Stump the Librarian, Stump the Librarian A Writer's Book of Legs

Review of my Book

So excited to see a review of Stump the Librarian: A Writer’s Book of Legs!

Check out the review at Amplitude, an online and print magazine with the tagline “Powerful, Practical, and Positive Living with Limb Loss.”

Click on the cover below to see Amplitude magazine’s home page, which includes a PDF of the current January/February 2019 issue.


In other book news, I found the children’s picture book Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship, by Jessica Kensky Patrick Downes, and illustrated by Scott Magoon, in Amplitude magazine. It just won the Schneider Family Book Award, the American Library Association’s best book for young children with a disability experience. It was included in my Best of 2018 list.


What’s the Best Christmas Present?

After going through some of my mom’s (1932-2018) paper work and photographs, I sent off some genealogy and family photos to my grandmother’s (Mary Walouke Samry) niece, Evelyn. That was Labor Day weekend. Last Thursday, Evelyn sent me a box just in time for Christmas.

A photo album of pictures I’ve never seen before!

It’s full of photos of my dad when he was a child. Mark, Steve, and I looked at the photos the day after Christmas. I’m sharing a few here for my sisters and other family who want to check out the photos. These are a few of my favorites.


FR best guess: Rose Walouke, Mary Walouke Samry, Francis Samry, Charles Walouke, BR Joseph Samry Joseph Walouke, Sophie Walouke (Circa 1930)

Francis Samry

Francis Samry

Joseph and Francis

Joseph and Francis Samry

Francis and Joseph Samry

Francis (possibly age 6, 1933) and Joseph Samry

Francis Samry

Francis Samry, (age 6)


Joseph and Francis Samry (age 11, 1938)

Francis Samry

Francis Samry, Enlisted US Navy: 1945)

Francis J. Samry

Francis Samry, “Fran, Taken Oct 5, 1946”


Francis Samry


Mary and Joseph Samry


Mary and Joseph Samry


FR: Laurie, Lynne, BR: Steve and Mark (Probably 1967 Graves House, Eastham)


Steve, Lynne, Mark, Laurie, Front Steps


Joseph Walouke, Sophie Walouke Midura?, and Mary Walouke Samry in Las Vegas at the Holiday Casino (May 1976)


Mary Samry, Charles and Anna (Stonkas) Walouke (May, 1976)


Second from left is Evelyn (Midura) Montagnino, her sister Janet (Midura) Speiser third from the right, and more cousins.

I’m so happy Evelyn and I corresponded. This is what letter writing can be in the 21st century. Try it! I believe you’ll be rewarded. Merry New Year!




My First Book is On Sale Now!


Click on the photo or here to buy the print book from Amazon.

Also available as a Kindle Book.

What are People Saying?

Alan Samry’s kaleidoscopic book, Stump the Librarian is at once a glorious compendium of quick biographies of one-legged individuals, a moving memoir, a fascinating history of amputations and prostheses, and a medical investigation of the congenital anomaly that left the author with a disability at birth.  Samry, a librarian in Fairhope, Alabama, takes joy in the quest for answers and pursues information with the sublime sense of mission that the best librarians possess.  With clarity, candor, and a down-to-earth directness, he takes us with him:  fascinated, outraged, horrified, thrilled, and ever curious about a world populated—and profoundly changed—by those who not only get by on a single leg but stand far more firmly than many people with two. Samry weaves poignant personal recollection through his tapestry of information, making Stump the Librarian a must read.

Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst and The Paper Garden 

Alan Samry takes readers on his personal journey of curiosity, humor and exploration. In an unlikely narrative readers learn about Alan’s life as a congenital below-knee amputee.  In a very delightful and provocative manner, Alan relates his personal memoirs and shares historical and imagined characters who are like-amputees. Alan’s writing style is fascinatingly varied, and insightful into his own self-discovery.  He shares intimate details that enable readers to appreciate his story and perspective. This book is a celebration of Alan – his person, determination, and his insatiable desire for truth.

—Tamara Dean, Director, Fairhope Public Library


Busy Week! Made Edits From a Reader, Meeting with Publisher, Book Launch Date, Version 8 of Manuscript

Tuesday July 10, 2018

Received Jasmine’s Edits

Wednesday, July 11,  2018

Meeting with John about edits, back cover, formatting

Email, later that day

Hey John,

  1. I made all my line edits.

The page format goes wonky after page 263, not sure why, but I’m positive you can fix it. It might be the index.

