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Holly enjoys contemporary, paranormal (vamps/shifters/witches), angels and demons, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic, alternative universe, snappy dialogue, comedy, dubious consent/forced seduction, light-hearted, all heat levels, from no on-page sex to smoking hot

Favorite Quote: "To Read makes our speaking English good." - Joss Whedon

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All About Holly Atkinson

Since she can remember, Holly Atkinson's professional ambition has revolved around fiction editing. She was fortunate to receive her first taste in editing when she was thirteen and wrote copy for a local realtor show. In 2008, Holly graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s in English, specializing in Creative Writing. Her first real job in the literary world came in the role of line editor for Lyrical Press. In 2011, she joined Mundania Press as a content editor and finally landed her dream job at Samhain Publishing in 2012.

Holly describes herself as the quintessential book nerd. In her spare time, she writes erotic romance under a penname, though she hopes to produce more mainstream works in the future so the more conservative members of her family can read her work. She lives in Missouri with her husband, loves to travel, and goes a little crazy around the holidays. Her largest writing influences include Pamela Smith Hill, Aaron Sorkin, JK Rowling, Stephen King, and Joss Whedon.

Posts from Holly

Common markups

By On Oct 14 2013, 8:53 am

Since becoming a Samhain editor, I’ve been asked to participate in interviews, present to local groups and speak at a regional convention. At each of these venues, I inevitably get asked some form of the following question: what are the mistakes I most commonly see in manuscripts? I’ve given it some thought, and came up with a modest list.

1.)    Dangling modifiers/participle phrases—Incredibly common little buggers. This is essentially an ambiguous grammatical construct. Most commonly, authors intend to have the modifier refer to the sentence subject, but phrase it in such a way where it refers to the object. An example would be: “Walking toward a grove of trees, the clouds made swirling patterns in the sky.” We have a narrator who doesn’t identify his/herself, and grammatically speaking, the clouds are doing the walking.

2.)    Simultaneous action—Also incredibly common, and often (but not always) a result of a dangling modifier. A simultaneous action, when marked by an editor, typically denotes two actions that structurally transpire concurrently when such is otherwise physically impossible. An example would be, “Mandy unlocked the door, kicking it closed behind her.” Structurally, Mandy is unlocking and closing the door at the same time, which is quite a feat.

3.)    Fun with semi-colons—Semi-colons are discouraged but not outright outlawed, and one of the reasons is the many ways this poor punctuation mark has been abused. Semi-colons unite two complete sentences, but many authors tend to use them as placement for an emdash or a comma. If the clauses on either side of the semi-colon cannot survive independent of one another, then a semi-colon is not the appropriate mark. Read more…

Simultaneous Submissions

By On Jul 15 2013, 8:19 am

Tagged as Editors, Submissions

So you’ve finished a manuscript. Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back. Pour yourself that celebratory drink. You’ve earned it. Reaching the finish line on any project is one heck of an accomplishment. So kick back and enjoy yourself, because the fun part is officially over. Now you’re looking at rereads, revisions, critique [...]

The Art of Lampshade Hanging

By On May 6 2013, 8:17 am

There are any number of plot elements that can pull readers from a story. Dialogue, for instance, should sound natural, which means it doesn’t necessarily need to follow established rules of grammar and structure. Even the snootiest of grammar snobs occasionally trip over their wordage in everyday conversation. Last night, I was reminded of one [...]

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