The write plan: On Rachael Hanel's forthcoming memoir

By Tanner Kent
Free Press

Last winter, Rachael Hanel began considering Plan B.

Plan A was to write her memoir, sell it to a publishing house and let the world discover for themselves how growing up in a cemetery as the daughter of Waseca’s best-known gravedigger could teach lasting lessons at the edge of a six-foot hole.

Plan A began in 2000 in a college writing class. It continued through the years as Hanel expanded the narrative, revised her prose and began shopping her manuscript with publishers. Plan A persevered despite a string of rejection letters and a decade’s labor with no discernible conclusion in sight.

But there came a point when the Madison Lake writer wondered if it was time to give up the fight and publish the book herself.

“Last winter I was at a really low point,” Hanel said, beginning to recite her doubts. “‘Is this going to happen? Will it ever see the light of day?’ I was starting to think about Plan B.”

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