Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know author Ann Barnes

This week my guest is Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

First a little more about my guest..

My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes. I am a blind author whose blog posts, published books and stories come straight from my heart. I am the proud mother of a precious little girl named Sharen. She is the inspiration for many of my stories, especially the ones that feature children as characters in them.

I have found music to be a great source of healing throughout a rough and painful time in my life. For the past seven years as a writer, I have found, and still find, music as a source of inspiration to this day. In many of the various blog posts on this site, I have written essays about music as it pertains to healing, everyday life, writing and much more, along with essays about winter, snow, and other reflections about my belief system.

I also review audio books and eBooks that have touched my heart, or affected me in a unique way. I will also review books for authors, in exchange of a review of my own books.

From time to time, I will also interview my characters and sneak in on character conversations about upcoming novels I’m working on, so you can learn more about them from behind the scenes.

Welcome Ann and If animals could talk, which one would you have a conversation with?

I would have a talk with a dog, especially if I owned and handled it as a guide dog. I had a guide dog named star; therefore, I wonder what stories she’d tell. I hope she wouldn’t tell bad things about me, but I do want to know about her puppy raisers and what other animals she’s been around. Maybe if guide dogs could talk, we blind handlers could give them much more explanation about why they shouldn’t do certain things. How about telling the dog where I want to go instead of giving basic commands such as forward, left, right, sit, down, stay, etc. I wonder what my mom’s dog would have told me before she passed away.

What are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?

First of all, I’d always find my check book. I keep it in my purse so I can get help writing a check as needed while I’m out and about with my parents or friends. The second thing I find in my purse is a miniature first aid kit, full of Band-Aids. I keep those on hand in case either my daughter or I get a minor injury while we’re on the go. The third thing I find in my purse is a pair of ear buds that came with my phone. I keep those for listening to either a books or podcasts on long road trips. I’ll find my newly acquired signature stamp for autographing books and quickly signing other documents. Finally, although this isn’t the very last thing I’ll find, in the front zipper pocket I carry a tube of ointment that was prescribed to me to prevent staph infections, since I had one back in October of last year.

Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

I could tell you several, but the one dream that is strange, yet has recurred from time to time over the past few years is one in which I am climbing. This dream takes on many forms; however, the one form that I remember most is that of me climbing up a moving ramp. From what I remember, this ramp looked like a treadmill, but you moved uphill as the tread moved in the opposite direction.

When I climbed to the top, I reached out to touch the wall or door in front of me. As I did so, an evil man came out to the top of the ramp where I stood. He spoke in a deep rumbling voice. He reached toward me and stuck a sharp object into my shirt collar. I don’t mean that he stuck a knife down my shirt; however, this felt like a cactus or something similar.

Before I woke up, I found myself back at the bottom of the ramp. I remember begging and pleading a familiar figure for forgiveness. I guess I was mortified for boldly reaching out at the top of the ramp to orient myself to my surroundings. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to leave the ramp unbidden, but I don’t know why. It stuck with me most of the day and inspired me to come up with a writing prompt for my writing group. Anyway, she hugged me and we prayed together. That’s the last thing I remember before the dream faded away. One more thing I want to say, before I move onto the next question is this, when I have dreams of climbing, I can never climb down the ramp, stairs, ladder etc. I always have to climb all the way to the top and find another way back to where I started.

Do you prefer the big city or country life?

I prefer to live in the country. I’ve lived in Atlanta and Athens, GA before, and I find that I don’t get much inspiration for my writing from the noises of the city. However, now that I’m back home near my family, I find that sitting on the front porch swing on a warm sunny day is the best spot for brainstorming. I love to listen to wind chimes and let their melodious tinkle sing out inspiration to me. My characters often talk to me while I’m outside. However, even when I stay inside, the country is much quieter than the city and I can listen to my music and let my imagination run wild.

Sally here: I have found a short piece of wind chimes… hopefully a reminder to Ann of sitting on her porch courtesy of Syd’s Room

Knowing now, what you didn’t know then, what would you have done differently?

If I knew that both my first and my second husband would have been emotionally abusive as I do now, I probably wouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and she’s the most precious gift I could have received from God, but her life would have been significantly different if she’d had a different father or if I’d have taken her with me when I got a divorce.

The one thing I can say about my second husband, is that I noticed the warning signs of abuse and “saw” the red flags flying in the wind, before I got seriously hurt. I’ve always heard people say “If I knew then, what I know now…” when I was a kid. Now I can honestly say I know what that phrase means.

My thanks to Ann for being so open with her responses especially about the personal issues she has faced

Books by Ann Barnes

About the book

When a young girl takes a ride on a gravy train with her mother, she finds unexpected adventures and mysteries waiting for her as they glide down the cookie track. What happens to the track, and why do the biscuit wheels crumble at one point, and turn to mush near the Ferry Land station? Who is behind the mayhem in the land of Eat-a-Lot? Find out as this charming children’s adventure unfolds before your very eyes.

One of the reviews for the book

Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Author 5.0 out of 5 stars An Imaginative and Fun Book May 28, 2018

I purchased this book for my seven-year-old granddaughter who is well above her grade level in reading. Together we discovered a delightful story by Ann Barnes, “Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book.”

The story begins with little Maggie Walker and her mother Marie setting off an adventure to a magical land called Eat-a-lot. Boarding a train powered by gravy with wheels made of biscuits they meet a conductor named Thomas who is made of gingerbread. The train runs along tracks made of cookies. Everything in this story is related to tasty treats. Soon they are waiting to be served their breakfast by their waiter Chocolate Chip.

Unfortunately, the biscuit wheels begin to crumble. Rosy the baker, with help from a fairy named Sprite, begins to hurriedly make fresh biscuits. Soon the train is moving again.

Colorful adventures follow as the train makes the journey to Eat-a-lot. As they pass through an ice storm and Fairyland, Maggie and her mother meet a little girl named Mandy and her mother.

There are mysteries that the girls solve along the way. Finally arriving in Eat-a-lot, they meet Rosy Posy’s sister, Betty Spaghetti. They stay in the Cake Batter Inn and get to explore the land of Eat-a-lot.

All in all, this is a cute story for children. Independent readers will appreciate learning some new words, and younger readers will be able to follow along easily as they are read to. I recommend this book to children five and older. Younger children may need a parent to read to them, but older children and children who read early can enjoy this imaginative story with no trouble. In my granddaughter’s words, this is a fun book.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Ann Barnes

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Ann


Thank you for dropping in today and Ann would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

If you would like to join the other participants and be interviewed here then please take a look at this post:

If you are interested in moving away from Facebook to a more user friendly site, then perhaps you would like to join us on MeWe, where a new group is being formed for authors to promote their books and reviews:


34 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know author Ann Barnes

  1. Lovely to get to know Ann and which animal would I love to talk to we had so many that it would be difficult to pick one…Maybe our Lizard who let me bathe his bad foot and dress it every day and stayed so still so I am guessing he understood my soothing words as I bathed his tiny foot 🙂 A lovely interview 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

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