Place & Thyme is a community newsletter for people who are interested in sharing what we know about living in place, growing and using plants, growing older, crafting, reading, writing, and publishing. It is published in 4-5 free/paid editions each month.

Who I am

I’m an 80-something writer who migrated from a 15-year university career to a 40-year career in fiction—four long-running mystery series, biographical novels, YA novels—as well as memoir and nonfiction. You can read more here. My husband Bill and I live on a 30-acre scrap of Texas Hill Country, with dogs, cats, and an ever-changing community of farm and wild creatures.

This is me in 2017, at a library talk with other Texas authors

What you can expect

You may know me as a fiction writer. Here at Substack, I want to do a different kind of writing and have a more interactive and more personal relationship with readers, Less breadth, more depth. More continuing friendships and companions, fewer casual drop-ins. Delighted to have you join me for the journey.

As a community newsletter, Place & Thyme is likely to evolve, but we’re starting with four issues a month: two free for all; two paid, to give us the privacy and safety of sharing behind a paywall.

First Monday. All About Thyme (free for all subscribers). A plant-themed calendar, a feature on herbs, and a curated list of things to do and think about. This is a popular tie-in to the China Bayles mysteries. Your comments and questions are welcome. Extras for supporting (paid) subscribers.
Second Monday. Senior Chronicle (personal posts, for paid subscribers). Posts focused on eldering in place; growing older and (perhaps) wiser; adapting to our changing bodies, minds, circumstances; envisioning a 100-year life. You're invited to share your experiences, resources, and journey notes. 
Third Monday. BookScapes (free). Posts about bookish things, group reading projects (bring your reading lists!), book reviews, guest authors and interviews, thoughts about writing practice and publishing. You're invited to help shape our agenda and share your experience of books, reading, writing.
Fourth Monday. LifeScapes (personal posts, for paid subscribers) about the places where we live and the ways that place compels and shapes us. I’m interested in exploring ideas about emplacement, displacement, and replacement in physical and digital environments and in finding ways to connect more intimately with the environments that envelope us. This is becoming a more urgent top for many of us, as we are confronted with climate change, political and social change, and other radical alterations in our home places. You're welcome to join what has begun to be an ongoing and lively conversation.

Lagniappe: A Little Something Extra (for paid subscribers). Political/topical posts, reading suggestions, chats, interviews, recipes, some flash fiction and short serials featuring the Pecan Springs gang and the Darling Dahlias. Maybe even podcasts. I’m thinking about this and welcome your suggestions.

Your subscription options

  • First and Third Monday posts. Free, no charge, no strings.

  • All four Monday posts, ($7/mo), plus membership in the community. Part of your subscription goes to support the Story Circle Network, the nonprofit community of women writers I founded in 1997.

  • All posts, annually ($60, a 30% discount), plus membership in the community. Part of your subscription goes to SCN.

  • All posts and community membership ($90) plus a signed, mint-condition collectible hardcover copy of Thyme of Death, the China Bayles mystery that started it all. Part of your subscription goes to SCN.

Where else you’ll find me

If you’re looking for more about my books, please visit my website. I’m also on Facebook here and sometimes here, also Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub and (less often) Twitter.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit

Subscribe to Place & Thyme: A Conversation with Susan Albert

An intentional community for people who are interested in sharing what we know about living in place, growing plants, growing older, crafting, reading, writing and publishing.


Susan Wittig Albert 

80-something writer, reader, citizen, news junkie with a long view of the world . . .