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.

JA White was kind enough to share a bit about the creative process with his writing. He describes his writing as not creating something from nothing but creating something that’s been there all along. 

Imagine that! Your Great Work has always been there…you just have to find it.

And these books are NO JOKE!

Even I had to read through them at a quick pace because I was so SPOOKED! 

But it was the best kind of scary and creepy. 

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 while he 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 author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. She is the author of Great Work, the host of the Unleashing Your Great Work podcast, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two 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.