  1. Formatting:

Give it a good looking over, especially the font type and size changes.

Please check to make sure the chapter and subtitles in the TOC match the page             numbers. I adjusted them for the wonkiness at the end.

  1. I will email you a picture tomorrow of the date stamp and my signature for page v, the Author’s Note.
  2. I deleted my Note on the Author at the back of the book and want it just on the back cover.
  3. Also related to the back cover, I’d like to divide it in thirds, kind of like the front.
    1. The top will be the summary, which I will cut. It’s way to long

(Can I edit the text on the back cover in createspace? If so, I will.

    1. The middle will be for reviews/blurbs by authors
    2. The bottom will be for my bio and photo.
  1. I hope to have a list of reviewers for you tomorrow.

Any questions? You know where to find me.

Thanks for a great session today!

Also mark your calendar:

Book Launch Party: Tuesday October 23, 2018

Fairhope Public Library: Giddens Room

6-8 PM



Giddens Room Fairhope Public Library

Stump the Librarian: A Writer’s Book of Legs is a diverse collection of creative writing that explores Alan Samry’s life as a congenital below-knee amputee and a public librarian. Alan’s cross-genre writing in creative nonfiction, poetry, essays, satire, scholarship, and experimental writing weaves fascinating mythical, historical, and literary figures into his own absorbing story of being a “born amputee.” In the book, with chapters organized as though the reader were exploring a public library, Alan writes about his experiences in an open, insightful, and humorous way. In his search for other leg amputees, Alan finds a new way of seeing himself, and the world around him.

Alan Samry is a congenital amputee and a native of Cape Cod. In 2005, he and his wife, Susan, moved to Fairhope, Alabama. Alan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. In 2017, he earned an MLIS from the University of Alabama.

He has been a dishwasher, a landscaper, a liquor store manager, a wine salesman, and an award-winning reporter. He is a part-time public librarian and an adjunct instructor at Coastal Alabama Community College. When the weather’s nice, Alan enjoys riding his bike to work. If he’s not working, look for him at his local coffee shop, bookstore, or brewery.

Friday July 13, 2018

Send date and signature to John for end of Author’s Note.




Emails: From Publisher to Proof



Thanks for getting together with me for lunch. I’m so pleased that you want to publish “Stump the Librarian.” I’m reworking the order of some of the pieces in the manuscript, as you suggested. I hope to get the changes back to you before the end of February.

I’m attaching my Stump the Librarian logo, so you have a copy. One is transparent, the other is on a white background.

I’m excited to work with you, and your team at Intellect in getting my book published this year. Can’t wait for what’s ahead!


Alan Samry


Hi John,

Just checking in with you.

Dang it, I’m going to miss my own deadline.

I’ve taken your suggestion to heart, and restructured some of the pieces in the book.

However, in doing that, it’s taking me longer to reassemble.

Hopefully, it will be worth it.

I’ll be in touch.




Should have something to show you next week.

Do you have the library layout drawing you were speaking about?

At least in rough form?

John O’Melveny Woods


Think I have everything except the library layout inputted.

I welcome your thoughts.

Take a look and let’s plan on getting together in the next few days


Had a chance to look over the book, it’s shaping up nicely.  I love the headings, and the photo layouts turned out great. It looks like a book!

I noticed all the italics for book titles were removed in the formatting.

And there are some other formatting issues, some of the block quotes are still wonky.

Plus in my proofreading, I saw a few more corrections to make. I plan to add the essay titles in each chapter to the table of contents. I like how it looks in other nonfiction books, and it will help the reader see what’s in each section.

Is it okay to edit the document and save the changes? I ask because there are a lot of book titles, haha, and I’d hate to lose the changes if it needed to be reformatted again.

Early next week is fine.

How about Tuesday night?



Thanks for the cover and for meeting yesterday, it was helpful and productive!

Forgot to ask, where are you going on vacation?

We just have a weekend in Apalachicola, FL.

Looking through the book today, making more edits as I go and hope that’s okay? Totally digging the formatting, changes, and corrections so far.

It’s coming along nicely.

I’ve attached my book titles, hopefully there is one in there or we can come up with a new and better one, if need be.

