RONA Awards 2022 Celebration Drinks with… Dani Atkins

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Continuing my celebration of the 2022 Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Novel Awards, I am delighted to be welcoming to the blog for a congratulatory drink and chat tonight, the winner of the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award for her book, A Sky Full of Stars, it’s… Dani Atkins.

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Dani, welcome to the blog and many congratulations on your win on Monday. What are you having to drink in celebration?

A glass (or two) of Prosecco for me, please.

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If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

I can’t think of anywhere nicer on a cold winter evening than a cosy country pub with a roaring open fire.

You would love my local, then! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

Stephen King, although I would probably embarrass myself by fangirling all night.

Can we also invite Carole King? I went to her Hyde Park concert in 2016 and she was amazing. Do you think if we asked nicely, she’d sing a song or two?

Clearly all the people I want to meet most have the same surname. Drinks with the Kings.

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I have just begun work on my next book, which amazingly will be my tenth novel. For some reason this feels much more than just a number, it feels like a milestone. Obviously where I would like it to go would be high up on the bestseller list (it doesn’t hurt to dream big).

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

I still remember the extraordinary moment of holding my debut novel Fractured in my hands for the first time. I travelled home on the train, grinning like an idiot with the book cradled in my arms. It was very hard to resist telling total strangers ‘I wrote this’.

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That day ties with another proud moment when my fourth book This Love won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award at the RoNAs in 2018.

Biggest challenge? Page 1, Chapter 1 of the next project. I don’t think the fear ever goes away.

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, it’s just us talking after all!

Can someone in Hollywood please make a blockbuster movie from one of my books?

What are have planned that you are really excited about?

Work-wise there is always excitement in sharing your next book with the world. My book Six Days is coming out on 14 April and I can’t wait to hear what readers think of it.

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Two People. One love story. Six days.

He loves me… He loves me not… He loves me…

Gemma knows that she and Finn are destined to be together. They are soulmates. But then, on their wedding day, he never arrives at the church.

Gemma is convinced Finn wouldn’t abandon her like this, even though he has disappeared once before. But back then he had a reason. She feels sure something terrible has happened, but no one else is convinced. Even the police aren’t concerned, telling Gemma most people who disappear usually turn up in a week… assuming they want to be found, that is.

For the next six days Gemma frantically searches for Finn, even though every shocking revelation is telling her to give up on him. Before long, even she begins to doubt her own memories of their love.

How long can she hold on to her faith in Finn if everyone is telling her to let him go?

Travel-wise, I have a trip to Norway planned for the end of the year where I really, really hope we’ll get to see the Northern Lights.

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I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

I am a big fan of cruising and our cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago claims the title of my favourite place so far.

At the top of my bucket list is a visit to Hawaii. I’m still working on persuading my husband about that one.

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

I am a huge fan of Disneyworld in Florida and have visited there more times than a person of my age should probably admit. 

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We have that in common then, as I am also a massive fan of Disney World and have been *cough* times and have another trip booked for this summer! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

The Stand by Stephen King.

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First come the days of the virus. Then come the dreams.

Dark dreams that warn of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.

His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms.

When a man crashes his car into a petrol station, he brings with him the foul corpses of his wife and daughter. He dies and it doesn’t take long for the virus which killed him to spread across America and the world.

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

Water, water and then some more water before you go to bed.

If there is an effective cure for a hangover, I have yet to discover it.  

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Let’s jet off to somewhere luxurious in the Caribbean. The weather is gorgeous, the people are lovely and there is rum punch. What’s not to love?

Sounds like bliss, let’s go! Thank you for joining me tonight, i have had a blast.

Dani’s RONA award-winning novel, A Sky Full of Stars, is available now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.

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He’d have done everything differently if he’d known she’d be gone so soon…

When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.

Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But when Lisa dies suddenly, their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old boy.

Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. Perhaps, after all, the future is written in the stars…Bio

Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut Fractured has been translated into 18 languages and has sold more than half a million copies since first publication. Dani is the author of several other bestselling novels, one of which, This Love, won the prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2018. Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, a Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.

Connect with Dani:

Facebook: Dani Atkins

Twitter: @AtkinsDani

Instagram: @daniatkinsauthor

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