Emily's debut novel success

February 23 2018

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

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Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen. 

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger. 

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. 

If I Die Before I Wake is a the debut novel written by award-winning journalist, Emily Koch, who lives in Bishopston with her husband and 10-month-old daughter. The psychological thriller is set in Bristol - the accident which Alex has is a climbing accident, in the Avon Gorge, and during the course of the novel he is in Southmead Hospital. Emily’s inspiration for writing the book came from a news report, as she explained: "I was driving to work one day, listening to the radio, and there must have been a story about a man in a coma on the news. It got me thinking about his family, his girlfriend - how would his condition affect them? This was how the idea for the book first came about, but it changed a lot from that nugget of inspiration to the finished version of the novel."

Emily, a graduate of the Bath Spa Creative Writing programme, was able to draw on her own experience of being immobilised in a serious car accident which left her with two broken legs and serious damage to ligaments in her knees. It took her three months to relearn how to walk and three years to gain enough physical strength to be able to run. 

"Finding out that I had an offer from a publisher was very surreal - by that point I had been working on the book for about 18 months. It is a cliche but it was a dream come true. A few days later, I got married, so it was a busy and very exciting week," she added.

If I Die Before I Wake is published by Harvill Secker, and available in hardcover and Kindle editions.  It went straight into the bestseller charts at number 18.