Thyme, Place & Story is my personal mini-magazine, designed for readers who want to share what we know about living in place, growing green, growing older, reading, writing, and publishing.

Who I am

I’m an 80-something writer who migrated from a 15-year university career to a 40-year career in fiction—over seven million best-selling, award-winning books sold in four mystery series, biographical novels, YA novels, and memoir and nonfiction. 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.

What We Do Here

Here at Substack, I usually send four Monday articles a month, as well as short fiction on Wednesday (in serial format), most of it based on the mystery series you may have read. Subscribers are invited to join in the conversation, which sometimes is quite lively. (It’s okay if you have a lot to say!)

What I Write

Here’s what my Substack mini-magazine currently looks like. Of course, the magic of online publishing means that I can change the layout and coverage often. And I do.

  • First Monday. All About Thyme. A plant-themed calendar, a feature on herbs, and a curated list of plant-related things to do and think about. This is a popular tie-in to the China Bayles mysteries.

  • Second Monday. Senior Chronicle. Posts focused on eldering in place; growing older and maybe wiser (imagine that!); adapting to our changing bodies, minds, circumstances; and envisioning a 100-year life. These posts and conversations are behind a paywall because they are often deeply personal.

  • Third Monday. BookScapes. Bookish posts, group reading projects (bring your reading lists!), book reviews, and thoughts about writing practice and publishing.

  • Fourth Monday. LifeScapes, letters about the places we live and the ways that place compels and shapes us.

  • Wednesdays. Short Reads. Serial short fiction, nonfiction. Go here to see what’s currently available and what’s in the works.

  • Coming in September: Last Friday Lagniappe (a little something extra). Some of my plant-related historical research, writer/reader interviews, maybe cookery. Stuff I like.

Choose What You Read. Crowded for time? You don’t have to subscribe to everything. If you’d like to customize the posts you receive from me, you can do that here—and you can change your mind any time you like.

Time Out. When the Short Reads are running on Wednesdays, I sometimes take time out from the regular Monday posts. And like everybody else, I enjoy a few weeks of family time (aka “vacation”) throughout the year.

Scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of supporting subscribers, paid subscriptions are available for readers on a fixed income Ask me about this: susanalbert01 at

Subscriptions. Supporting subscribers make my work possible and help keep Substack doing what it does best. I deeply appreciate whatever support you are able to offer and share a portion of your paid subscriptions with the Story Circle Network.

About Women’s Stories and the Story Circle Network

The Story Circle Network is a nonprofit organization that supports women with stories to tell. I founded it in 1997 and participate in many of its programs. You’ll find SCN here. You’re invited to check out the current sample of our Journal, on the Publications tab. And listen to Len Leatherwood’s wonderful interview with Stacy Parrish on Full Spirals. These will give you a good idea of what we do and how we might help you tell your story.

Where else you’ll find me

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

Subscribe to Thyme, Place & Story

Sharing what we've learned about living in place, growing plants, growing older, crafting, reading, and writing.


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