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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Interview with Kimberley A. Johnson and Ann Werner!!

Kimberley A. Johnson and Ann Werner, mother and daughter, are the authors of the book, The Virgin Diaries.

HP: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Both of us worked on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" for over seven years. Ann portrayed Eliana, maid to the evil Dimera family and Kimberley portrayed a Salem police officer. The makeup crew referred to her as Diva Cop. In 2010 we started Ark Stories (http://arkstories.com) to showcase our collected anthologies, or what we like to refer to as reality books. We are branching out this year to also feature novels written by Ann. The first on the Ark Stories fiction list will be Dreams and Nightmares, which we're planning to launch this summer.

HP: As you are mother and daughter can you tell us a little about your family life? As a mother/daughter how did your relationship work concerning sex talk(s)?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: We have always been best friends as well as mother and daughter and have kept the lines of communication open, whether it was talking about sex or discussing any important issues in either of our lives. We both believe it is important for parents to educate their children from an early age. If a child is old enough to ask a question, then an honest answer should be given but no more than what was asked. Sometimes a parent will feel uncomfortable answering questions but that discomfort should never interfere with answering truthfully. We feel that answering questions about sex is an important part of parenting and providing a healthy attitude towards sex.

HP: Can you tell us a little about your book, The Virgin Diaries?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: We collected stories from seventy-two anonymous people, gay and straight, ranging in age from 20-77. Our main focus is to highlight the emotional aspect of losing virginity. The book was created for virgins to make an informed decision with an unbiased view, as well as provide an tool for parents to open a healthy dialogue with their children. There is no commentary, allowing the reader to form their on conclusions.
The stories are not vulgar. We specified that we were not looking for pornographic accounts.

HP: When you look back, do you wish you had a book like this to help you?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Absolutely! That's where the idea came from.

HP: When and why did you begin compiling this book?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: The idea began with an offhand statement by Kimberley in the winter of 2004. Ann thought it would make a great book and the collaboration began. At first we contacted people we knew for their stories but we soon opened it up to Internet submissions. Initially we interviewed only women but then realized they were only half the story. One of the women who answered was gay and we realized again that if we were going to tell the whole story, the book had to be all inclusive. You could say that the Virgin Diaries developed in an organic fashion. The more we reached out, the more we knew we had to include.

HP: Did compiling this book teach you anything and what was it?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: It taught us that although people come from different backgrounds and have different lifestyles, we all share a commonality. We all have the same hopes and fears and pretty much across the board, none of us got much in the way of advice about sex from parents, teachers and religious figures. The advice we and the people who gave us their stories got from our peers was usually wrong because they were as uniformed as we were.

HP: Were there ever any unconformable moments between the two of you while compiling this book? If so, why?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Not really. We were so intent on getting it right that there wasn't any time to feel uncomfortable about anything.

HP: Did you have any submissions from people that you did not put in the book? If so, why not?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Yes we did. We felt the stories were too vulgar and/or the story didn't have the ring of truth.

HP: What was the hardest part about compiling this book?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: This was our first time out and everything we did was new to us. Finding the people to share their stories was difficult. Not that having people give us their stories was hard. On the contrary, once we got going, we found that people were very willing to share their experiences, especially when they knew the stories would be anonymous. But initially we had no idea where to go to find the people, so it was a learning experience.

HP: How and where can we purchase your book?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: The Virgin Diaries is available on Amazon in print. It's also available in a Kindle edition for only $2.99. You can find it in print at other online book sellers as well. If you're interested, you can read two full stories on our website arkstories.com.

HP: You have anther book just released last month. Ain't No Sunshine: Men Reveal the Pain of Heartbreak. Can you tell us a little about this book?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Thirty-eight anonymous men describe in detail how they dealt with the loss of romantic love, whether it was due to divorce, betrayal, death or bad timing. We've also included insights from therapists, psychics and bartenders.

HP: Do you think you will compile other book(s) like these two?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: Most definitely. Our next venture will be on body/self image.
HP: Ann Werner, I see you already had a novel published before now. The People Next Door, a mystery book. Can you tell us a little about this novel?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: The People Next Door is a little bit mystery, a little bit science fiction and a little bit thriller - all the genres I love to read! The protagonist, Amanda Harris, feels she is the luckiest woman in the world. She has inherited money from two relatives, is in business for herself and has just purchased a condominium in Glendale, California. But soon after moving into the first home she's ever owned, strange things begin to happen. Little pieces of time are lost. Teacups, books, and bags of cat food disappear then reappear, causing Amanda to question her sanity. But when she and her daughter are bitten by a supposed insect and her daughter seeks medical attention for the infected bite, the discovery of an implanted metal chip sets off a chain of events that will challenge not only Amanda's sanity but her courage and stamina as well.
xt novel Dreams and Nightmares, which is a straight out thriller, this summer.

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to readers?

Kimberley A. Johnson & Ann Werner: The written word is one of life's greatest gifts, allowing us to go places we've never been and experience things we've never seen.

Whether it's to educate yourself or maybe just escape into another world for a time, there's nothing like a book to fully engage your imagination, stretch your mind and make you think. We feel honored when people read our books and joyful when we hear back from them how the books have affected them in a positive way. If you keep on reading, we'll keep on writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

About the Author's

Kimberley A. Johnson:
Kimberley A. Johnson was born in Baltimore Maryland and raised in Southern California. During the 1980-81 school year, she lived with her father, a network news cameraman which provided the opportunity to attend the Anglo American School in Moscow Russia. She portrayed a police officer on the popular daytime drama Days Of Our Lives for over seven years. The make-up crew referred to her as "Diva Cop." Currently, Kimberley is a regular guest on The Jorge Rodriguez Show on Sofloradio.com. She also has a background in sales, including fine bone china, perfume, industrial chemicals and energy and is now pursuing her dream of conquering the world. She resides in Northern California. Facebook: Author Kimberley A. Johnson
 
Ann Werner:
Ann Werner was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, moved to Southern California in 1977, lived a few years near Sedona Arizona and now resides in Northern California. Along the way she has held a variety of jobs including bartender, cemetery plot salesperson, auto salesperson, actor and wine consultant, to name a very few. For seven and a half years she portrayed Eliana, maid to the evil Dimera family on Days of Our Lives. She is the author of the novel The People Next Door. She considers life to be a smorgasbord and intends to dine at the table for as long as she can.
Facebook: Author Ann Werner
 
Their website: Ark Stories


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful interview today. I really like the sound of the People Next Door.

    ReplyDelete

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