A 4th grader at Twelve Corners School had provided me with a title I loved, "A Witch's Stew." I tried to use that title for one collection of short stories, which my editor, Jane Yolen, suggested we call Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird instead. "No witches," she pointed out about that collection.
But I still liked that title. All I needed to do was write a bunch of stories about witches and spells.
The trouble was Jane Yolen didn't like that title for this book, either. "Too young," she said, and renamed the book after one of the stories, Curses, Inc.
For the next several books I wrote, I didn't even bother trying to come up with a title before I submitted the book to Harcourt; I just called them things like "A Book Not To Be Called a Witch's Stew" or "A Ghost's Stew."
I never did get to name a book "A Witch's Stew."
But that's the name of the tavern in Magic Can Be Murder.
And it's the name of one of the games Giannine chooses not to play in Heir Apparent. (Editor Michael Stearns suggested adding the line, "It sounded like a dorky game anyway," but I edited that line right back out of there.)