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Bristol writer Emily Koch says horror crash inspired powerful debut novel about coma patient

Emily Koch is enjoying huge success with her debut novel Photo: ITV News

A Bristol author who broke both of her legs after being hit by a car has used the experience to pen a best-selling book.

Former journalist Emily Koch's debut novel tells the story of a man in a coma who is attempting to solve his own attempted murder.

Eleven years ago Emily was hit by a car while she was walking home, and left with serious injuries.

She broke both legs, hit her head and ended up in hospital for several days.

Emily Koch pictured in 2008 following the crash Credit: Emily Koch

Emily went on to become an award winning journalist for the Bristol Post.

But when she left the newsroom behind to pursue a career as an novelist, she drew on her experience to create her lead character.

In a twist on the traditional crime thriller, Alex spends the rest of the book trying to solve his own attempted murder.

Emily's book has proved to be a big hit with readers Credit: ITV News

He can feel if someone pinches him, he can feel the nurses putting injections into him, but he can't communicate, he can't talk he can't move he can't even blink so nobody knows that he is conscious. I can't pretend to know what it's like to be locked-in. But I do know something of what it's like to be in a busy hospital ward, what it's like to hear all the other patients around you experiencing their own trauma, their own pain, how surreal it is to be visited by your friends when you're up to your eyeballs with morphine, and also how vulnerable you feel.

– Emily Koch
If I Die Before I Wake follows the story of climber Alex who is trying to find out who tried to kill him Credit: ITV News

The book is quickly turning into a word of mouth hit. It has been nominated for literary awards and been translated into six different languages.

And for fans who just can't get enough, Emily is currently working on her second novel, which promises yet more mystery, crime and intrigue - all set around the streets of Bristol.

The book has gained the following accolades: