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My book, Future Girl (in Australia) and The Words in My Hands (in North America), is the art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, is a call to arms and a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage and drawings, woven into a deeply engaging coming-of-age story set in near-future Melbourne. I detailed my experience of Deaf culture and what it feels like to be d/Deaf.

I have written a music course for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, which teaches how to create music that is specifically adapted to an individual’s hearing loss. Deaf and HoH can learn to create their own songs in GarageBand.

I’m teaching a free online course in Auslan – Australian Sign Language. Learn basic signs in bite-sized lessons of around ten signs each.

My art journal is my best friend, my life coach and a visual extravaganza. I’ve developed a method of lazy journaling that still results in a stunning book. Learn online here.

I am the author of The Grimstones – an award winning junior fiction book series featuring my family of handmade gothic puppets.

I’ve written many articles about living a sustainable life, living creatively, and more. You’ll find them all via my guide to my blog.

I paint quirky, sweet characters who’ll touch you and inspire you. I like to represent those of us who are different, to remind us that inclusion is for everyone. My work is available online in my shop.


What's New

My book, Future Girl (in Australia) and The Words in My Hands (in North America) has been selected as Kirkus’ best YA fiction for 2021!

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Image: Two similar book covers. On the left is Future Girl (Australian edition) and on the right is The Words in my Hands (North American edition), both by Asphyxia. They show a girl with long, black, wavy hair. She wears a gray sleeveless top and holds a magenta pencil and paint brush in her fist, with a light blue paint dripping from the brush. She has large black cross over her right ear. Her eyes are green and her lips red. The background shows drawings of buildings. The left background is green, brown and teal textured paint; the right background is teal, pink and ochre textured paint. On both covers is a review by Amie Kaufman, a New York Times bestselling author, which says, ‘Brilliantly imaginative, totally immersive…’

The book will soon be adapted for the screen in partnership with Orange Entertainment Co, and is scooping up awards!

  • Winner! Readings Young Adult prize 2021
  • Kirkus Best YA fiction of 2021
  • The Guardian top 20 books of 2020
  • Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the year for Older Readers 2021
  • Shortlisted Indie Book Awards 2021
  • Shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year for Older Children 2021
  • Shortlisted Aurelis Award 2021
  • The Great Books Guide top 100 books 2021

Art exhibition

My art exhibition, Love, Lies and Indoctrination, is available online here. The exhibition is an exploration of the strange customs of our society and the challenge of belonging, when we can’t or won’t follow those customs, perhaps due to feminist ideals, chronic illness, disability, queer identity, or just disagreeing with them. It’s easy for us to assume that many social conventions are just the natural way of things, and yet when you look closely, many are quite bizarre. Are they healthy for us? Should we find another way to live? These are the questions I hope to provoke and explore through the unique lens of being Deaf, queer, chronically ill and needing to use a wheelchair.

Check out my music course for Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

Image: A painting of a girl with long red dreadlocks and sparkly green eyes. She has a black cross over her left ear, and red lips. She wears a red T-shirt with a black stencil of a face on it. She is holding a guitar. To her right is large text: ‘GarageBand Songwriting for Deaf and HOH, http://www.asphyxia.com.au ‘ In the background is a blue textured wall with grungy black dots, piano keys and music notes.

To be notified of future projects and opportunities, sign up for my newsletter here.

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19 thoughts on “Home

  1. Fleur Johnson

    I am HOH due to Single Sided Deafness in my 30’s, I have been learning Auslan with my mother, we have done basic and intermediate classes and waiting for our advance class to start again. This book was the only book I read in one day. It was really good!!! Thank you for writting it!!! I also have a vege garden with 6 beds in it 🙂 sadly no room for a pond, thank you for the inspiration. I will keep learning, and try to play my part in breaking down some barriers the Deaf community faces. Fantastic Read!!! Your an amazing person with so much talent in so many areas of life, well done on such a fantastic book! Fleur.

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    1. Asphyxia Post author

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Fleur. I am so glad you enjoyed the book and that you are learning Auslan too! And that your mother is as well – how amazing!

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  2. Maree O’Malley

    Hi I am a Deaf and a teacher and have read and loved your book Future Girl! Wow! Am recommending for my teen students as they will love it too I am sure. Thank you…
    Maree:)

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  3. Marnie

    WOW! What a fantastic book. I was pre-reading it for my 11 year old daughter, who loves language and understanding peoples differences. She will love this book and I dare say go onto learn some sign. I will also pass it to my 13 year old son who has discovered a passion for veggie gardening in the last year. This book will give him some good tips and an understanding of the importance of growing your own food.
    I loved this book and its messages/insights about the d/Deaf, food production and standing up for what you believe. There are so many wonderful messages in this book, I will be recommending this book to EVERYONE, tween, teen and adult.

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  4. Cheri

    I bought ur new book future girl at my.local book store, stunning book and loved the idea of it. I am half way through it.
    I am sad u did not now about the signed copies as would have loved that.

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    1. Asphyxia Post author

      I’m so glad you are enjoying it, Cheri. Others who have said the same as you decided to gift the book they bought for a friend, and buy another copy for themselves from my store so they could have a signed one.

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  5. FoodFreeFoodie

    I have just finished reading Future Girl and I absolutely loved it! It was a wonderfully engaging story, and the Deaf characters were so well written! As someone who works with Deaf students (as a signing SLSO) and also has Deaf friends I have tried to explain to so many people how difficult it is to communicate with hearing people who don’t sign, and this book shows it perfectly! I wish everyone involved in the education of Deaf students would read this and make a real effort to learn Auslan!

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  6. Paige @ Reading Paiges

    I pre-ordered your book and just recieved it recently!

    I’m Profoundly Deaf since birth and I’ve been wanting more Deaf books (especially by Deaf authors) so i’m so excited to be reading this one ^_^

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  7. Brylie

    This book is just so fantastic. The stunning images, thick quality cover and paper made it a truly immersive experience. More than that though, it opened my eyes and educated me on what it is like to be Deaf. I was under the misconception that having hearing aids suddenly enabled people to fully hear and comprehend what is being said. As soon as I read this I shared it with my Year 9 classes and we had some great discussions about their own misconceptions. Thank you for creating such an engaging and thoughtful story (set in Melbourne too!).

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  8. Chrissie

    I am an older hearing reader in my late 60’s however I simply loved your book!! I was sharing about it with my Granddaughter & plan to buy her a copy for her birthday. I learnt the Auslan Alphabet when I was about 16 when a Deaf co worker taught me & had never forgotten it. Now I work in the Aged Care sector & last year I had a client who had suffered a stroke which affected her speech. I was to take her shopping. Once we were at a Chemist shop & she told me she wanted oil I was puzzled by this but she actually made the sign for tiny & I knew then she wanted essential oil!! The opportunity came available this year to attend a Auslan class at our local library which I have joined. I don’t think I will ever be as proficient as the interpreters on the TV news reports but I am having fun learning. Thank you for sharing your thoughts to hearing readers with some very simple ideas on respecting & communicating within the Deaf community that help us to be more inclusive. Chrissie

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  9. Gerry

    Awesome. I have been watching and slowly learning from your auslan YouTube course training.. my thanks to you for putting it together in short bitable chunks. 68 at that.
    Gerry
    Brissie

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