Friday, April 6, 2012

“As Agatha Swanburne Once Said” Blog Tour with Maryrose Wood

“Many are happy to give advice; few are happy to take it.” — The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 3: The Unseen Guest 

Welcome to the last stop on the Incorrigible blog tour! These posts have marked the launch of The Unseen Guest, the third book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. In each post I’ve used one of the sayings of Agatha Swanburne as a jumping-off point for some personal musings mixed in with a wee bit of moralizing, plus some tasty tidbits of philosophy sprinkled on top. In other words, they’ve given me a chance to do something I find very hard to resist: give advice.

Does it surprise you to learn that that the person who invented Agatha Swanburne is an inveterate advice-giver? Yes, that’s me, hanging my head in shame. Sometimes I manage to remember that I should keep my mouth shut unless somebody comes right out and asks my opinion. But sometimes I don’t, and the urge to pontificate takes over. Even as a kid I could easily imagine myself as Lucy in the Charlie Brown cartoons, with her five cent fee and “The Doctor is In” sign hanging on the front of her rickety lemonade stand.

My know-it-all-personality has probably annoyed my friends plenty through the years. On the other hand, many of them have gotten some pretty in-depth counsel from me, and I never even bothered to charge the five cents. Truthfully, I don’t have any special qualifications to tell other people what to do, other than a childhood spent reading Ann Landers’ column in the newspaper. Boy, did I learn a lot (I mean, A LOT) from those columns! But I like to think that my writer’s toolkit includes a knack for understanding motivation and subtext (in plain English: why people do what they do, and what they really mean by what they say). That, plus a willingness to listen — that’s worth at least a nickel, don’t you think?

Now that I’m responsible for coining the sayings of Agatha Swanburne, those bossy, advice-giving impulses of mine are finally being put to good use. I wonder what nugget of pithy wisdom the wise old gal will come up with next?

Thanks for joining me on this blog tour! Check to find out when I’ll be visiting a city near you. To invite me to visit your school or library, send an email to

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got? How about the worst? And do you prefer to give advice, or to take it? 

Maryrose Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series for middle-grade readers. You can find her online at, and on Twitter at @Maryrose_Wood.

Check out my reviews of the Incorrigible Children books: The Mysterious Howling, The Hidden Gallery and The Unseen Guest.

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