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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.

Check out my new art therapy course, Pour Your HeART Out. If you love my art and enjoy creative crafty activities, learn to play with paint and colour in your journal the way I do, in bite-sized 15 minute sessions. Perfect for anyone going through a hard time or wanting to ease more creativity into your day.

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

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

Art Therapy Course

Check out my new art therapy course, Pour Your HeART Out. If you love my art and enjoy creative crafty activities, learn to play with paint and colour in your journal the way I do, in bite-sized 15 minute sessions. Perfect for anyone going through a hard time or wanting to ease more creativity into your day.

Winning awards!


Future Girl
(in Australia) and The Words in My Hands (in North America) is the winner of the ALA Schneider Family’s Award, the winner of the Readings Young Adult prize has been selected as Kirkus’ best YA fiction for 2021!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is futuregirl_words_low_res.jpg
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!

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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27 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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  10. Anonymous

    Your book is so awesome! I’m not D/deaf but I wouldn’t mind being D/deaf because I’m learning fingerspelling from that image in your book. I really like learning signs, numbers and letters! I live in Canada so there isn’t any point knowing fingerspelling in Auslan but who cares! I’m learning it anyway. P.S. I’m 12.

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    1. Asphyxia Post author

      Oh I am so glad.. and you never know when you will meet someone from UK or Australia who you might fingerspell with in the future! Learning this now will also make it easier to learn your local sign language too.

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  11. Belinda

    Amazing book! Thank you for sharing this story and your beautiful art. I am currently learning Auslan and your book definitely helped me better understand Deaf culture. I so hope I have the capacity to learn your beautiful language, I desperately want to. Your videos help so much with my practice. I am also a huge advocate for the environment and love your ethos on all things sustainable. It’s fair to say I’m a huge fan of yours all round!!!!!

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  12. Michelle Graham

    We plan to arrive Australia on May 7 from America for three weeks. I am deaf. Where can we buy all of ur books with ur signature in Sydney? Do u sell arts there? If so let me know where to buy ur art?

    Many thanks!

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    1. Asphyxia Post author

      oh that is so lovely of you. The only way to buy my artwork and signed books is online. Shipping to America is expensive so definitely worth buying now and having them shipped to where you are staying in Australia. There are some delays with shipping due to covid so good to buy ASAP and include a note with your order the final date you will be here so we can do our best to get them to you in time.

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  13. Greg Mucci

    I’m a 74 yr old d/Deaf man in the USA. I was born Hearing and did not see ASL until I was 41 yrs old. I’ve now finished The Words In My Hands. It’s excellent. You have captured the experience of being d/Deaf as no one priore to you has done. You’ve also effectively expressed the concerns that are most important to me: the environment, overpopulation and parenting. I want to bring to your attention a Deaf woman in the USA, Summer Crider. She works as a Nature guide in the “wild.” I was her chaperone for a day when she was 12. She may not remember me. Keep up the good work!

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  14. battygirl8

    Greetings from America!!
    I am a signer, teacher, artist, ally,

    I’ve been in the Deaf community for about 25 years. These days I don’t interpret much but I sign everyday. I teach beginning sign and I would LOVE to use your book: The Words in My Hands.
    I’m interested in ordering 15 books to use in class.
    I feel strongly connected to ASL and want to spread this amazing language. Just like your amazing art, sign language is both art and poetry.
    Thank you,
    Lara Sviatko

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