One thing, after sleeping on it and looking at other books, can you make the first page of the prologue page 1?

I didn’t want to mess with that, and plus, you’ve got the cheat sheet to do it. 😉


Hi John,

Hope you had or are still having a fabulous time in Cali!

We had a nice weekend in Apalachicola last week, a nice quiet peaceful coastal town.

I’ve finished another read through and I’m passing it back to you.

A few things for you check/edit/correct:

I added two Shriners Hospital appointment cards and an additional copy page of my discharge at the end of chapter 1.

The numbered pages should begin with the first page of the preface.

Check the end of the document, the pages seem to have started over at page one.

Hope all is well, looking forward to hearing from you about the next steps.


Glad you are still reading.

I had the weekend to mull it over and I’m thinking of killing a few more pieces.

1985-2013-A sight and sound odyssey and…

The entire Memorials Chapter, Chapter 10.

They don’t seem to fit the leg or library theme.

Your thoughts?

If I did this, I would rearrange a bit.

Reference would be Chapter 8 and Reference Patrons would be Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 would become Vertical File.


So what would you like to do with this?

I think you need to come by and supervise these changes if you want to go ahead with them.

Your call – you are the author.


On p. 59 and p. 204 of the document, my computer shows the photos overlapping the text.

At the end of the document (p. 273), the pages begin again at page 2, page 3, page 2, page 3.  This messes up the index.  I don’t know if correcting the pagination will automatically correct the index.

For the index, I used his list of amputees but, of course, as he stated they’re not all in his book.

I’m unable to proof any of the quotes without copy to compare to, and it would take forever to proof the bibliography, so I didn’t.



Cover photo shoot at Fairhope Public Library


Thanks, she is a great proofreader, and I learned a few things about quotations and question marks.

Working on this over the next few days.

I will proofread the bibliography again and the quotes.

Hoping to get it back to you Saturday.

Since I fear screwing it up, I’ll leave the formatting, index, and photograph edits to you.

The cover photo looks great!

Thanks to you both!


The Missing Link in the Samry Tree, Burt Shepard, These are in the doc but not in the Table of Contents…Shall I add them to the TOC?


Yes please!

It should be “The Missing Limb in the Samry Tree.” I moved these pieces around and didn’t update the TOC. Thanks for catching this!


Cover preview, with five legs

Hi John,

You caught me in the middle of crashed computers the other day, sorry I didn’t have time to talk.

I think the overall cover layout is spot on!

I know he’s working on the cover, but I’ve got a couple of suggestions, stuff he may have already edited.

Can he remove the .com, but keep the color wifi background in the logo?

The subtitle is “A Writer’s Book of Legs.”

Is the background of the subtitle too dark?

Is it possible to use prosthetic legs as the other Ls, as in Legs and my middle initial?

Just curious, not sure if it would be too many legs though, hahaha.

If you have any suggestions, love to hear them.

Can’t wait to see the next version!

I’ve attached a list of potential reviewers and included some contact info.

Also, I want to remove the c-word and replace it with an ellipsis.  It’s on page 59 of the index version of my book. If you could change it to “You’re a fuckin’…!”

Working on the back cover description, still not happy with it, but if you need it let me know.

I’m planning on upgrading my websites.

They are both through If you prefer to make a separate book website, that’s okay too, but we might be able to create a static page for the book when I upgrade. Either way, my sites need new looks, and we can link it all anyway.

Finally, and sorry for relaying all this on Memorial Day so feel free to ignore it today, can you email me version five of my book.






Good Morning,

Leave the legs in the logo and the subtitle, but take them out of my name.

Could you have Ellie proofread the back cover write up?

Once that’s done are we ready to print the four or five proof copies?

I could not have done this all by myself. There was a time when I thought I could. I was wrong. Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself with people who know the self-publishing business and rather than gouging an author to produce the book, want to share in the success of the book. However success is measured, which really can’t be measured until the book is available, which will be late October or early November, so keep your Tuesday nights open. I’m glad I decided to ask for help. Whatever comes from my book, I’m proud of it, I hope others see a value in it and recommend it.

Now that the book is nearly done, I must switch roles to book promoter and marketer for the next few months while I await people who will blurb/review/endorse my book. Then when the book is out I will be asking those buyers to review my book on Amazon, or Goodreads, or wherever they wish to say mostly kind words about my writing.


