Welcome 2024! Free shipping with orders $60+!
Welcome 2024! Free shipping with orders $60+!
Cart 0

Confessions of an Unintentional Author

Yvonne Sears is a lifelong Michigander, having made homes in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Chelsea and Durand. Her lifelong fascination with Halloween and spooky season has guided her creativity and she has written poems, songs and books, in addition to creating board games and paintings around her favorite holiday. Her first book "Amber’s Halloween" is a classic tale of Halloween fun for children. Her first novel, “The ‘Winking”, is a work 30 years in the making with many of the same characters as her first book but in a very decidedly adult novel.


Back in the day, before all the buzz about manifestation and the Universe’s response to what we say, think and do, I declared that I would never want to write a book. It seemed much too complicated. And what could I possibly write about? This does seem to have been a negative message I was sending out to the Universe that could put the kibosh on any books.  

No, I didn’t feel anything like the following quote from George Orwell (1984), but I was certain this wasn’t anything I would ever want to do.


           “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long
           bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such
           a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one  
           can neither resist nor understand.”


 Apparently, the Universe did not get my message or chose to ignore it, because twice I had a sudden desire to write a book. And on these very days, I began writing. It was January 1,1986 for Amber’s Hallowe’en, my children’s book, and October 31,1989 for The ‘Winking”, my adult novel.

So how did it happen that this unintentional author has written two books?  A passion for writing? A class on creative writing? A desire to be published? Author envy? Some sort of Orwellian demon?? No! It was Halloween and the poem it inspired. So, despite my earlier resistance, my intense inspiration manifested my books. “Visions of Hallowe’en” gave me the story of “Amber’s Hallowe’en” which in turn became an inspiration for The ‘Winking”.

Inspiration inspires inspiration. Creativity creates creativity. My message to the Universe had definitely taken on a new vibe. 

I thrive on creative solitude. It brings me joy. Beautiful things happen.

I find my books in the writing of them.
 I find my songs in the composing of them.
I find my paintings in the painting of them.


I was delighted when I read the following quote. It is so much like me. No wonder it came from my favorite composer!


When I write, it’s like a journey. I never know where I’m
going to go. It’s only at the end that I become aware....





 Witchcraft/Witch Hunt and Hoodwinking

My inspirations for Amber’s Hallowe’en were positive ... all fun, happiness and light. And it quickly became a local best seller. But a surprising dark side soon appeared. Two years later, I took this dark side and intertwined it with another darkness that had loomed large in my life ... making good fictional use of these two negatives (amongst others) in my quasi-allegorical novel, The ‘Winking. With several stories hidden beneath the surface story, I could say what I wanted to say without really saying it.

 The notorious vehicle-of-witchcraft video in The ‘Winking was inspired not only by the TV commercial I made to advertise Amber’s Hallowe’en -- but even more so by the view held by some that this children’s book was such a vehicle -- which surprisingly led to a bit of a witch hunt in a very liberal town!

 The Salem Witch Museum gives a superb reenactment of the 1692 witchcraft madness. This same type of “witchcraft” comes to life again in The ‘Winking. I am honored that this place of history has a place in Amber’s Hallowe’en’s history, for it was once sold in their gift shop.

A used copy of Amber’s Hallowe’en is currently being offered by a seller of rare and obscure books called Poor Man’s Books in Vineland, New Jersey for a mere $189.00. Yes, it is rare and obscure .... Anyway, I appreciate that a book dealer has put such a value on it! (Pen and Ink, LLC sells new copies for a whopping $40.00.)

The other major dark inspiration for my novel was something I have become ultrasensitive to – hoodwinking -- having witnessed much too much of it, much too closely.

The ‘Winking is a tale of a hoodwinking that takes place in 1992. But hoodwinking is as current countrywide as it was three decades ago in the small town of Countryside, for it never goes out of style.  There are many degrees of it, but all hoodwinking is deception and involves getting something in an underhanded way. Due to all media, there is a continual bombardment of hoodwinkery, for the times are very ripe for deception.

Hoodwinkers are con artists, and their dark skill is the ability to gain confidence and conceal true motives. They ply their craft well. More than clever, they are cunning. They can seem to be the nicest and most charming people, revealing no trace of sleezy snake-oiliness.

There’s a quote from a Frasier episode in which he deals with a hoodwinker’s smarm, or as he calls it ... “the viscous grease with which he oils his flimflam machine.”

So ... the hoodwinker who doesn’t seem like a hoodwinker can often be a more successful hoodwinker than the one who so obviously is. But the surprising thing ... the most successful hoodwinkers in history have had   hoodwinker written all over them! It’s true that sometimes the best place to hide something is in plain sight.

And always accompanying a hoodwinker are the sycophants (s*ck ups) who know full well what is going on (blind eye/deaf ear syndrome) and simply ignore it. Why? For personal gain and/or fear. And they know they must continually keep themselves advantageously and safely aligned.



 The ‘Winking is to Amber’s Hallowe’en as disaster is to delight.

One conspiracy
Two sets of conspirators
Different motives


As if under a spell obliterating common sense, a small town becomes enveloped in a witch hunt, with innocent Halloween activities being integral parts of the charismatic villains’ hoax. And what a useful tool vengeful schoolgirl jealousy becomes in this evil plot! The time is right and the setting perfect to conjure up more witchcraft as trouble and tragedy descend on those caught betweem the ‘winkers and the ‘winked.



On Halloween morning of 1989, I began to imagine a spinoff of Amber’s Hallowe’en. My life had changed greatly during the previous two years and as I recovered, negative ideas had been brewing. I now wanted a dark story of a witch hunt connected with a hoodwinking. I wanted to show the devastation that jealousy, hatred and greed, all cleverly wrapped in charming deception, can cause.

