News: Neillsville - Author Jeff Nania to Visit (Nov 2021)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Nania, Anderson, Rydberg, Ziebell

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/03/2021

Jeff Nania to Visit NPL (Author - 2021)

Author Jeff Nania to Visit Neillsville Public Library

Mystery writer, conversationist and former Sheriff’s deputy Jeff Nania will visit the Neillsville Public Library on Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Submitted photo

“Captivating,” “thoroughly engaging,” “suspenseful” [and] ‘skillful” – these are all words that one local reader used to describe the writing of Portage author Jeff Nania. And soon readers will have the chance to a meet him in person.

Nania is the author of three mystery novels. He will visit the Neillsville Public Library (NPL) on Monday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend, even if one hasn’t read his books.

“I enjoy his excellent character development, suspense-building plot twists, extraordinary detail [and] cadence,” wrote NPL, book club member Sherrill Anderson.

The book club has read through Nania’s first novel, “Figure Eight,” and is partway through his second novel, “Spider Lake.” Both novels are part of the Northern Lakes Mysteries Series. In this series, Nania draws upon his years serving as a decorated sheriff’s deputy and in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin’s natural resource issues to weave together stories that keep readers wondering who is on the right side of the law in the small town of Musky Falls.

Nania as been involved in the outdoors his whole life. He was born and raised in Wisconsin. His family settled in Madison’s storied Greenbush neighborhood. His father often loaded Nania, his brothers and a couple dogs into an old Jeep station wagon to set out for outdoor adventures.

“These experiences were foundational for developing a sense of community, a passion for outdoor traditions, and a love of our natural resources,” the biography on Nania’s website states.

Nania’s first career was in law enforcement, where he found great satisfaction in serving the community. He was a decorated officer who served in many roles, including as a member of the K9 unit patrolling with his dog, Rosi.

Things changed and circumstances dictated he take a new direction. The lifelong outdoorsman found a path to serve a different type of community. Over half of Wisconsin’s wetlands had been lost, and more are lost each year. Nania began working with willing landowners to develop successful strategies to restore some of these lost wetlands. This journey led to creating a field team of strong conservation partners who restored thousands of acres of wetlands and uplands Wisconsin.

“During that time, Jeff realized that the greatest challenge to our environment was the loss of connection between our kids and the outdoors. He donated his energy to restore that connection through Outdoor Adventure Days, an interactive experience giving school children a wet and muddy day in the field,” Nania’s biography stated.

Building on this foundation, Nania co-founded one of the first environmentally focused charter schools with teacher Victoria Rydberg, and together, they brought the “hands on, feet wet” philosophy to teachers and students across the state.

A pioneer in the ecosystem-based approach to restoration and an advocate for conservation education, Nania has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for his work. Outdoor Life Magazine named him as one of the nation’s 25 most influential conservationists and he received the National Wetlands Award. The Wisconsin Senate commended Mania with a Joint resolution for his work with wetlands, education and as a non-partisan advisor on natural resources.

Nania is semi-retired. He writes for Wisconsin Outdoor News and other publications. Whether he’s cutting wood, sitting in a wetland, fishing muskies, or snorkeling Spider Lake for treasure, Nania spends as much time as possible outdoors.

With many people in Clark County passionate about enjoying the outdoors, library director Janay Ziebell felt Nania’s style of writing would appeal to many in the area.

“[Nania] is great at being entirely descriptive of the northern Wisconsin culture,” Ziebell wrote in an email. “Also he makes a real connection with fishermen and outdoorsmen.”

The author visit is being sponsored by the Neillsville Library Foundation. Nania’s talk will likely include him speaking on how he came to be a writer after his time in law enforcement, and his love for all things Wisconsin northern wilderness. There will also be a question-and-answer session, and opportunities for the selling and signing of Nania’s books.

For more information on Nania, go to 



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