Subject: Proof is ready to order: Stump The Librarian, #5443525

Your interior and cover files for Stump The Librarian, #5443525 meet our technical requirements for printing.
The next step in the publishing process is to proof your book:

Thank you for ordering a proof of Stump The Librarian, Title #5443525. Your order was received and is currently being processed. Your proof will ship shortly. Delivery times may vary depending upon shipping method.
Once you receive your proof, we suggest you review it thoroughly before approving it for distribution.
Best regards,
The CreateSpace Team


Thank you for ordering a proof of Stump The Librarian, Title #5443525. Your order has shipped.
Once you receive your proof, please review it thoroughly. Check our proofing guidelines to learn how to evaluate your proof. When you are ready to make your title available for sale, simply:

Review your proof copy for accuracy

Click “Approve Proof” to make your title available for sale

If you are not completely satisfied with your proof:

Make necessary changes to your files

Resubmit them for review

Order another proof once those new files have been approved

Best regards,
The CreateSpace Team


Subject: Proofs

Left them on the front porch



I’m hoping this week, tomorrow? We can make my edits together. I’m waiting on someone else to finish reading. Should we wait on them or go ahead and meet anyway? What would be the next step? Send it out to reviewers?

Let’s wait to get the view of the other person – and yes, once it is finalized it is out to reviewers.


Okay, now we are bumping up against a holiday week.

Let’s get together the week after the Fourth.

I’ll keep you posted.



Writers Need Readers

I have been writing since I was 15. I’ll be 50 later this year. If I don’t publish a book soon, it’s going to be too late. I have been working on this manuscript through multiple incarnations since 2009.

In the fall of 2016, I finally hit on a structure for my book. The chapters are set out as if you are in the Fairhope Public Library.

It’s now May 20, 2017 and my manuscript is in the hands of several readers. I’m waiting for them to finish reading or to get their feedback. With library school kicking my butt in May and June, I hope to get to some edits in July.


Sell and Sod

Main 2

We have a pending contract to sell our house! We will be closing on our current home August 5. We will be moving in with Sue’s mom and dad for a few weeks while our new home is being complete. In the meantime, enjoy the progress.


Looking southwest. The steps off the side of the front porch will be bricked this week.

The sod was rolled out Thursday. The front of the house is set to be painted this week too.    Icy Lemonade (Sherwin Williams), perfect for late July in Alabama.

We love this old gnarled cedar.

Soon-to-be screened in back porch.

Lots of people comment on our low roof pitch. (Determined by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. Also referred to as roof slope or roof slant, according to Typically, you see 8 on 12, like the neighbor’s on the left. We’ve always liked the lower 6 on 12 pitch of older homes. It reminds us of our first ranch house in Falmouth, which was built in 1955.


Kitchen looking from the back door.

From the living room.

The giallo fiesta granite and subway tile back splash provide a nice contrast to the coffee stained cabinets.

Living room with coffered ceiling looking north. When the bricklayers come back to do the steps they will build the raised hearth and brick around the wood-burning firebox.

View from the front entry.

From the kitchen looking southeast. Donnie the trim guy will be back this week to finish the trim work, hang the custom doors, and install door levers.

Front bedroom

The luxury vinyl tile is sawtooth gray. The walls are Misty (also Sherwin Williams).

Bedroom three.

Master bedroom.

Master Bath

Master Shower with cultured marble. Plumbers arrive this week to install fixtures.

Laundry room

 Sue’s office.

Front entry, looking east. Yes, there will be a railing.


Cabinets and Driveway

There has been lots of activity this past week at the house. We met with Bobby Radcliff, our builder, Mike from Creative Cabinets, the door hardware person Jana from Southern Brass, Mike and Kathy the painters, cultured marble guy, electrician, Pedro the concrete man, RC the landscaper. Oh yeah, the guy from Coastal Stone was measuring for our granite.


Shaker style Coffee stained cabinets with feet

Our Window seat in the front bedroom

Guest bath vanity

Master bath vanity

Laundry room cabinets

From the garage before the cement mixers arrive

Bottom of driveway before pouring begins

Truck one

From the kitchen window

Pedro, guiding the shoot, and his dad on the right, from our front porch

Sue’s Dad with Pedro’s Dad getting ready for the third mixer

From the garage

Looking southwest


Street view