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Asphyxia: The Grimstones Author Talk

Session Info:

Asphyxia offers a presentation which provides an insight into the making of this quirky, magical story. The series is presented through the diary of Martha Grimstone, an ordinary girl who longs to find her inner magnificence.

For the presentation, Asphyxia introduces the audience to the beautiful Martha Grimstone puppet. She opens with Martha in bed, waking up. Martha sits, greets the audience, and then sets to work writing in her journal. After this small excerpt of live puppetry, Asphyxia provides a “reading” of the book, by leaning over Martha’s shoulder and signing (using Auslan – Australian Sign Language), for the audience Martha’s first diary entry. In this entry, Martha describes her home and family, providing 
for the audience a perfect introduction to the world of The Grimstones. Paula Dowse provides a voice interpretation of the “reading”. Asphyxia also shows an enlarged illustration by Martha of her home and family.

Following the “reading”, Asphyxia talks about her initial discovery of puppetry and how that led to her inspiration to handcraft the Grimstone puppets out of upcycled materials. She describes the making of the puppet show, and subsequent success in touring The Grimstones across Australia and internationally. Audiences then follow Asphyxia on her journey of being commissioned by children’s book publishers, Allen and Unwin, to create a series of books based on the show. Asphyxia’s story of her struggles to find her writing style will inspire any budding writers to stick with their own work until they find success.

Asphyxia then provides a question and answer session for the audience. Asphyxia inspires audiences to follow their dreams, whatever their abilities. Through her talk, she provides an insight into Deafness and the expressiveness of sign language, and encourages audiences to create, to make, and to write. Asphyxia is a vibrant speaker who will have audiences captivated throughout her presentation.


  • following your dreams, whatever your abilities
  • creating, making and writing
  • Deafness & sign language

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