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Asphyxia (author) facts for kids

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Quick facts for kids
Born Melbourne, Australia
Occupation Author, artist, puppeteer
Nationality Australian
Period 2012–present
Genre Children's fiction
Notable works The Grimstones book series
Children 1

Asphyxia is a Deaf artist, writer, activist and public speaker. Formerly a puppeteer, she is the author of the children's series The Grimstones, which won the APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Children's Series in 2013.

Life and career

She was born in Melbourne, the eldest of eight children, being nicknamed Asphyxia by one of her brothers when she was a teenager. Being the eldest, and creative from a young age, she took it upon herself to create magical words of mystical creatures in which she enrolled her younger siblings and cousins to be a part in. She attended a hearing school, and didn't learn Auslan until she was 18, as her parents wanted her to have a high standard of education, and were not satisfied with the standard of the education for the deaf.

As a child, she had dreams of being a ballerina, but they disintegrated once it became clear her deafness prohibited this as a professional career, and after the Australian Ballet School turned her down because of her deafness. Instead, once she left school, she turned to circus, joining Circus Oz, specialising in the trapeze and hula-hoops. Here she discovered she could incorporate her deafness into her work rather than trying to hide it, realising it could enhance what she did. One of the ways she did this was by signing karaoke, which was a big success with her audiences.

Towards the end of her career in Circus Oz, Asphyxia discovered puppetry through Sergio Barrio, a master puppeteer, whom she discovered when overseas touring with Circus Oz, and begged him to teach her his craft. She then leapt into it whole heartedly, learning how to make her own puppets and sets for them. After some experimentation, she ended up with a gothic family which she named "The Grimstones". She then left the circus to travel around Australia performing with her puppets, which was a big success, and captivated children and adults alike. After a couple of years of touring with her puppet family, Asphyxia got a call from the publishers Allen & Unwin, who told her that someone had thought that The Grimstones would make a great book. She embraced the idea, as she had always had aspirations to be an author, entering her first book when she was 12 in the St Kilda Writer's Festival where it won first place. In February 2012 she published the first of four, Hatched. The next three in the series Mortimer Revealed (April 2012), Whirlwind (December 2012) and Music School (December 2013) soon followed.

Asphyxia currently lives in a small cottage she built herself when she was just 22, with her partner and son. She enjoys painting and other forms of artwork, which she shares with the world through her blog. She is focused on raising her son, and living sustainably, and owns chickens and other animals.


Literary works

  • Hatched: The Grimstones 1 (February 2012)
  • Mortimer Revealed: The Grimstones 2 (April 2012)
  • Whirlwind: The Grimstones 3 (December 2012)
  • Music School: The Grimstones 4 (December 2013)
  • The Grimstones Collection (July 2015)
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