Dani Atkins - Author

About the Author

Dani Atkins was born in London in 1958, and grew up in North London. She moved to rural Hertfordshire in 1985, where she has lived in a small village ever since with her family. Although Dani has been writing for fun all her life, Fractured was her first novel. She has since written The Story of Us and Our Song.

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired Our Song …
The first germ of an idea came as quite a disquieting thought.  I was thinking randomly about how many women (myself included) have a special place in their heart for the very first person they fell in love with.  It then occurred to me that somewhere out there, is a woman I don’t know, have never met, and probably never will, who holds my own husband in her heart.  He is her “someone”.  I then started thinking what if two women who had both loved the same man at different times in their life were to meet… what if a tragedy in both their lives brought them together on a single night…  And there you have Our Song.

Who were the key people who informed your research?
For all things related to music, my son Luke was of invaluable help (although please don’t tell him that, or I will never hear the end of it).  Luke (like Ally) was a music student at university, he too plays the piano and the trumpet, and he even depped a couple of times for Moonlighters.  In addition I shamelessly exploited friends who ski to help with the skiing scene, stole someone’s wedding proposal and put it the book, and spent a lot of time pouring over various NHS websites. One site in particular was my daily reference point and several of the very moving patient and family accounts inspired some of my favourite scenes in the book.

Which character was the most interesting to write? Which was the hardest?
On a personal level, I loved the character of Max.  He is the gay best friend I have never had but always secretly wanted.  He brought some much needed light relief moments into the story.  His deep affection for Ally, Jake and Joe rang true for me, and that made every scene he was in a joy to write.  I think perhaps Jake was the hardest, because I was putting a young boy in a truly terrible situation and then having to write about his pain.  It made me sad.

Our Song is a bit of a weepie – did it make you cry?
I’m afraid so.  I always cry a little when I finally finish writing a book (possibly from relief that I have managed to get there?).  However, I was snivelling away long before I made it to the final scenes.

Who would you cast if a film was made of this story?
That is a toughie, because I have seen these people in my head for such a long time, that no actors on either the big or small screen looks quite right.  I find it really fascinating to hear who readers see as the characters.  Someone told me recently that they saw Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, as David… and on looking more closely, I could definitely see what she meant.  I don’t suppose he’s available for a movie, is he?

Have you always written?
I actually can’t think of a time when I haven’t wanted to be a writer.  It just took me a little longer to achieve than I had anticipated.  Even as a child I would always be scribbling away at short stories and poems.

Where do you write – do you have strict routines?
I have an office at home where I write on an old-fashioned desktop computer (I’ve tried writing on my laptop, but I don’t get on with it nearly as well for some reason).  My desk is beside a window which looks out onto my back garden, which is a source of distraction (although very useful to know when it has started to rain and the washing needs to come in off the line).
 
I had a very idealistic image of how it would be to work as a full time author.  I thought I would sit down at my desk at nine o’clock each morning and then work continually until around five each afternoon (with an indulgent hour off for lunch, of course).  It didn’t take long for me to discover that I’m nowhere near disciplined enough for that!  I have a tendency to get horribly side-tracked and it can sometimes take me ages to finally “get going”.  I begin each day by walking my dog which gives me an excellent opportunity to think about what I want to write that day (which is about as much forward planning as I ever manage to accomplish).

For some reason I seem to be much more productive during the afternoon and early evening.  This means my poor long-suffering husband is normally on dinner cooking duties each night.  Thankfully he doesn’t seem to mind, and this has saved us from a life of takeaways.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your plan B be?
Well, for a large part of my adult life I was actually living my plan B (plan A coming to me a little later than most).  I worked as a secretary in a variety of different companies and organisations and then ended up working in the offices of a large secondary school for a great many years.  However I don’t think working in an office could ever really be called my dream job.  If I had to choose an alternative dream career to being an author, then I would have quite fancied trying my hand at acting, but perhaps that’s because I have always had a tendency to be a little bit of a drama queen!

What are you writing next?
My next book is going to be another emotional drama with, of course, a strong love story running through it.

