Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sequel Title and Setting

Congratulations to everyone who figured out the title of the new book. The answers to the questions are at the end of the blog post for anyone who missed anything. But if you didn’t get a chance to figure out the puzzle, the title of the sequel to Screwing Up Time is Screwing Up Babylon.

Picking the setting for the new book wasn’t hard. I wanted a culture that was ancient but still accessible. A culture with tremendous power in its time. And a culture with exotic and fascinating attributes. I needed a place where there’d been enough archaeological information that I’d be able to craft a detailed story. And I wanted it to be familiar enough that it wasn’t too obscure.

Babylon was an obvious choice. It was one of the most powerful kingdoms ever. It had one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. And though there hasn’t been a lot of archaeological research lately, archaeologists have done quite a bit of research at Babylon in the past. And while in many ways Babylon is obscure to modern readers (have you ever read a book set in Babylon?), modern day Iraq encompasses Babylon. So we’ve seen pictures and maps of the area on television for years.

I’d love to know what you think about the setting.

Here are the answers to the acrostic:

1. Where Mark hid from Peter when he was at Bodiam Castle. Stables.

2. The room where the recipe book was hidden. Chapel.

3. An herbal ingredient in the elixir of time. Rosemary.

4. The name of Mark's grandmother. Elfrieda.

5. The real last name of Jeremiah. Wilberforce-Jones.

6.  An epic poem Mark said he read over Christmas break. Illiad.

7. "On the ____ wall, there's a stone." North.

8. A precious metal used in the time elixir. Gold.

9. The name of the animal whose horn is used in the time elixir. Unicorn.

10. The American university that the grad student Mark met at Bodiam Castle attended. Princeton.

11. The color of Miranda's hair. Blond.

12. Peter is known as Peter the _______. Alchemist.

12. The name of the lord who wants to marry Miranda. Bernard.

13. The university where Mark's dad teaches. Yale.

14. The computer wallpaper that Mark uses is from what movie. Lord of the Rings.

15. The name of another epic poem that Mark tries to read over Christmas break. Odyssey.

16. The name of Mark's cousin. Nathaniel.


  1. I think the setting is awesome! Great choice :)

  2. Love your choice of Babylon as a setting. It doesn't get any more richly detailed, mysterious, and epic than that.

  3. LOVE. I've always been fascinated with Babylon, and I think it would be really super cool to have a story set there--especially if it builds up to what happened at the tower :)

  4. I did read one book about an hijacked airplane that crashes in the ruins of Babylon and I remember wishing, when I read that, that the story was more about the ruins and their history and less about terrorists. Great setting - definitely intrigues me!

  5. I would have never guessed that title! Great setting for your new book! :)