Profiles of Public Servants: This is a continuing series of human interest stories profiling employees of Richland County Government.
There’s nothing romantic about E. coli.
There’s not much that is naturally appealing about benthic macroinvertebrates, illicit discharges or industrial and high risk runoff. But for Richland County Stormwater Manager Synithia Williams, who is the successful author of 13 published romance novels, the encounters she has while protecting the County’s water sources can sometimes provide inspiration for her next great sizzler.
“My ideas come from everywhere,” Williams said. “I’ve gotten ideas from television shows, radio interviews, news stories, my crazy imagination, and, yes, sometimes when I come across an interesting situation as stormwater manager.”
For as long as she can remember, Williams has had an appreciation for the natural world and an inclination to protect it. As Stormwater Manager with Richland County Public Works, she helps assure the safety and health of the general public by leading a team of professionals who monitor and improve the water quality of Richland County’s streams, lakes, rivers and ponds. Prior to joining Richland County, Williams – who’s been in public service for more than 15 years – worked on air quality and sustainability initiatives.
“The great thing about working in environmental programs is that I make an impact where I live,” Williams said. “I’ve always cared about the environment. I can still quote the ‘Captain Planet’ theme song.”
Along with her lifelong affinity for the environment, Williams also has enjoyed reading and writing. She wrote her first book in third grade and handwrote her first novel in high school. Writing became more than a hobby in 2010 when she published her first book, a romance novel called “You Can’t Plan Love.” Seven years and 12 books later, Williams is the author of “A Malibu Kind of Romance,” which was a 2017 finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award.
“I love writing romance because at their core, romance novels are about relationships,” Williams said. “Not just the relationship the characters have with each other, but with their family and friends. I like writing stories where people build and grow healthy and happy connections. The women who write romance are smart, strong, professional women who want to show those same traits in the characters they write about.”
Williams has two books under contract to release in 2018 and 2019. She’s participating in a book signing as part of the Authors Invade Columbia event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Saturday, Nov. 11. Williams will join more than 100 authors at the convention where the public can meet authors, purchase books and get signed copies.
To learn more about Williams’ works, visit synithiawilliams.com.