How do you relax?
I like nothing better than long lazy days at home with my family.  A log fire burning in the grate, a good book waiting to be read, or a DVD box set to plough through.  And if you throw in a glass of something alcoholic and a big old box of chocolates, you’ve got my perfect recipe for rest and relaxation.

Which other writers do you admire?
My favourite author is Stephen King.  Surprisingly this is not because I particularly enjoy the horror genre and will actually skip over passages that are overtly gory.  But Stephen King is without doubt the master of suspense and storytelling and has a unique and insightful way of bringing his characters to life with such honesty and realism using just a few well-chosen sentences or dialogue.  He is a true observer of human nature.

Finally, is there a message you would like to send to your readers?
I would just like to thank everyone who has read my books, and especially those who have taken the time to contact me and let me know how much they have enjoyed them.  If this were an award ceremony I would have a long list of people to thank.  But without doubt, it is the readers to who I owe the greatest gratitude.  You don’t set out to be an author for fame or fortune.  You do it because you have a story in your head that you want to share.  So thank you readers, for letting me share mine with you and for quite literally making my dream come true.

Featured books by Dani Atkins

Other books by Dani Atkins

While I Was Sleeping

While I Was Sleeping

Author: Dani Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/08/2018

'Dani Atkins is the undisputed queen of fiction that packs a huge emotional punch' heat 'This book is filled with the utmost compassion and it has stayed with me long after the final page ... An absolute triumph of storytelling' Penny Parkes `A touching story about love, loss, survival and an unconventional friendship. Dani writes with heart and soul. Prepare to be moved' Alice Peterson A brand new and brilliant emotional family drama for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson, from the bestselling author of Fractured. I don't remember what happened or what has changed. I can still hear your voices but you can't seem to hear me. I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to. Now I have to find a way back - to you, to our family, to us. Praise for Dani Atkins' novels: `Heartbreaking and uplifting, stunningly insightful prose' Penny Parkes `A heart-warming story of love and loss that will stay with you long after the last page' My Weekly `A beautiful romance with a twist' Woman `If you like Jodi Picoult then you'll love This Love' Lovereading `Such a beautiful book' Brewandbooksreview `A true celebration of life, family and relationships' culturefly `What a stunningly beautiful love story, I'm bereft that it's over'RatherTooFondofBooks `Heartbreakingly beautiful. A must-read'blogsbybooksby `Flawless' reabookreview `I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone'rachelsrandomreads `Poignant and heartfelt'vivavoce `A heartbreaker of a book' handwrittengirl `Heartbreakingly brilliant' Daily Mail 'Truly magnificent storytelling' Veronica Henry 'Fans of Me Before You will love this' Patricia Scanlan `For those of you who have ever wondered about you first love or thought about the one that got away, this story will speak to your heart. I read it in one sitting - and it's heartbreakingly brilliant' The Sun `This is easily one of the best books I have ever read, and I don't say that often!' thelunamayblog `A gripping and emotional family drama ... With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love' Fabulousbookfiend

Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

Author: Dani Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 15/12/2016

~*~ Perfect for fans of the hit film THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet ~*~ Hannah Truman is twenty-seven years old. She is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary memory. One thing she certainly can't forget is her boyfriend William's betrayal, which was why she fled to Canada to stay with her sister. Now, on her way home to England, Hannah finds herself in a queue behind Logan Carter at the airport terminal. He's checking into Business Class on her flight and although their paths keep crossing, fate prevents them meeting. An almost shared cup of coffee never takes place when Logan is suddenly called away. But once in the air the unthinkable happens:the plane needs to make an emergency landing.Hannah is alone and terrified, until suddenly Logan slips into the seat beside her. In the days that follow, Hannah and Logan must call upon all their resources to survive in the frozen landscape, growing ever closer as hopes of a rescue begin to fade*** Praise for Dani Atkins *** ';This story will speak to your heart. It's heartbreakingly brilliant' The Sun ';This breathtakingly brilliant novel left us sobbing our hearts out' Heat ';This hugely accomplished novel is amazing, but oh-so emotional' Fabulous Magazine ';With a spellbinding insight into friendship, family and the fragility of life, this real tear-jerker of a novel is captivating from start to finish' The Lady I was captivated the entire time and then completely blown away, left reeling afterward Chick Lit Central As I turned the last page I found myself broken as it was time to say goodbye to a book that warmed my heart and intrigued my mind The Love of a Good Book Compelling and truly beautiful. Its a love story that will stay with you forever Victoria Loves Books Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking ... a magical love story She Loves To Read

Our Song

Our Song

Author: Dani Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/2016

The stunning new emotional drama from ebook phenomenon Dani Atkins, author of Fractured - perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson. This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they've never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally's ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever. Full of Dani's signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else's life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?

