Mary Lois Timbes

About Mary Lois' new collection Travelin' Light: “When you least expect it, an original and unusual description or surprising remark or memorable observation leaps off the page, grabs you by the lapels, and demands to be seen and heard. These are the coming-of-age stories of a woman whose coming-of-age is perpetual.” - 
Scott Isenberg


Meet Mary Lois Timbes Adshead, an effervescent spirit whose life is as rich and varied as her many career choices. At 83, Mary Lois had a career in journalism, public relations, and has worked in the theater and television. She has written nonfiction books, and, This vibrant lady, known for her acute observations of life and knack for storytelling, is becoming a beacon of inspiration to younger men and women looking to re-create their next chapters.

Mary Lois's journey started in Fairhope, Alabama, a unique utopian town that taught her unconventional wisdom and offered a fertile ground for her creative pursuits. Her education at the School of Organic Education shaped her distinct outlook on life, and her love for theater led her to explore a myriad of experiences. 

From co-founding two stage companies to working as a journalist for Fairchild Publications’ menswear daily newspaper, from learning acting under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg to starting a theater in Geneva, she has seen and done it all. All the while she was writing stories which she saved in cartons, boxes, and filing cabinets.

In the late '80s, she returned to her childhood home and delved into documenting local history, writing books about Fairhope (That Was Tomorrow and The Fair Hope of Heaven), and running the Jubilee Fish Theatre Company. Later, she moved to Hoboken and drenched herself in its vibrant history, blogging about it regularly. The aftermath of  Hurricane Sandy in 2012 nudged her to move closer to her family in Kingston, New York.

Her love for writing has led to her latest release Travelin' Light, her collection of 'revised memories.' Written under her nom de plume Timbes, these stories are reflections of women taking charge of their own lives in New York City in the mid-20th century, offering a fresh, slightly wry voice imbued with a Southern lilt. 

Despite the changing times and her own life's twists and turns, Mary Lois continues to be an enthusiastic participant in life. Whether posting daily on social media or writing a Feminist book
and movie review blog, she is a force to be reckoned with. 
Despite being more than eight decades young, Mary Lois continues to shape her narrative, reminding us all that it's never too late to come of age.


Travelin' Light: Stories and Revised Memories

A well written, insightful exploration of women exploring their way in the 1950's…Ms. Timbes has a special talent for placing the reader inside the mind of each character. I am a man, and though all these stories are told from a female perspective, and within the  constraints and restraints of their roles in the mid 20th century, this is a feminist-aware endeavor without the didactic heavy handedness of a social tract. In fact, I would recommend the book to other men as a tool to understanding, even as much as female readers. There are no clichés here. The metaphors are enlightening. And the talent is rare that can explore the psyche of others with such subtlety. You will remember these characters...and their stories. I highly recommend this book! - Richard Bey

Mary Lois Timbes shares from her wealth of experience and expertise in this collection of short stories. They are deftly and expertly written and show the breadth of her skill in developing totally realistic characters. I especially loved that they are from the same and similar growing up times and experiences as mine. I enjoyed reading all in one afternoon and look forward to rereading again. Hopefully there will be more to follow. - Edith A Bullock

This author brings the reader into the room where the action is happening. She also lets us know the heart of the main character in each story enough so that we start to feel we kind of know them. I think that’s rather extraordinary and makes this a treasure of a read. I plan to keep it in my library so I can reread it at some future time. It just feels comfortable to own it. - Karen L. Kimbrough

The Fair Hope of Heaven: A Hundred Years After Utopia

I just finished reading this book and LOVED it! Absolutely enthralling...I could hardly wait to finish a page so I could see what was on the one next! This is a great companion book to "That Was Tomorrow". - Cat Mother Linda

First of all, I just loved this book! ...the cast of characters were so intriguing. I wanted to know more about them ...I will be recommending this book- guaranteed...important book to read.- Cheryl Abraham

That Was Tomorrow

An enjoyable and informative read, with a good mix of novel and historical fact. - Savan Wilson

Loved the way Mary Lois Timbes captured the time and place of Mobile Bay's 1920s high-cliff settlement, making it a perfect escape-read with well developed characters and an interesting story. - Stephen F.

Highly recommend That Was Tomorrow for lovers of historical fiction, as Mary Lois Timbes does an amazing job at celebrating the mecca of Fairhope and its wonderfully unique people through the eyes of the main character, Amelia King. - Natalie J. Green

Travelin' Light

Travelin' Light is now available in Paperback, Kindle and Audible. 

Travelin' Light AUDIOBOOK

The audiobook of Travelin' Light read by the author, is also available as a direct download instead through Audible.

photo credits: 

Lane Barden
Ed Krieger