An author battling back from a life-changing head injury has seen her debut novel win a global award.

Donna Siggers, from Southminster, travelled out to Ohio in America last week for the Author Academy Awards.

Her book Broken, which was published just 12 months ago, was handed the best thriller gong.

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.

While her trip stateside didn’t get off to the best start when she missed her connecting flight, her win more than made up for the delay.

“I didn’t expect to win,” she said.

“I went out to America for the experience, so what happened is incredible. I was up against a big family of writers which I didn’t belong to – they are members of the Author Academy elite.

“So to win was really overwhelming.

“It was an unbelievable experience. The whole event was totally amazing. “

To finish her book was a mammoth task for Donna, 46, as she 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.

She started penning the book back in 2010 but it was only during her recovery in 2017 she managed to finish it.

“With my health and the injuries I have it was a big decision to make because I went on my own,” she said.

“It was a huge risk – but I am so glad I took it.

“I took a suitcase out with me which was filled with books and I sold books when I was out there.

“All of us are helping each other by talking about the books – I have already got to put in an order for more.

“I have gained so much by listening and sharing and from the people who I have met.”

Kary Oberbrunner, founder of Author Academy Elite and the Author Academy Awards, said: “The Author Academy Awards is an honour bestowed for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry.

“Our goal is to help further connect this global community of authors, maintain excellence and integrity of the book publishing industry, and raise awareness that the stories being told and the authors who write them are worth our attention.”

Donna has now turned her attention back to book two in the trilogy.

She had also written a book about her recovery and is working on a film script for Broken.

Broken is available to buy on Amazon.