And ... I wanted my story in the same setting as Amber’s Hallowe’en.  So ... more than a Halloween story, my new book would be the tale of a hoodwinking involving witchcraft. And ... what better setting for a witch hunt than Halloween! By nighttime, I had written the prologue and the first chapter ... aided by the extra inspiration of my favorite holiday. I named that chapter “Halloweens Remembered”.

It soon became obvious that the original name I had chosen for this novel – Amber Autumn – was too pretty for a story tinged with murder and madness. So, I renamed it Hoodwinked. I finished the story in 2000 and registered copyrights under that name for both the book and the screenplay I adapted from it. (Canadian friends might be surprised what actress was interested in this screenplay -- and in the role of the heroine!)  

But then, that cartoon movie called Hoodwinked came along ... and I decided to again change my title. What to use? Hmmm. Hornswoggled? Bamboozled? No ... just did not have the right ring. I then briefly considered Beswitched ... before thinking of ... The ‘Winking!

Soon after this final name change, I conjured up a recipe composed of the toxins in my story.

Into a bubbling cauldron ...
deception, jealousy, revenge and greed
dabble on
fear, guilt and hatred
toss in
manipulation and ignorance
charm over evil
Stir up for a bewitching in New England! 


 I wrote this book as it naturally came to me ... following my muse (creative spirit) wherever she took me ... no outline, no mechanical writing process, no creative writing classes. Ideas wild-fired into more ideas. I never felt stumped about what was going to happen next. It all somehow fell into place. When I look back, it seems as if the book almost wrote itself.  

I could write this story the way I wanted because The ‘Winking was going to be independently published just as Amber’s Hallowe’en was ... with nobody to cramp my style. No rush-rush deadlines. No chop-chop editing. No page limit. No unwanted rewrites. No pressure. No changing my story to suit someone else! Plus – I own and control my books.

My book does not follow the how a book should be written rules. But does life always follow rules? For example, my heroine, a minds-her-own-business type and not a high-powered protagonist, becomes reactively proactive when she finds herself at the center of an evil plot.

Years went by before I knew how The ‘Winking would end, though I never doubted that someday I would ... and I did ... when I came to the end I wanted. The name of the last chapter – “The End is Nigh ... or is it?”  seems to be setting things up for a sequel. Will there be one? I don’t know. But I didn’t know there was going to be this book until the day I began writing it. If there is a sequel – I probably should be on a very different timeline!

From the time I began this book until its first publication as an e-book on October 1, 2021 was 32 years due to oh-so-many life distractions ... but mostly, my being in no hurry to be finished. I took (it did not take me) eleven years to write it and then 21 more to publish it. And so, here we are, finally, with a real book and not just a dream stored away on a computer where it previously had spent many too many years!  

I loved writing The ‘Winking. It was fun! I love reading it. It is one of my most treasured possessions. And, yes, it is my favorite novel. Even though negatively inspired, it makes me so positively happy! Lemons to lemonade. And how do you read a quasi-allegorical story? Between the lines, like an allegory... because the surface story covers the ones that are really being told.                                              


I was a drummer and a dancer.
I like to march to the beat of my own drum and dance to my own tune.



Jagged slashes of brilliance criss-crossed the autumn night sky as the sudden storm swept in. The vertical blue-white bolt did not find a mark ... but the ten-year-old’s tossed fireball did – in the haymow! And as the flames began to consume the large barn, he ran off toward the house to rouse the family. Against the fury of the wind, they rushed outside just as the brick building was struck and its wooden shingles set ablaze. As they gazed in horror at the conflagrations, their shrieking accusations of Amelia’s witchcraft echoed with the thunder ... much to the delight of the demonically grinning fair-haired boy.


The orange aura, more intense on this higher land, illuminated the little church amongst the spruce. Grabbing onto the corner of the iron fence, she caught her breath as she stared at the stone markers in the churchyard. With a look back over her shoulder, she gasped, her icy-blue eyes wide with shock at the sight of the inferno. Had she done that, too?


Forty years later stood a hooded dark figure at that same cemetery, a few miles from the rural New England village of Countryside. His pale eyes glinted in the light of the September full moon as he contemplated the lone grave near the outside corner of the tipping fence. He had parted and pulled aside the tall, dried grasses to reveal its telling inscription ... May God Forgive. A sinister smile curled his lips.

“Teddy remembers your night of witchcraft, Amelia,” he whispered, relishing the thought of what was to come. “Now it’s my turn! And I’ll be using that nasty curveball you threw me!”

His evil laughter filled the night air as he smoothed back the grasses in front of his step-cousin’s stone ... by odd coincidence, placed where she had once stood on that fateful night.


Yes ... Countryside’s autumn of 1992 was indeed to be an unforgettable one for Amber Reston – but for reasons that she could never have imagined! Even in her wildest dreams! How quickly things were to change as the past began its haunting and common sense took its leave. She had not an inkling of the nightmare to come --- much less that she was to be cast in another starring role!


But despite the stage having been so cleverly set and the many performances having gone off without a hitch, some actors, for one reason or another, escaped the control of their director ... straying dangerously from the script. Consequently, the curtain came down with the final act yet to be played.


Yvonne Trochet Sears
Author, Artist, Poet, Composer
Game Inventor
B A degree summa*cum*laude, Eastern Michigan University
Graduate Fellowship, University of Michigan


Just wondering ... Did I manifest my husband???

 When I was 17, I was obsessed with astronomy and declared to the night sky (the Universe) that I was going to marry an astronomer.  When I was 27, I met that astronomer. When I was 31, I married that astronomer (astrophysicist)
Or maybe ... it was just one of those things.