AN author battling back from a life-changing head injury has seen her debut novel nominated for a global award.

Donna Siggers, from Southminster, was only able to write for ten minutes at a time after being assaulted in 2014.

The injuries from the incident left her suffering seizures and with permanent swelling behind her eye, which means she can no longer drive.

In November she published her novel Broken and it has now been nominated for the Author Academy Awards.

She said: “After the assault my life changed and my personality changed. I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do and life came to a sudden stop.

“I was lucky I didn’t have any fractures but I had damage to my eye. I had extreme vertigo and I still get migraines daily.

“I had to find some way of rediscovering myself and writing became the avenuefor my first book.”

Donna, 46, had started penning the book back in 2010 but it was only in 2017 as she recovered that she was able to complete it.

“It took several years to be able to write again,” she said.

“I could only do ten minutes of writing because I could only concentrate for that amount of time.”

The book, which is 80,000 words, is the first of a trilogy of crime thrillers featuring police officers Katie-Ann Warwick and Sam Cooper who are trying to trace a kidnapped woman.

“I have always been interested in writing a thriller,” she said.

“I was studying criminology and psychology at the time of my injury and was in the third year of my degree.

“Unfortunately I never got to sit the exams but life moves forward and I am now using that information and putting it to a different use with my writing.”

After her injury Donna was left with memory loss, which made writing the book a more difficult process.

She said: “My mind is like a filing cabinet where someone has opened it and it has been disturbed by a fan. It is all in there, I just have to try and find it.”

Donna will fly out to Ohio in America in October to make her case to the judges in the competition.

“If I win this it puts me on a global stage as an author,” she said.

“It is so incredible I have done this because I was injured and needed something to focus my life. I called the book Broken because when I wrote it I was broken.

“This has turned my life around – it is overwhelming.”

Broken has also proved popular with readers and is set to be made into an indie film with Donna writing the script.

To vote for Donna in the awards, visit The book is available to buy on Amazon.