From Curses & Cocktails to Cursed Cocktails: Why I’m changing the title of my new cozy fantasy

It has been almost a week since I released Curses & Cocktails into the world. During that time, I’ve been bedridden with the flu. This is the first time I’ve been sick since I began infusions to suppress my immune system and let me say, not fun at all. There were days when all I did was lie in bed watching Ted Lasso. And occasionally surface to check my ranking and reviews on Amazon from my phone.

The reception to this little book has been incredible. It was a passion project from the start, and wildly different from the stories I normally write. Writing in a new genre is no easy feat, but I couldn’t not write this story. I just couldn’t. From the reviews, I believe my passion for this story translated onto the page as well as I could have hoped.

The inspiration for Curses & Cocktails came as I was reading Legends & Lattes. I first read L&L in April, and while doing so, I had an idea pop into my head that just wouldn’t leave. I was in the middle of writing Sentenced to Troll 5, and the idea for Rhoren and Aedrea kept evolving. The world grew, and the plot developed, until the point that there was no other option than to write the book. Come August, when I was finally finished, I sat down to write my first story set in a new world in over 3 years.

The title, Curses & Cocktails, came about before I had ever written the first word of the book. When it did, I messaged Travis Baldree, author of Legends & Lattes, to see if he had any objections to me using the title. I knew it was similar, but I was hoping it might be the way readers recognize cozy fantasy the same way A Blank of Blank and Blank was common in YA fantasy or Blank Online signified VR LitRPG. I also gave him an overview of the premise. He gave me his blessing and told me to write on.

Noun & Noun titles were nothing new to the fantasy world, with Dungeons & Dragons being the most famous and the source of inspiration for Travis’s own book. I thought that I could use Curses & Cocktails as a way to pay tribute to both as well as signify that it was in the cozy fantasy subgenre.

But for some, it was a little too on the nose, and before even reading the book, it brought comparisons to L&L. Some were confused if it was a book by Travis or set within the same world. Others thought it was a rip-off or a clone. This was the last thing I had intended to happen.

While those who have read the book can see it for what it is, a tribute to the man who inspired me to write in a new genre, none of that mattered if the title turned off potential readers before they even have a chance to pick up the book.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to interact with Travis Baldree, he is one of the nicest humans on the planet. There is no wonder why his book became a smash hit. After talking with him again, and being reaffirmed that he had no issues with my title, I decided the best thing to do would be to change the title slightly. Cursed Cocktails captures the same feeling as its predecessor, but doesn’t immediately draw comparisons to Legends & Lattes. I believe that changing it now, 1 week into launch, will be better for the life of the book. People will see the inspiration from L&L in the text and acknowledgments without it being shoved in their faces. Plus, it has more cats.

With that being said, here’s a look at the old and new covers:

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