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Image / Living / Culture

Author’s Bookshelf: Francis Brennan on the making of ‘The Homekeepers Diary’


By Francis Brennan
24th Sep 2022
Author’s Bookshelf: Francis Brennan on the making of ‘The Homekeepers Diary’

Irish hotelier and beloved television personality Francis Brennan talks to us about distilling a wealth of knowledge into a book of advice that will help readers maintain a smooth-running home life throughout the year.

Earlier this week, we shared an extract from Francis Brennan’s latest release, The Homekeeper’s Diary 2023 on all things foraging, and today we’re catching up with the author to hear about his process and his absolute top reading recommendations.


francis brennan

Did you always want to be a writer/author?

It was never on the radar — it was a complete surprise when I wrote my first book!

What inspired you to start writing?

I was inspired by a really exciting life and I was happy to share those funny stories.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I decided I would layout a book to help people to be organised and include some handy tips for life.

What did you learn when writing this book?

I learned that people really love to have handy tips to help their lifestyle.

Three words to describe your writing process:

Time, scattered and discipline.

Do you have any quirky habits when writing?

Thoughts lead me all over the place, so I always a pad and pencil to hand for notes.

Your favourite Irish author is…

Sebastian Barry

The book you gift everyone is…

The Little Prince for adults and children.

francis brennan

Three books everyone should read:

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Do you listen to music when you write?

I always have the radio on when I’m writing.

The best money you ever spent as a writer was on…

Free flow ballpoint pens —  I hand write all my books.

The three books you’d bring with you to a desert island are…

The Bible

A History of Ireland

Discovering Kerry by T. J Barrington, so that I can remember my home place in all its beauty

The book you always return to is…

The Bible

Seeing your book in shops is…

It’s always a great surprise — especially as it’s number eight!

One book you wish you had written is…

The Little Prince, because it’s a wonderful story and contains lessons for all ages over generations.

How do you use social media as an author?

I have accounts of all platforms that are professionally managed on my behalf.

francis brennan
Francis Brennan’s to-be-read pile

Should books be judged by their covers? How did you pick yours?

Gill, my publisher, chooses the cover design that’s best suited to the book contents in a quirky style for regular publications, and then visual style for Yearly Diaries.

Do you find it hard not to procrastinate when writing?

Just tell it as it is and leave the procrastinators to dwell!!!

The best advice you’ve ever gotten is:

Be honest with yourself and the rest will flow.

Francis Brennan’s latest book, The Homekeeper’s Diary 2023, was published by Gill Books on September 8, and is on sale now for €16.25.