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Tuesday, 7 June 2011
AUTHOR INTERVIEW with KIMBERLEY JOHNSON
Author name: Kimberley A. Johnson.
About your family/background, your location:
I was born in Baltimore Maryland and moved to Los Angeles, California when I was nine. My father worked for ABC News as a camera man and in 1980, his career afforded me the opportunity to live in Moscow, Russia for one school term. I then moved back to L.A. and stayed until 2009. Now I reside in northern California (wine country).
How and why did you decide to get published?
In 2004, I came up with the idea for my first book, The Virgin Diaries. I wanted to create a book so that virgins had a real, unbiased source to make an informed decision when it comes to sex. I also thought it would be interesting to read about other people's first time...to be a fly on the wall so to speak.
My second book; Ain't No Sunshine: Men Reveal The Pain Of Heartbreak was an idea my girlfriend had. She told me I should create a book that focused on how men deal with love and loss. I started right away and happy to report it is out in the world now.
What genre do you write? I create anthologies but I like to refer to them as "Reality Book."
What is the story behind your book?
Initially for The Virgin Diaries, I began collecting stories from women only and mostly from my friends. Once I broadened my search to the Internet, I realized I should include stories from men. I received a story from a lesbian and decided homosexuals should be included as well so that I would not leave anyone out. In 2005, My mother, Ann Werner, who is a fiction writer came on board and helped me collect the stories. She was responsible for most of the editing and together, we have created our company, Ark Stories. Arkstories.com.
We collaborate and just recently debuted our second title; Ain't No Sunshine: Men Reveal The Pain Of Heartbreak (Thirty-eight anonymous men describe in detail, what it feels like to lose romantic love.) We are THRILLED with the outcome and so far, the reviews have been very good.
Use one word/phrase to describe your book: The Virgin Diaries: Sex positive information that you usually don't get from parents, peers or religious figures.
Ain't No Sunshine: A glimpse into the elusive male psyche; not ALL men are dogs and their candor will surprise you!
How have you found the writing process?
I don't consider myself a "writer" as much as someone who questions and collects stories from others. I have always asked a lot of questions (my friends will back me up on this). And I like to focus on topics that are of interest to many. My approach is more personal rather than journalistic. I like to draw out the deepest emotions so that we can all see the similarities and differences we have. We can learn from other people's experiences as well as be entertained.
Do you have a blog? What do you write about?
My blog is titled, In My Head. That is where I spend time...in my head. I think A LOT! My blog is about whatever I am feeling at the moment. I do write about the subjects of my books too. My next venture will be starting a new blog and collecting stories about body/self image. I am very excited about it and it is a passionate subject for me.
What books are on your shelf at home?
I love scary books, so you will see a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and F. Paul Wilson.
Any awards/achievement you want to share?
Not at the moment.
Who’s your favourite author?
What are you good at as an individual?
I think I am good at making people feel comfortable. I strive to be empathetic.
What form of entertainment do you enjoy most and why? I love movies and music!
What are your other interests?
I enjoy being with good friends, children and animals. I love to exercise, whether it's a workout or simply taking a walk in nature. And food, we can't forget food!!
Your favourite pet? Cats. I love all animals but cats are my favorite.
What’s your choice meal/favourite restaurant?
This is hard to answer because it really depends on my mood. Lately, I have been eating pasta but my taste changes. I like to eat healthy; salads, fruits, lean meats etc. I do have a passion for the sweets and you name it, I love it. I try to only have them on occasion.
What’s your music choice?
I love classic rock but my taste in music is quite varied. Classical, Rock-a-billy, The Eighties, and so much more.
Name your favourite city in the world:
This is hard. I have not been to too many cities. Rome is just awe inspiring. I have a love/hate with Los Angeles. L.A has such diversity and beauty but it is also crazy! I like San Francisco for it's amazing architecture.
Name your favourite world leader and why:
At the moment, I will say Obama. He has been working very hard to find a middle ground for the US and though I criticize government, I realize that I have no idea the kind of pressure he's under.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
I wish that I knew complete peace. But I wonder if anyone ever realizes this.
What would you say you’re bad at?
Following someone else's rules. I like to make my own way and do things the way I see fit.
Anything else your readers don’t know about you?
I am really from another planet!! Ha, no. I am pretty simple. Very emotional and it doesn't take a lot for me to be content. Love, friends, good food and making my books.
What’s your favourite quote?
"Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill."
Why should a reader buy your book?
My books are about people, their feelings and experiences. Anonymity allows for honesty, and we all want to know the private thoughts and feeling others have. The books I create, allows a glimpse into the minds of all kinds of different people.
What is your last word Kimberley?
Where can your book be found/bought/website:
Both of my books can be found on Amazon.com (and Amazon UK) as well as other online booksellers. My website is Arkstories.com. There you can preview two stories from each book as well as read reviews, watch our videos and more.
Thank you Kimberley for taking time out to answer these questions.
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