Q&A with Jason Gallaher


Get to know 2018 Festival speaker Jason Gallaher, author of Whobert Whover, Owl Detective, a children’s book writer who loves to create stories that mix the flamboyantly wacky with the slightly dark…

If you could make everyone in the world read one book, which would it be?

Oh my, this is the hardest question in the world, isn’t it? But I have to go with my gut instinct on this and say Escargot by Dashka Slater. It is just hysterical. You interact with this spunky little snail the whole time, and when you read it out loud, you get to make a terrible French accent. It’s such a fun experience to read!

What is your favorite aspect of participating in book festivals?

There is nothing I like more than getting to read my book to a crowd. I really like to get kids of all ages (I’m looking at you too, parents!) involved in reading the book with me, particularly in Whobert‘s “who, who done it” calls. It’s a hoot (pun-intended)!

Which other speakers are you excited to see or hoping to meet at the Festival?

Lord and Taylor, there are too many to count! I’m so honored to be included among such a phenomenal group of authors and illustrators. I’m excited to meet everybody, so if any of my fellow authors are in need of a hug from an enthusiastic book nerd who can’t wait to meet you, head my way!

Which part of your book are you most proud of?

I’d have to say the refrain that all the animals say when Whobert accuses them of doing something terrible to Perry the possum. It’s in rhyme, and rhyming is not my strong suit. But my editor set the challenge of coming up with the refrain, so I decided I would meet it head on. Even though the refrain is only a couple lines, figuring it out was a feat I’m pretty proud of, and has since convinced me I could try my hand at an entire manuscript that rhymes.

What are you working on next?

I have a new picture book that will be coming out that is so far unannounced, but I hope to be able to share the news soon! My agent and I are also in the process of submitting a couple fantasy-adventure middle grade projects to editors that I hope get to make it to the hands of readers in the near future. I’ve got everything crossed that that happens!

In the 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book, Jason Gallaher will be participating in a number of school visits as well as the Storytime Marathon on Saturday, March 24 with many other children’s authors and illustrators.