Here’s the cover, title and plot of Once Upon A Tim #4!

The release of the third book in the Tim series, Sea of Terror, is less than a week away — so what better time to announce the details of the fourth book?

Here you go:

Tim and his ragtag crew have been rescued from certain doom by a mermaid princess—but now, she wants something in return for saving their lives: her father King Neptuna’s stolen trident.

To pay their debt, Tim, Belinda, Ferkle, Rover, and Princess Grace once again brave the Sea of Terror to track down the trident in the glorious city of Atlantis, which hasn’t sunk into the sea yet. (In fact, it is famed as the safest city on earth.) But there is plenty of danger en route—and the notorious Prince Ruprecht is lurking about as well. Can the junior knights evade the scheming royal and all the other dangers in store for them to complete their quest?

Available everywhere November 7, 2023

Click here to pre-order it!

49 thoughts on “Here’s the cover, title and plot of Once Upon A Tim #4!

  1. Huh.
    You would have expected that, after finishing the Moon Base Alpha series, Dash would have become a detective.
    I certainly did. But the ending was great regardless.
    Why didn’t Dash become a detective? Or is that more of Teddy’s thing?

  2. Nice! I love that you’re able to write the Once upon a Tim books really fast. I’ve read both of them and I love them!! Keep up the good work!

  3. Stu —

    Yay!! I was already excited for the third book, but now I’m even more excited for this book too!

    Evil Spy —

    Unrelated, but your profile picture looks extremely familiar and it’s kinda bugging me that I can’t remember where it’s from. Could you tell me?

  4. Mr. Gibbs,
    I know that in the past, I had ideas about future books that might never actually happen, like Spy College(Because of its maturity factor) but I have another idea. What about a Spy School Holiday Special? It would be like 150-175 pages, (like a OUAT length), it would take you longer to write that book than a OUAT book, but it would take significantly less time than a SS, FJ, CT or a MBA book. It could be like a Graphic Novel special. You don’t write a book, you only release a graphic novel version! It could be about how Ben’s Christmas was ruined by an organization! Or something! It would be around the time of Evil Spy School, and Ski Spy School! It could also be like, Spy School Halloween special as Ski Spy School happens around Christmas. It would be a really cool idea!

    So, all in all, like a Halloween Spy School Graphic Novel special between Evil Spy School, and Ski Spy School! I think, if pitched to Simon and Shuster, they might really like it! So yeah, I hope this becomes a possibility! Though it’s just an idea.

    The 8th Grader

  5. Sofie –

    It seems to me that, if you’ve had the sort of experience that Dash had in MBA, then you might follow his career path.

  6. The 8th Grader –

    While holiday-themed books sell well at the holidays, they don’t sell well the rest of the year. And it would still take a lot of time to write that other book, which I don’t really have. So I probably wouldn’t be able to make something like that happen.

  7. Hello Mr. Gibbs!

    Just a question…
    In Spy School, Ben doesn’t remember something he should have seen earlier. Erica then promises to give Ben a hug, which seems to immediately spark his memory.
    The same happened in Spy School At Sea, when Ben told Murray that Zoe likes him.
    (Sorry, I would elaborate more, as it’s probably been so long since you wrote these books, but I really don’t want to spoil anything that someone might not have read these yet.)
    Does this mind trick they use actually, somewhat, work? Or was it just something funny you came up with?

    Just wanted to know, thank you!

  8. Sofia –

    It’s really just something I came up with but… I suppose that it could work.

  9. I’m late to seeing this, but it was posted on May 4th, so may the 4th be with you all!
    Also, I’m very excited for the Sea of Terror! Can’t wait to read it!

  10. Mr. Gibbs,
    Big fan of your books. I have a question:
    If you could pick only five mystery books, which books would you pick as your favorites?

  11. Holmes, Sherlock Holmes

    Man, that’s a really tough question. How about…

    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

    Framed! by James Ponti

    Firestorm by Nevada Barr

    Fletch by Gregory McDonald

    The Hawthorne Investigates series by Anthony Horowitz

    The last three are for adults. I am not telling kids to read books for adults. I am just naming mysteries that I really like.

  12. Dear Mr. Gibbs,

    This is a weird question…
    What is the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?

    You don’t have to answer, I’m just asking because I’m curious.

    Evan Mandelbaum

  13. Hello again! I have just finished reading FJ9 for the 2847504720576015th time and just want to ask, do you know when FJ10 will be announced and when it comes out, will Tedddy’s movie be done and is it hinting to a FJ movie??????

  14. To add to Evan Mandelbaum’s question. Mr. Gibbs, has a fan ever sent you an interesting or outstanding gift?

  15. Evan M and Henry –

    Fans have done plenty of really nice things for me. Any time someone writes just to say that they have appreciated my books, that’s a wonderful thing to do. A few fans have even made me things. Like one made me a Spy School clock which I have hanging in my office, which was very thoughtful.

  16. Cason Thomas –

    That’s pretty amazing that you have read FJ9 since I haven’t even written it yet. I suspect you are talking about FJ8 and want to know about FJ9?

    There will be no info on FJ9 for at least a year — and no, the series is not being turned into a movie (yet).

