The Creepiest Great Work with JA White | UYGW032
Play • 39 min

On this week’s episode of Unleashing YOUR Great Work, we get a behind-the-scenes look into the fantasy worlds created by author JA White, a novelist who writes creepy books for kids. 

5th grade teacher and Award-winning author of “The Thickety”, “Archimancy” (the first novel in The Shadow Series), and “The Nightbooks” (now a top 10 Netflix film produced by one of his childhood heroes, Sam Raimi), JA White tells us more about why his work makes him feel “shiny inside”. 

From sneaking off to his childhood basement to read creepy books, since childhood books he claims “weren’t scary enough”, to having a digital billboard in Times Square, White takes us on his epic journey of the Great Work that he has slowly discovered within his writing career. 

He believes whole-heartedly that “There is no such thing as wasted writing”, a motto he has clung to since his first two novels never came to fruition, one of which being completely erased off of a floppy disc (anyone born after the year 2000 will have to google what a “floppy disc” is…you’ll be shocked). 

As you traverse this episode, you’ll hear the excitement I have interviewing him as he reveals the ins-and-outs about creating Great Work in his own writing, and the struggles, obstacles, and self-doubts that come along with letting the book tell YOU what to write.


Join us as we discuss: 

 02:01 Your work should make you feel shiny inside, and a part of the shininess comes from the suffering that goes into it. 

03:25 JA White’s great work.

04:36 JA’s short story is one of the first movies that was filmed during the pandemic.

07:31 Delegate - Letting people who are good at what they do, do their thing.

10:33 JA’s sad first novel stories. 

11:42 The book called Queens Nightmares. 

13:34 How JA got a call from an editor who was at Disney World.

15:41 Why outlines don't work for JA.

21:53 Writing is just figuring out what you should not tell.

22:54 JA’s hardships in writing his books.

26:53 The people that JA drew the most inspiration from.

29:17 How has the reception been for these creepy books for kids?


About the Guest:

J.A. White writes creepy books for children. The four novels of his Thicketyseries have received numerous starred reviews and other accolades that make him feel shiny inside, including a Children’s Choice Award for Best Debut Novelist. His novel Nightbooks has been translated into 11 languages and was made into a Netflix movie pr oduced by Sam Raimi, and the first novel of his Shadow School series, Archimancy, was recently nominated for the Sunshine State Young Reader Award. He is also a 5th grade teacher.

Twitter - @jawhitebooks 

Instagram - @jawhitebooks - link to amazon - link to Barnes and Noble  


About the Host:

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author of Great Work, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk: Three Reasons You Aren’t Doing What You Say You Will Do has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and TED Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Amanda lives in New Jersey with her husband, two adorable kids, and a remarkable newfiepoo named Ruthie. She spends her days educating future teachers, coaching accidental entrepreneurs, and speaking about how to make progress on Great Work to colleges and corporate teams. To book Dr. Crowell to speak or inquire about coaching, check out or email






Linked In:


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