New title needed for 'Snatched' – help!

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    Yes, I’m blatantly copying @philippaeast with her Titles thread.

    I must be a bit slow because I’ve also had the same feedback from my agent Danielle (that the story needs a new title) – and yet I didn’t think of asking you brilliant lot for help. So thanks @philippaeast for the inspo 🙂

    Some of you have read ‘Snatched’ (thank you beloved betas) but for the others, my one minute pitch is below:

    “It’s 1858 and there are two queens on the throne. Victoria reigns over London, the biggest city the world has ever known. What most Londoners don’t know is that London has a shadow, where another queen rules her own domain – which is time.
    London is in turmoil. The Thames is at the height of the Great Stink; a blazing comet has been searing the sky for months; technology is moving so fast it seems magical; and the city is exploding with more people than it can hold. Darwin is about to publish his theory of evolution and humanity’s very place in the world is in question.

    On top of all this, people are disappearing into thin air. If they return, it is with torn souls. Someone is snatching time from people’s lives.

    Ava, a 14 year old Londoner, is also in turmoil. She has discovered that the body in her mother’s grave is not her mother, but a stranger. Her mother is alive and living in London’s shadow city, and the certainties of Ava’s life are crumbling. Who is her mother? Why did she abandon Ava? What is Ava’s true story and where does she belong?

    Ava goes in search of her mother and is thrust into a battle against time snatching – and learns that her own story and that of the time snatcher are intertwined.

    Will she finally discover who she really is – and help to save two cities?”

    So there you are. Ava’s story is one of self discovery and coming of age. London is vivid as place and also character and the fantasy element interweave with actual history. Female relationships and voices are the spine of the book and it looks at female status in society – both historical and possible. Time, identity, belonging, self-discovery. Loss. The relativism of truth – what we see as truth is often societal and particular to time and place, and can change. That there are always, always other ways of seeing to our own.

    Danielle said the things that stood out for her were the female voices and relationships, the evocation of Victorian London and the ‘magic of the re-imagined London’. She said it reminded her ‘of Laini Taylor, I think because it is so lyrical but can change to knife-edge brutal’ (Taylor is an American YA author). She then says that she thinks, ‘the title Snatched is not punchy enough. I feel you need something that speaks to how much Ava is at the centre of the universe here…something fabulous and evocative.’ – eg Laini Taylor’s titles include ‘Daughters of Smoke and Bone’ and ‘Days of Blood and Starlight’. Which I must admit ARE fabulous.

    So. I’m a bit stuck! I do agree with Danielle – ‘Snatched’ was a working title that stuck and I do like a bit of lyricism combined with gutsiness myself. Titles are usually pretty easy for me, but not this one…so I could really use some collective brainstorming! Any ideas at all very gratefully received…

    Thank you x


    Thinking out loud here…

    Daughter (Children?) of Shadows

    Daughter of the Shadowland(s)

    The Time Stealer’s …… (Adversary/Daughter/Enemy)


    Ooooh. I like The Time Stealer! But I’m also wondering, since this is meant to be a trilogy or a series, could you have two titles – one for the trilogy and one for each book. So it could be The Time Stealer Trilogy. The individual titles could possibly be linked in some way. Like the chess theme that runs through the titles of the books in Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series. I’ll try and think up some ideas later…


    First let me just say that when this is published I am totally buying it!

    Next – titles. Hmm. I love SeaGreen’s “The Time-Snatcher’s Daughter” but that of course could be a bit of a spoiler and I’m sure there’s something like it already out there, but it covers the time angle and the feminine one. I’m getting Gaiman/Mieville vibes with a hint of steampunk here so … oh, I dunno. Shadow City. Daughter of Time. Hmm. Child of Time. Time and Shadow. This Other London. The Other Clocks of London. The Shadow Face of Time. I’m pretty sure I’m just listing Iron Maiden’s back catalogue now. Gah! Let us know how your quest goes anyway :smileyface:

    Two Sisters of Extempore … the notion flits across my mind like a night shadow that naming a novel is a lot like naming a cult.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Jonathan.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Jonathan.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Jonathan.

