The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 29, 2013

Madison Lake writer prepares for publicity tour on cusp of book release



Yet, Hanel remembers only one time she hugged her father. And on the day her father died, his void left an unspoken yet undeniable fracture in the family’s bond.

“I think a lot of problems can stem from feelings of isolation,” Hanel said. “But I never felt that way because I had all these stories.”

Now, on the cusp of sharing her stories with the world, