped in preternaturalism and spirituality. It is enlighteningly educational in the Middle Eastern way of life and the different aspects of Arabian culture.

FOLLOW BERNARD

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