Meet My Baby

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is the idea that started it all. "All" in this case being my serious desire to get published. I'd like to introduce you to my baby. Meet: A Griffin Called Sphynx.


When I talk about the near miss from my early query days, and the emails I sent out to editors for the big publishers, which resulted in requests from 2 of the "Big Six", Sphynx is who and what I'm referring to. He's the star of a picture book series I wrote when I was a teenager - one that was sadly not ready to be queried when I did it.

But, I'm not willing to give up on the little guy yet. He's tenacious, you see, and he'd never let me live it down. (He can't help it - before he was a purple-winged griffin, he was my seal point Manx, Katana :-P ) His story is no longer in rhyme, and at some point, hopefully, Sphynx will get his moment in the spotlight. (It's been 2-3 years since baby boy was on the query-go-round.)

I thought I'd show you some of the process I went through when creating this little guy and the world in which he lives.

Sphynx lives in a place called Maripu. I don't really remember where that came from other than it sounded like caribou and kids seem to find that a giggle-worthy word. There are several inhabitants of this place, but for Sphynx, the important ones are:

The House Turtle that totes his home around on its shell (and often gets lost so said house is never easy to find)


And "The Baker", which is the human Sphynx lives with.


The Baker, who is married, is a befuddled old man who can't tell the difference between a cook book and a magic book, so he consequently ends up as more of an incompetent wizard than a cake maker. He's as likely to have his dinner attack when he tries to conjure up some calamari as he is to get it onto plates.

(This picture is extremely rough - in the literal. It's concept art, and you can see the page crinkles at the top and the torn-off bottom, right corner.)

As you can see, Sphynx is a bit of a dreamer.


This is another concept piece where I was toying with those braided columns on either side as a unifying look for the pages. (Hey, I was a teenager. I thought I was supposed to draw the pictures, okay? I had no Internet access to tell me different back then.)

He's adventurous, and likes to explore the outside world... so long as the door's unlocked and he can get back inside.


And he's absolutely fearless in the face of imaginary enemies and bubble-monsters who attack from the cooking pot.


Anyway, the point of this long, silly, and somewhat self-indulgent post is to let others see my baby in the light of day. Hopefully, he'll get a life in print, but if not, my favorite little guy will at least have been seen by all of you.

I'm curious as to what you non-editor types think of Sphynx, and his associated players.

Copyright -- Josin L. McQuein -- 2011

6 Chiming In:

AuroraLee said...

I think he's cute! I'd love to read more about him. You know, when he's all published :D

Hopefully you are able to be the author AND illustrator (if that's what you want) because your drawings are perfectly whimsical. I also like the idea of borders of sorts in illustrated, perhaps because of many of Jan Brett's books. (I don't think I've ever READ one of her books, but own several! I just love to look at the art work)

Good luck to you and Sphinx!

Punya said...

He's adorable~ (And most people would never be able to draw like that in their life time) I like it :D

Amanda said...

You're baby is adorable! If he gets to stretch his published legs, I'll be sure to buy it for my class. ;-)

J said...

I like the valient little bubble slayer. :)

Josin L. McQuein said...

Thanks guys. :-)

Sphynx is always the one I think of as my "special" project, and I can't stand the thought that he might not make it out in the world some day.

(Though, I think I must have been having a dyslexic moment when I named him and put the "y" from "gryphon" and the "i" from "sphinx" in the wrong places.)

Lisa Aldin said...


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