MANKATO (TEC News) -- For a Waseca native, hanging out in graveyards was a fairly normal thing to do. Rachael Hanel, who recently published her new book, "We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravediggers Daughter," spent a lot of time pondering the lives of those gravestones she encountered. Around the age of two is when she started going with her father, Waseca's gravedigger, and her mother, who helped maintain the cemetery grounds. As Hanel grew up, her older siblings would help her parents around the cemetery, but she would spend her time wandering the grounds, looking at headstones, soaking up her future writing influence: Hanel 2 "they had" :13
That influence led to "Gravedigger's Daughter," which contains stories of the people in the cemetery who "captured her imagination." She also writes about her experience with death and grief, and how those things helped her deal with her father's death. Despite the book's setting, Hanel doesn't describe it as "dark" or "morbid," and hopes that readers "pick up on a hopeful note." For more information, or to purchase the book, visit www.rachaelhanel.com.