Recap: Book Riot’s Read Harder Book Group – Los Angeles


I hosted my first book group ever with Book Riot’s Read Harder Book Group in Los Angeles. This crazy city was one of the launch locations, but keep an eye out for groups in your area.

Blazing heat aside, we had a wonderful and lively chat about a diverse list of books and I walked away with an even longer to-buy list (The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson was the big take-away). I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on book groups all my life. 

I also met a blog friend at the event! The lovely Bibliosa graced us with her presence, and I’m so glad I got to meet her in person. You should definitely check out her blog for book recs.

If you live around the L.A.-area, please join us! There’s no set list–talk about anything you’re reading.

Click here to RSVP for the next event on Saturday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m. at Stories Books and Cafe.  And if you have any tips for hosting book groups, do tell!

New Website, New Blog Home: Let’s Do This, 2014

SZWilliams Home Page

With the new year comes new things. I’m starting out 2014 with a new, ever-evolving website. My blog will now live at, so hit that RSS feed! The crappy thing about transitioning to a new blog is saying goodbye to this place and my inability to take you all with me to the new site, but I hope you’ll make the transition with me.

While I won’t post here anymore, this blog will not be deleted (yet). Thanks to everyone who found me here and stuck around. I think I might occasionally visit this place like you’d visit a childhood haunt.

I’ve opened my Facebook to the public, so you can also find me and my blog post and writing updates there if that’s your preferred method of update. Hit the Follow button on Facebook to get my updates or add me as a friend to interact. My other social media profiles are linked on my site as well.

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to the year. I can’t wait to see what you do with 2014 so find me and let’s be friends!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger AwardSo, I was nominated a second time for this award by Lindsey J. Parsons a few weeks ago, got too lazy to post about it, then got nominated by Maedez and decided I had no excuse for not posting this time. I’m quite honored to have a double-nomination from two bloggers I admire.

Lindsey recently published a fantasy novel, Vortex, Return of the Effra 1 (with DRAGONS!!), lives in England and rides horses. Maedez’ blog, A Small Press Life, always has interesting posts about authors and books you’d probably never hear about elsewhere. I really respect these women. Feeling like part of a community with bloggers like Lindsey and Maedez is one of the reasons I haven’t given up on blogging.

Alright, enough gushing. Following are the rules for this award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself.

Alright, seven things about myself…

1) This week, I begin the process of submitting the creator-owned graphic novel I collaborated on with artist Robert Burrows to comic publishers (Like my FB page, Beatrice is Dead :D). I’m not mentioning this anywhere else because I feel like making a to-do about it will shatter my nerves.

Wraith Mob

2) I’ve decided to revisit some fantasy books I recall enjoying in high school. My retention was terrible back then so I literally remember nothing about these books except that I liked them. The first one (one of few I didn’t donate) will be Sorcery Rising by Jude Fisher. I’m really curious to see how books I enjoyed as a teen will read now.

Sorcery Rising

3) My second passion in life (writing being my first, of course) is food. I have a brand-spanking new food blog, Little PorkPie. Chicken and leek pot pie is the first recipe I posted.

Chicken Pot Pie Grid

4) I’ve been taken classes at Cirque School, learning trapeze, silks and hammock. I took my fourth class yesterday; today, I could use about five maximum-strength pain killers, an ounce of flexibility, and two ounces of gracefulness.

5) I’m the proud, if high-strung, mother to a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, three cats (tabby, tuxedo, tortie), and a ball python.

6) I’m about to lose my mind because of the last episode of The Walking Dead. Snap out of it, Rick!

Crazy Rick

7) I want to eat my way through Italy so badly!! Next year!

Now to nominate some quality bloggers:

Word Flows by J. Elizabeth Hill

The Writers Republic by Adrianne Russell

G.E. Gallas

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the lovely and talented Jacqui Talbot nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award yesterday. I admire Jacqui for her seemingly effortless writing skills (her Choctaw Tales, entitled Stories from my Grandfather, are captivating and beautifully written) and for her wonderful sense of humor, so I’m honored not only to be nominated, but to be nominated by a great blogger and writer.

The rules are as follows:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award, and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

Seven Things

1. I’m a hobby junkie. In my life, I’ve taken up piano, flute, guitar, theater, horse riding, swimming, tennis, hoop dancing, jewelry making, belly dancing…and quit them all. Writing is the only activity I’ve stuck with.

This is the demo vid filmed by my best friend’s boyfriend for the hoop dance duo Alyssa (my BFF) and I toyed around with for a while.

2. In high school, my friends and I created a zine called S.O.S. It was a smutty zine illustrated and co-authored by me (and you’ve seen my artistic talents). I wanted to keep it mum, but found out my friend made copies and distributed them to a ton of people in our grade. I never heard the end of it from our peers. Awkward.