  17. oh. Well at least you know what I meant ;). I am just anticipating FJ9 bc I feel in my gut that it is the announcment of a fj movie before SS. Also just asking, is there going to be a FJ graphic novel? bc i know on kindle there is a french one

  18. Cason Thomas –

    At this moment, there are no plans for an FJ GN, but that could change.

    I am not aware of a French GN. I think you might just be looking at the french translation of the book.

  19. Mr Gibbs,

    I know you are very busy but I wanted to let you know that you are the best author in the world. For authors I usually like books but then I get to old for them. YOUR BOOKS ARE TO GOOD TO BE SAID “Too Old” AND EACH BOOK I ENJOY SO MUCH.

    thank you!
    Evan Mandelbaum

  20. Also are you able to come to Washington D.C for a birthday party for 11-12 year olds to talk about writing and do book signing?

  21. Evan M –

    First of all, thanks for your kind words about my books.

    Secondly, the same rules that would apply to school visits would apply to my coming to a birthday party. That’s not the sort of thing that I could do for free, because it would take a lot of time away from my job. If you go to my school visits page, it will tell how to arrange a visit.

  22. Hello!


    Was there ever a specific book, or favorite author that really gave a good push to your motivation and caused you to complete your stories?


  23. Hello,
    Sorry to bother you in this way as I have been unsuccessful in reaching anyone through other forms of communication.
    My middle schoolers are in the middle of a creative writing unit based on your Mission: Write videos. They are currently not available all of a sudden “Account Suspended.” Is this a temporary error? Or do I need to make alternative lesson plans ASAP?
    Thank you for your time.

  24. Hi Joshua –

    I am only learning about this from you. I will have to contact my publisher about this and see what is going on.

  25. Hi Mr. Gibbs,
    Have you actually gone to space?
    If so didn’t you need to train for years?

  26. Mr Gibbs,
    Maybe you can do a sequel to moon base alpha about the colonization of mars. Dashiell and Violet can be teenagers when this happens maybe with some new younger characters too.

  27. Evan M –

    No I have not gone to space. Very few people have. And yes, with the exception of a few space tourists, everyone else has had to rain for years.

  28. Ryan –

    Dashiell and Violet are almost teenagers in the series, and there is no way that Mars will be colonized within the next few years. Colonization of Mars is decades away, at the very least, I think.

  29. Dear Stuart Gibbs,
    I think it is amazing that you could write so many books.
    I love the characters that you come up with.

    Thank you for writing so many books,

  30. Hey Mr Gibbs, I’m a big fan of your books. I know Charlie Thorne 4 is a long way away, but is there any way you could give us a broad idea of what may happen? Also will Ben ever go back to Spy Camp, because I’d love to go back there, and explore more since we didn’t get to spend much time there in SC? Thanks

  31. Real Dr Chen –

    No, I cannot give out any information about what will happen in CT4 yet — or reveal anything that might happen in future SS books. Sorry.

  32. Tim Jones –

    I would like to think there will be more books in the series but that is up to my publisher.

  33. I see you released the name for Charlie Thorne 4, but when will you release the plot?

  34. I’m kind of disappointed now. I’ve read all the books, I finished whale done yesterday, I read for 4 and a half hours yesterday. And I am desperately waiting for more to come out.
    Favorite book series is no longer SS, although it is great, Funjungle is better. Thank you for righting these books.

  35. Stuart Gibbs-
    I saw that in your upcoming releases you had Charlie Thorne and the Royal Society listed. Was there going to be a plot and cover reveal for that soon?

  36. A loving reader –

    I have a potential title but not a cover yet, so there won’t be any reveals for a bit.

  37. How do sites like good reads have reviews with the hole story often way before a book comes out.

  38. Ben –

    Publishers release advanced reader copies (or ARCs) to preselected reviewers, librarians and bookstores a few months before the book comes out. The book they read is not the final version. (Although it is usually very close.)

  39. How come CT take so long, OUaT 4 and ESSGN are coming out before CT4!!

  40. Cason Thomas –

    CT4 will take a while because writing is not magic. The Charlie Thorne novels require a great deal of research and hard work, and they are longer than some of my other books. To be honest, it takes a long time to put out a Once Upon A Tim book or a graphic novel, but I started work on those a long time ago, and my artists have been working very hard on them ever since.

  41. Have you ever stayed at Disney? If so, what is your favorite resort???

    (Disney was the first place where I read one of your books) 🙂

  42. Stuart Gibbs-
    I have some questions for you. If you do not want to answer them, that is okay.
    1. How long before the release date do you start and finish working on your books?
    2. Do you believe in life on other planets? What about multicellular, intelligent life? What about a whole different domain or kingdom than what is found on Earth?
    3. How do you come up with your characters’ names? I have noticed in the Acknowledgments section of your books that some people’s names match those of characters and I presume that you name the characters after those people.
    4. Do you base many of your characters off of people you know?

  43. Maria

    1) I generally start thinking about a book three years before the release date, start writing it two years before the release date, and am 100% finished four months before the release date.

    2) Yes, I believe there is intelligent life on other planets. It is not looking as if there may be billions of planets in the universe, so there must be life somewhere. But I have to assume it would look very different than life on earth (but will most likely still be carbon-based).

    3) There are all sorts of ways to come up with character names. Yes, some are named after people I know, but I may have liked others for years, and yet still others may have been made up on the spur of the moment.

    4) Occasionally, I base characters on people I know, but not often.

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