10 Quotes About Not Growing Up
     Being a young adult writer, I get to experience the thrills and pitfalls of youth all over again through my characters. The reasons I chose this genre was for the unabashed enthusiasm of adolescence; the titillation of those first loves, first kisses, first heartbreaks and all that hope and confidence about the future. The teen years are the most exciting in a person's life because of the constant changes and tidal wave of new experiences. It's dizzying and delicious, or as Aristotle puts it, "The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication." Yes, and isn't fantastic?

     Back when I was rocking mall bangs and hypercolor shirts, I vowed that I would never lose the sparkle and energy of the youthful mind. Goodness knows I've come close to growing cold and numb during the more trying times, but somehow I always emerge with passion and great expectations. I plan on staying young for at least another fifty years. Here's some advice on how to Stay Gold, Ponyboy.

1.) "Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. You are as old as your doubt, your fear, your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young." - Luella I. Phean

2.) "Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children's approach to life. They're people who don't give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought - sometimes it isn't much either." - Walt Disney

3.) "You're never too old to grow younger." - Mae West

4.) "The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm." - Aldous Huxley

5.) "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." - Henry Ford

6.) "We are always the same age inside." - Gertrude Stein

7.) Growing old is unavoidable, but never growing up is possible. I believe you can retain certain things from your childhood if you protect them- certain traits, certain places where you don't let the world go." - Johnny Depp

8.) "If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up. Not now!" - J.M. Barrie

9.) "In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play".  - Friedrich Nietzsche

10.) "My childhood may be over, but that doesn't mean playtime is.  ~Ron Olson
I only recently discovered the wonder that is Fiverr. You can get an abundance of goods and services for $5. Some are just good deals on graphics design or social promotion. Some are delightfully bizarre, (Guys singing happy birthday in a Micheal Jackson voice, girls jiggling their boobs with your message on their chests) I wanted to see what kind of graphic design work you could get for fives singles, and look! My new back to school ad for The Homeschoolers is amazing! For you writers out there, Fiverr has press release writers, editors, article writers and even book cover designers. And did I mention it's only five dollars? Just hang around and see all the great and weird promotional ideas that I commission from the fiverr stars, it's going to be fun!

Last chance to get The Homeschoolers: Ballad of Squirtina for free. This is my final free promotion for the book so I hope you get a chance to grab it for nada.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008RH0R2Y

And my blogger blog has been commandeered by Ricky. (Say it ain't so! Can he even read?) http://henrycircle.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-word-from-ricky.html

And in personal news, I am now on the NY Times best sellers list, and I made my first million. I have been picked up by a major publishing company. I'm an overnight sensation! No.. that didn't happen. I sent out press releases that went to spam folders. Ads nobody viewed. Joined forums full of other writers trying to push their own books. Got suspended on twitter for following too many people. When will I give up? I have only been promoting for 2 weeks, but I've already set a "give up" date for my book. I will quit on the 22nd of... NEVER! lol. 

Grab onto to my coattails, my lovelies because Henry is heading straight for the top. I know I'll see all my talented hard-working readers right at the summit! We'll never quit on our dreams! Now, pep talk done. Have a great week!!!!!!!
I just released my first young adult novel. The Homeschoolers, on Amazon kindle (yes, that was a little self-promo there), and I'm having to learn how to promote my ebook in a very competitive setting.  All the online articles give the same pretty obvious advice. Have giveaways on goodreads, promote yourself on Amazon Author Central, start a blog, tag your blog posts and book with keywords, tweet. And now, a few of the ideas I have come up with or others have suggested to me.

* Become an Amazon associate so you can create an ad on your website/blog for your book. See mine over there to the right?

* Find other authors on Author Central, goodreads, writersnet, etc to join a promo group with you. If I tell you to read my novel because it's great, you probably won't listen, but have someone else talk you up and your book will get some notice. Have them review you on their websites.

*Pin your book on Pinterest and have all your obligated friends/families/associates do the same.

*Make flyers and put them up at local coffee shops/churches/libraries/bulletin boards.

*Have a giveaway on your blog or a popular blog and do a giveaway of an Amazon card or a gift card from another book retailer. Have entrants answer questions about your book's sample chapters or why they would read your book. Advertise the giveaway on Sweeps Advantage, Prizey and Cashnet Sweeps.

*Make promo items with your title and name on them (cups, pens, hats, lanyards, magnets,tshirts,etc) and distribute the freebies in the goodie bags for walk/runs (find them on runningintheusa.com).

*Set a promo day when your book will be cheaper or free, and send a mass email out to bloggers and book reviewers informing them of this monumental event.

Those are just a few of my ideas. If you have any more, feel free to add your two cents in the comments. Suggestions and opinions are always welcome here! I'll add more tips and tricks as I learn them myself! Good luck, my fellow writers! 
I change book covers like I change nail polish. Today, I'm feeling pink. As much as I loved the prior cover, I opted for something simpler this time around. Like it?

And tomorrow is a new promotion day, but it's not lasting long so get The Homeschoolers while it's free. Once I get all famous, the price is libel to get jacked up. This way you can say you were introduced to Henry Circle's work way back when she wasn't anything but a novice, giving her book away on Amazon! 
I guarantee that you will get more than one or two chuckles out of this novel. If you aren't one of the lucky ones that get in on the promotion, I suggest you put your $2.99 on the line. Laughter adds years to your life. and laugh, you will! Consider it a personal investment! 

