Dear Reader,

Welcome! I am so glad you stopped by.

My name is Jody Calkins, and I write adventure, mystery, and contemporary novels for children (ages 8–12) under the pseudonym Louise Nelson.

My writing journey began at the age of 11 when I saw my sister writing and creating character profiles. I was at the perfect age to copy everything she did, because that’s what little sisters do. She (unknowingly) inspired me to write and thus a writer was born!

I grew up in the Minnesotan woods and now live in rural Virginia with my husband, dog, and two cats, where I enjoy watching tiny fish, caddisfly larvae, and other aquatic life in a tiny creek in our woods during my nature walks with the dog.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical studies and literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I am an Institute of Children’s Literature graduate in creative writing for children and teenagers.

I also love studying languages and hope to be fluent in Swedish, Turkish, and German someday soon!

My husband and I owned a small chicken farm in Colorado for a few years. And that’s where I got the inspiration to write Louise’s debut novel Chickens, Girls, and Other Life Problems. Needless to say, I know a thing or two about taking care of five hundred “stupid, crummy” chickens.

Chickens, Girls, and Other Life Problems is a classic contemporary coming-of-age novel about friendship and farm life. When a young boy named Ryan is shipped off to spend his entire summer break helping his aunt and uncle on their small chicken farm, he thinks his summer is ruined. But little does he know, his life is about to change in a big way.

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Here's what I have been up to lately...