    In the Shadow of the City
    The City in Time’s Shadow


    The time between?
    Between times?
    The Time Snatcher of London Towns?
    A shadow of time… (working on from Jonathan’s suggestions)
    A shadow in time?

    I really hate titles sometimes!;)

    John S Alty

    Time is sometimes described as a fourth dimension, so:
    Fourth Dimension
    The Fourth Dimension
    Into the, From the, Out of the, Attack of the. (last one was a joke).

    Tony Lyttle

    In the Nick of Time
    Lost in Time
    A Voice in Time

    Alan Rain


    Philippa East

    I LOVE the sound of this book!!

    How about…. (London’s) Queen of Time and Shadow


    Tick Toque


    You lot are fantastic! Thank you all so much for brainstorming for me 🙂

    and @janeshuff – I think you’re really onto something there with The Time Stealer/Snatcher’s… and using that to bundle the series together. Going to ponder that.

    that made me snort – Iron Maiden’s back catalogue 🙂 But I love them. And I’m leaning towards having London in the there somewhere, but still not sure. (and thanks for liking the sound of it!).

    What I’m finding hard is making it atmospheric without being ‘fantasy generic’ if you know what I mean. Really hard. But there’s some real gems in here and my synapses are firing!

    ‘Shadow’ keeps popping up, too. Hmmm.

    Gah! Too many good suggestions! Off to ruminate. THANK YOU all @squidge @daedalus @seagreen @janeshuff @jd73 @philippaeast @alanr @bellam @tonylyttle @johnalty x


    Ooh I love a good title debate.

    Tbh, I’m not a fan of ‘The {x persons}’s {female relative}. BEcause a) there’s been a gazillion of them, and b) it reduces the woman/girl to an addendum to their male relative. Also, I think ‘The Time-stealers Daughter’ is too close to The Time Traveller’s Wife for me. I know that’s adult, and a bit dated now, but still…

    Sorry to be a downer on that, and of course it’s totally subjective.
    I like ‘A shadow in time’ from Squidge. Or some random thoughts of mine…
    Those who were taken (too war story?)
    In a time of loss (too adult?)
    The lost hours
    The girl and the missing (i like this one)
    The stolen hours
    How to steal back time
    Time theft and the secret girl (or shadow girl)

    Alan Rain

    I like the idea of exile, and my previous suggestion came from that.
    Time’s Exile
    Exiled in Time


    Ooh interesting list @raine. I also like the feel of The Girl and The Missing. And yes, I like the idea of exile too @alanr.

    I sent a list of ideas to my agent before I left for India (below) and the one that jumped out for her was When Days Tilt – which I have to admit is one of my favourites, even though it’s a bit more aslant to the plot/themes of the book…be interested to hear anyone else’s reactions:

    – Daughter of Time and Void
    – Gold Time and Grey
    – Two Cities and the Void
    – When Days Tilt
    – The Metropolis of Time
    – Shadow City
    – London and her Shadow
    – Two Queens in Time


    ps @raine I do know what you mean about the female appendage sort of titles, too. thought I have a liking for “The (x person) of (somewhere interesting)” even thought they’ve been a bit done lately

    Alan Rain

    I like the word ’tilt’. I use it in my cover letter.
    Should a title be specific, or suggestive, or opaque? I think I tend to prefer non-specific.
    Some more ideas:

    The Tilting Girl
    T.I.L.T (graphic artists could play around with this)
    Time Tilt
    Exile’s Tilt
    Exile’s Shadow

    or mirror?
    Exile’s Mirror
    Tilted Mirror


    Most of them are good, but I particularly like ‘Two Cities and the Void’ and ‘London and her Shadow’


    Love London and her Shadow.

    Philippa East

    Go with the one you and your agent both like. 🙂

    FWIW I like it too.


    I’m quite partial to Two Cities and the Void


    I like Two Cities and the Void, but wonder whether, for the novel as you’ve described it, The Void Between Two Cities works better? Which is more central to the story – the space between, or the actual cities? Looks like you’re getting closer to finding your title though.


    I like “London and Her Shadow” too, with “Shadow City” a close second.

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