Thanks for stopping by today And please, take the time time to send a few kind words my way on the review page for Amazon. Your Henry would sure appreciate it. Hope you're having a good day. I'm sending much love and good thoughts your way.  -Henry

I've had a few questions about whose hands are on the cover. Not mine! I have sad, chewed up nails and, sprouting hang nails everywhere. And hands that manage to be chapped and flaky, despite the fact that I rarely dip a finger in dish water. My sister was kind enough to be my model. She even shaved her knuckles for me!  I'm lucky to have such a swell kid sister!

I wanted The Homeschoolers book cover to convey the youthfulness and quirkiness of the characters and various elements of the plot. I was a doodle queen in high school so I thought I'd put a little of the old magic on my book. I was pleased with the doodly, girly and less than polished appearance of the art work. Look at the cover again after reading The Homeschoolers. Can't you just see Christina drawing out the page
Well over 200 ebooks have been downloaded in the last couple of days, and I just want to say, thank you for giving The Homeschoolers your time and attention. It means so much to me that you'll get to know Christina, Sunny, David, Ricky and Kip. I hope you love them as much as I do.
Your Friend,
Henry Circle
Yes. Henry Circle is a pen name. My real name is Bertha Fuffenbutter. Just kidding! Henry is indeed an alias. I chose to use a nom de plume because, for one thing, I have a terribly common name. Same thing with my maiden name. There are already several authors with my name and even middle initial. Using my real name would just make a confusing mess. And, they are kind of romantic and whimsical. I'll admit it. Primary reason for having a pen name: Despite being the mouth of the South, I have shy moments. Sometimes, I'm downright insecure. No one believes that since I'm the loudest person in any room, and I'm known to toot my own horn a bit. Toot toot. But the truth is, often when I see a person I know in a grocery store, I'll hide from them before they spot me. I have the occasional anti-social moment. I grew up in a small town where everyone knows your name and your business. It has it's perks, but anonymity is the best. I love being another nameless face in a city. The great thing about a pen name is getting to chose when you want to own up to your body of work or when you want to be quiet about it. You never know, I might want to turn The Homeschoolers into erotica. That would be wrong on so many levels, but I have the freedom to do that without worry of finding a horse head on my doorstep thanks to "Henry Circle". So where did the name come from? Why a boy's name? It was an easy choice. Henry Circle was my childhood imaginary friend. You can only see him and enter his world by spinning around really fast in a circle. My mother calls me "Henry" to this day.
     While Sunny may sound too sappy, too innocent (even to the point of being one dimensional) to be inspired by a real character, let me tell you, Sunny lives and breathes out there in the world. Unlike the character of Ricky, who is actually based on multiple individuals (yes, with one in particular. See previous post), Sunny's character was someone I knew well in childhood. The wispy blonde hair, the thin frame, the long skirts, the religious-devoutness and sincerity all come from one girl that I actually knew. She always had a kind word or a little gift for me. Maybe I mythologized her innocence over the years, but as I recall, she was Sunny to a "T". I wondered for many years what became of this dreamy, generous little soul. I sort of suspected she might have married a preacher, or become a church missionary. Several years ago (before I was all mom-like and square), I was at a really slummy bar with friends. We were making small talk with a young lady by the pool table;she was about my age, and platinum blonde with obviously augmented breasts, over the top make up, and skin-tight stripper clothes. (No judgement here! She was working the look!) Someone said her name, and after the shock wore off, I threw my arms around her. She wasn't -let me just put this bluntly- a holy-roller anymore, but she was still just as sweet. I like that her life went on an unpredictable course. Surprises make life delicious! I think I might like to see Sunny go down an unexpected road or two in the series someday. We'll see!
      It seems more people than not have had some experience with a school bully. I'm certainly no exception. Initially, it was one particular boy that inspired the Ricky character, though he took on the personalities of several interesting young men I've met over the years as I became involved in character-development. Everyone knows a Ricky. This proto-Ricky, really did torment me in junior high and one year of high school. He sat behind me in most classes, putting tape in my hair, and telling the teacher I wouldn't stop hitting on him. It seems like mostly harmless teasing now, but at the time, he was the bane of my existence. How I hated that boy! He seemed to spend his entire school day thinking up ways to annoy or humiliate me. He eventually joined the masses of drop outs, and I heard he went to prison. I didn't see him for over 10 years. Then, one day, I ran into a friend who was already chatting with a guy I din't recognize. Just a redneck guy. Then, it hit me. "You used to torture me in school!" I shouted. "Oh. I sure did," he said casually, "I recognize your voice now. Sorry about that." That was enough for me. We became what I guess you would call, unlikely friends. He was still the same old scalawag, but I could accept that. During his second stint in the slammer, I met a cute redhead who shared a last name with my "Ricky," but that was about it. This ginger was somewhat of a hipster, very enlightened and keenly intelligent. He actually read books. And lots of them! I quickly learned that they shared last names because they were cousins!  When I married my red-haired fella, I became my bully's family. I became his cousin. My teenage self might have really pooped herself if she had known that!