Our Song

Our Song

Author: Dani Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2016

The stunning new emotional drama from ebook phenomenon Dani Atkins, author of Fractured - perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson.This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they've never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally's ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever. Full of Dani's signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else's life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?

Story of Us

Story of Us

Author: Dani Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 09/06/2015

For fans of David Nicholls's One Day and Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot, here's a page-turning novel about a young woman who is torn between two men, and who must determine whereand with whomher future lies. Emma is just days from marrying her childhood sweetheart, Richard. But what should be the happiest time of Emma's life takes a turn for the worse when, on the night of her bachelorette party, tragedy strikes. Thanks to some quick thinking from a stranger, Emma is pulled free from a totaled car before it goes up in flames. But another passenger is not so lucky. The wedding is postponed as family and friends deal with their shock and grief. But soon, secrets come to light that have Emma questioning her relationshipsand her engagement. Making matters more complicated is the emotional connection she feels withJack,the mysterious man who saved her life. It's a crisis no bridal magazine has ever covered: What do you do when, on the eve of your wedding, you find yourself in love with two men?Praise for The Story of Us ';[Dani] Atkins's fluid narrative voice moves the story along quickly and enjoyably. . . . This novel will appeal to readers who love the emotional ups and downs of conflicted characters, as written by Liane Moriarty or Jane Green.'Library Journal ';Emotionally powerful.'Publishers Weekly ';The Story of Us has tragedy, betrayal, a love triangle, friendship, secrets, and hard choices. [It's] the kind of story you read with one hand pressed over your heart.'Fresh Fiction ';Raw, compelling . . . Fans of deeply emotional women's fiction will be intrigued and swept along with Emma on her journey to find acceptance, peace, and lasting love in her life.'Harlequin Junkie ';One of the most heartfelt stories that I have read in years. Beautiful, compelling and thought provoking.'Wicked Women Book Blog ';With its tales of life, friendships, families, love and relationships, [The Story of Us] is a touching book that will make you cry, laugh and be glad that you read it.'23 Review Street Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Story Of Us

The Story Of Us

Author: Dani Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/08/2014

A gripping love story from the bestselling author of Fractured. Emma Marshall can't wait to marry her childhood sweetheart, Richard. But then a tragic accident changes everything, and introduces a stranger, Jack, into her life. Gorgeous and mysterious, Jack is like no-one Emma has met before. But Richard is the man she loves... Two different men. Two different destinies. How will Emma end her story?

Then and Always

Then and Always

Author: Dani Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 20/05/2014

For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers. Rachel Wiltshire has everything she's ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart. Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend's wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can't stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.Praise for Then and Always ';Readers who enjoyed Liane Moriarty'sWhat Alice Forgotand Sophie Kinsella'sRemember Me?will like [Then and Always].'Booklist';Clear your schedule for an addicting read. Then and Always is a twisty, romantic, keep-you-guessing story about the kind of love you never forget.'National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti, author of He's Gone';Heartfelt, gorgeous and completely believable . . . Atkins' latest novel unfolds beautifully and will touch readers deeply.'RT Book ReviewsLook for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Fractured

Fractured

Author: Dani Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

What would you do if life gave you a second chance? The night of the accident changed everything... Now, five years on, Rachel's life is crumbling. She lives alone in a tiny flat, working in a dead-end job, desperate with guilt over her best friend's death. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn't work like that... Does it? The night of the accident was a lucky escape... Now, five years on, Rachel's life is perfect. She has a wonderful fiance, loving family and friends around her, and the career she always wanted. But why can't Rachel shake the memory of a very different life? Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking, Fractured is a magical love story that asks: can two different stories lead to the same happy ending?

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