"Francie on the Run was thrown into my lap when I was thinking of another book entirely. The picture of him adventuring all over Ireland projected itself between all my imaginings till I had to give way to it. Francie must be heard, his story must be told, he insisted on it. And, I suppose, he determined the story himself as it went on. Once one has a character like him the story more or less writes itself.
"Then, of course, I also had the lovely background for his adventures Ireland as I know it. Francie takes a walk that I have taken step by step myself, and the scenery he meets I have seen with my own eyes. I know the smells of it and the taste of it. The Castle, too, I have known....
"So that, what with Francie's charming personality and the loveliness of his surroundings and the attractive friends he makes, I've enjoyed writing this book!"
- Hilda van Stockum (1939)