3. My favorite alcoholic beverage is a vodka gimlet. When I couldn’t finish my drink one night at a club, my boyfriend handed it off to our friend without telling him what it was. He took a sip and spit it right back into the cup. I generally enjoy things others consider vile.

4. I think I really got into the goth/industrial community for the platform boots. I’m 5’1 with a serious Napoleon complex.

5. I’m going to dress up as Aunty Entity for Wasteland Weekend in September. At least if I fry in the California desert or get attacked by a mutant scorpion I’ll go out looking cool.

6. I sound like a chipmunk with a cold at all times. I look like a chipmunk too.

7. I’m turning 30 in four days. This terrifies me.


Welllllll, I don’t want to regurgitate my Versatile Blogger Award nominations. Also, I’m a bit of a lurker on many of the blogs I follow, so I’m not about to blow my cover by saying, “Hello, I’ve just nominated you for something. You don’t know it, but I stalk your page.” I know, I’m neurotic.

But here’s someone who isn’t such a stranger and who deserves a nomination!

Lindsey J. Parsons–She just published a novel. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Versatile Blogger Award!

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you, Arab WriterChick, for the nomination (visit her blog for a unique perspective on writing and wonderful poetry).

As the rules go, I am to write seven things about myself and nominate fifteen blogs to receive the award.

Seven Things About Me

  1. Sherlock Holmes is my favorite fictional character of all time.
  2. In college, I attended UCLA’s Shakespeare Abroad program in England and was drunk the entire time.
  3. My sister is a librarian…and I’m jealous of her job.
  4. Swamplandia is my most recent book purchase. Damn the man.
  5. I am avoiding my next round of MS edits.
  6. In high school, I had terrible acne and self-esteem issues.
  7. I have a weakness for bad television.

Fifteen Blogs I Nominate for the Award–in no particular order

(P.S. I didn’t bother to check if the following have already been nominated because I’m lazy)

Modern Fantastic, The Trials of an Unpublished Fantasy/Fiction writer, for its honest accounts of the journey toward publication.

Jacqui Talbot, for beautiful writing and because I identify with everything she writes.

Dr. Shay Fabbro, for interesting and diverse topics and words from a published author.

A Small Press Life, for discovery of great books I might never have stumbled upon myself.

Camila Song Project, for short, autobiographical stories with real depth.

RebeccaofTomorrow, for fun posts about life and writing.

Suddenly they all died, for poetry that makes me smile.

Diary of a Random Fangirl, for all the geeky goodness you need.

clearskies, bluewater, for pure positivity.

Joe Hinojosa, for a humorous blog about one man and his writing goals.

{love+cupcakes}, not necessarily writing-related, but I love everything on this food/lifestyle blog.

The Burning of Paper, for raw and honest poetry powered by NaPoWriMo and authored by my best friend.

tyrannosauruskitten, (might be password protected) because it keeps me up to date on all the amazing things my BFF is up to.

Insatiable Book Sluts…I think the name says it all.

Books and Bowel Movements, for the hilarious name and tons of book news.

The Blogs, the Novel and the Wordsmith

The Blogs. I’ve been a shameful blogger, turning my back on numerous blogs developed with vague subject matter and little point; deciding I want little to do with the freakish, partially developed creations after a few posts.

But there’s a point to this blog, and it revolves around an activity I’ve been obsessed with since childhood: writing.

The Novel. There couldn’t be a better time to start a blog on my progress, thoughts and struggles with writing because I’m currently undertaking a great endeavor  – I’m completing a novel. This novel is a project I’ve been working on for the past five years. Like my old blogs, it was begun with great gusto, only to wind up in a sealed jar, pickling in my inevitable disappointment.

This year, I tore up my closets to find that jar and resuscitate the still-breathing fetus inside after a sudden realization. I’m turning 30 next year, and my departure from the blissful “I-have-plenty-of-time” 20’s sent me into a panic about how very little time I actually have. I mean, I nearly killed myself slipping beside a hotel jacuzzi this weekend – maybe I’ll be swiftly ended by an urban ninja tomorrow. Who knows?

I need to get this book done and out there. I need to say, perfectionism be damned.

The Wordsmith. That whole “Wordsmith” thing is a reference to my work supervisor’s frequent requests to use my wordsmith-ery on projects. I find it amusing that she sees me as someone who can flourish a wand and presto-chango the black swan sentences into graceful, white swans. It’s a flattering comment but, honestly, the process of writing, revising and proofing isn’t mystically simple, it’s hard work, not only because I have flaws and weaknesses as a writer. I am not an expert, but a constant student, and this blog is a record of my learning process.