ARK Stories became a reality with the publication of The Virgin Diaries in April, 2010. The book was the brainchild of Kimberley A. Johnson. It was the product of a conversation with her mother, Ann Werner, where Kimberley mused how she thought it would be interesting to watch a documentary about people recalling their first time. The two batted the idea back and forth and Ann noted that she thought it would be better as a book, where people could tell their stories anonymously. The rationale was that on camera, people wouldn’t be as honest about the experience as they would be if afforded the opportunity to tell their stories without being identified. The two went to work collecting stories from people around the country. The result was a collection of 72 essays by people ranging in age from 20-77, half male, half female including six stories provided by members of the gay community. Again, those were evenly divided by gender. The Virgin Diaries was and continues to be one of the best sellers on our growing list. Rather than concentrating on the physical aspect of losing virginity, the stories focus on the emotions involved.
The second book, Ain’t No Sunshine: Men Reveal the Pain of Heartbreak, was published a year later and is a collection of anonymous accounts from men of varying ages about how they dealt with the loss of love, whether from a breakup, death or infidelity. It provides a peek into the male psyche and explodes common myths about men that so many women believe to be true.
Today, there are six books in the ARK Stories portfolio: three volumes of non-fiction and three volumes of fiction, with a Young adult novel by Kimberley in the works at this time. Visit her website KimberleyAJohnson to get all the latest information. There are also two short stories written by Ann, one of which is available for free at her website, Ann Werner on the Web, when you join her mailing list.