A Harem Boy's Saga Part III
Welcome back, Bernard Fong AKA Young. 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.
Two of your books are award winners. Why don’t you tell us about that.
To be honest with you, I had forgotten both my entries (I entered A Harem Boy's saga - I -Initiation; a memoir by Young in the 'Erotica' category and book II - Unbridled in the 'All Other Novels' category). It was when you reminded me that I was within the top 10 (for Unbridled) that I realize I had entered the competition. That was when I started actively soliciting supporters to vote for the books.
I checked the ranking and for some miraculous reason, Initiation was also at #8 in 'Erotica' (when I forgot all about the entry). Unfortunately Initiation didn't make it into the top 10 final cut when the results were announced but Unbridled did.
If not for you, I would have completely forgotten about the entries. Lol! Of course I was elated, not just because I came in at #8 but that I even made it into the top 10 when I had completely forgotten about both entries. Lol!
b) As for the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, when Initiation (the 1st book in A Harem Boy's Saga series) was 1st self-published in 2013, I entered the book into theAutobiographies/Memoirs category. Again I had forgotten about the entry until the organiser contacted me to tell me I've won in the 2013 Autobiographies/Memoirs category.
I couldn't believe it! I was surprised and delighted simultaneously of my good fortune. Lol!
Hence, this is the back story. :) The point is - after I've done something, I leave it at that and move on to something else or the next thing that requires my attention. Being a writer, I'm sure you are aware that writing the next book is more important than winning awards and competitions. Sure, it is great to be acknowledged for one's hard work but my 1st and foremost love is writing and telling my story to a larger audience. The accolades are secondary to my passion of writing or my other creative endeavours.
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