Karen Bargery Ross was a folk singer born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. As a single mother of a three-month-old baby girl (Ellie’s mom Melody), she relocated to Miami, Florida in 1979. For the next twenty-five years, she was a legal secretary and was promoted to director of word processing and technology for personal injury and medical malpractice firms in Miami.
Karen is now the director of professional development at EWM Realty International. She teaches Real Estate professionals how to blog and embrace social media. She instructs, consults, designs, and writes copy. Karen teaches her agents “wordpress” and has designed over 300 websites.
Because of her life-long love of books, Karen has set a goal to write and illustrate one children’s book a year. Her first book, The Perfect Princess, was inspired by her granddaugher Ellie — the first daughter to Karen’s only daughter, Melody Ross Hunter.
What Kind’a Tater You? was her second book and showcased Ellie, Max (the cockapoo), and Karen’s photography. Some of the background photographs featured the Dale Chihuly Exhibit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, as well as Jungle Island on Watson Island in Miami Beach.
Karen’s third book, The Legend of the Grinning Monkey Orchids, was inspired by her own father’s heart transplant. The book has also been translated into Spanish by Sandra Fader (to be published in 2019). This book was illustrated by Sandra’s mother, Gloria Galdos, a talented Peruvian.
The Great Turkey Rescue is Karen’s fourth (and Ellie’s first) book — and was inspired by Ellie’s homework project: Disguising the turkey to avoid becoming “dinner.” Ellie inspired the story, was the artistic director (i.e., told Grammie what to do) and commented that the turkeys look different on every page.
It is totally in character that Ellie would be an accomplice to Tom’s escape to a local nature facility where he could live out his natural life teaching seniors how to use apps on their cell phones to hail cabs allowing them to sneak out of their nursing homes to go dancing in local social establishments.
Pink, Karen’s fifth book, was written to elevate the reputation of the Real Estate agent and to shed light regarding the effects of moving on children. The need for emotional support can come in different forms, and lately, there has been much discussion regarding emotional support animals for children as well as adults — regardless of the stressful event.
Pink is an emotional support “stuffed” animal with deep familial roots. This “transitional item” could not be duplicated. The Jones’ empathetic Real Estate agent, Velma Secada, not only listened but went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that Pink was recovered and returned to her rightful owners — in her original shape – right down to the polka dot bow.
Karen has been known to make “Pink” for family and friends who appreciate her art.
Debra and the Chair is her latest, self-published work that actually started out as a joke. Debra Spadafora, of BHHS EWM, had just performed some miracle, and Karen told her that she should make a “doll” out of her. Debra disagreed stating her ex-husband might get a hold of it and stick pins in it. Karen dismissed the project then got inspired to create something fun for smiles and laughs during the 2020 pandemic.
With only two yards of fabric Karen had designed with the former EWM logo (originally printed to make a dragon for a Games of Homes Listing Contest), Karen made a 16-inch, soft-sculpture “EWM” chair for the 18-inch, soft-sculpture “Debra” doll.
After making the chair and the doll, Karen felt the need to explain why the “Debra” doll was sitting in a chair designed with the former EWM logo. She embraced the opportunity to tell the company‘s story as well as explain the importance of building a substantial brand with longevity and sustainability.
Weaving her story from the cast of characters who work out of the corporate office in Coral Gables, Karen relied upon her “limited” experience of writing and illustrating children’s books to accomplish her goals. This is a children’s book written for adults.
Karen is not only a self-published author, she is a seamstress and fabric designer. She keeps her grandchildren clothed in character costumes and everyday wear made from custom fabric.
She is not an illustrator but enjoys working in Adobe Photoshop to create her art. Learning to illustrate is on her bucket list.
- Graphic artist
- Fabric artist
- Self-publisher of six children’s books (November 2020)
- Songwriter and
- Full-time Real Estate trainer.
Karen designed and constructed the costume worn by Azuka Momah, the Nigerian Prince, in Act II of the 2017-2019 Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant (featured in gold in the picture to the left of this copy).
She is currently a member of First Baptist Fort Lauderdale and had committed to a trip in July of 2020 to Oberammergau and Eastern Europe for the Passion play (which only occurs every 10 years since the 1600s). The Sanctuary Choir is scheduled to perform four concerts (possibly including Mondsee Abbey, the Sound of Music church), during the trip. However, because of the 2020 pandemic, the trip was cancelled. That was a mishap of missed opportunities — but again, things happen for a reason.
As a fourth grader, my teacher told my mother that she was concerned about my obsession with reading. It was true. I always had a book in my hand. As a nine year old, I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I was “called out” that I totally abandoned my first love . . . books.
When I worked in my first law firm job as a paralegal (age 21), I reconnected with reading. I started with self-help books and non-fiction (trade books, computer books, manuals, and the like). I read books to my young daughter, and she read books to me.
After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I lost my home and moved to Fort Lauderdale. I was exposed to church drama performed during a worship service as a visual/auditory/emotional assist to illustrate the pastor’s sermon. I asked the director if I could participate in writing the sketches. I wrote over 25 sketches; most were performed by our drama team. During a two-week span, I wrote a play in three acts; six weeks later, it was performed as a ticketed event (a dinner theater). At another church I wrote, cast, directed, filmed and edited two drama sketches for our women’s ministry. I also wrote the theme song for each (to avoid copyright infringement).
Many audiences commented to me that they would remember the drama forever, long after they has forgotten the sermon or message. This encouraged me to continue writing.
My goal was to become a writer for children. Always fond of children’s books (especially the “clever” ones that use humor) that were written by the child inside the adult for the child inside the adult, I wanted to be “that author.”
I have written, illustrated and self-published six children’s books in the past six years and currently have ideas for three more. I’ve written several with my granddaughter Ellie in mind as the inspirational main character. In fact, Ellie introduced me to her friends as “she writes stories about me.”
Perhaps my interest in writing for children is my longing to recapture time lost after fourth grade.
Perhaps as I have gotten older, writing is my way to achieve immortality.
Regardless, I love writing and especially writing for children.