The Sleeping Bears of Leelanau County

A secret clan of bear-people have inhabited the peninsula for millennia. Their story is the true legend.

Book Summary

In a remote corner of northern Michigan, the residents of Leelanau County have a secret society that has been living on the peninsula for thousands of years. They are the bear-transforming descendants of tribes who crossed Lake Michigan millennia ago to escape the destruction of their clan.

One evening, a traveler has a chance encounter with a spirit bear and discovers he has a hidden history of his own. In the months that follow, he becomes deeply involved with the Sleeping Bear Clan and—depending on your point of view—a murder.

From the Author

"I got the idea for this novel while driving back to Chicago from Traverse City. I was thinking about taking a trip out to one of the Manitou Islands when the idea of the Sleeping Bear legend being something entirely different started to take form. The story involves all things Michigan and the places and locations I enjoy visiting whenever I can."


Locations featured in the book

The Wooden Nickel Bar - Marquette
The 906 Bar & Grill - Marquette
Foggy's Steakhouse - Christmas
Muldoons Pasties - Munising
Legs Inn - Cross Village
J&S Hamburg - Traverse City
Sleder’s Tavern - Traverse City
Side Traxx - Traverse City
Earthen Ales - Traverse City
The Workshop Brewing Co. - Traverse City
Mackinaw Brewing Co. - Traverse City
Cedar Tavern - Cedar
Hop Lot Brewing - Suttons Bay
Dick's Pour House - Lake Leelanau
Anderson's Market - Glen Arbor
Fishtown - Leland
South Manitou Island
Alligator Hill Trail
Heritage Trail
Leelanau Trail
Clay Cliffs Natural Area
Kehl Lake Natural Area

Map of Leelanau County

Future Novels

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About the Author

Paul Wcisel graduated from Indiana University in 1993 with a degree in History. Since then his work and life have taken him to Denver, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Traverse City, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. He has held a variety of occupations—hey, it worked for Mark Twain—including: real estate agent, bank teller, gallery guard, barista, project coordinator, museum front desk associate, digital media editor, web designer, graphic designer, interactive designer, web developer, technical director, and now, writer.

His first novel, The Sleeping Bears of Leelanau County, was independently published in December, 2019. Along with authoring the book, he did the layout, design and editing. The cover art derived from this painting.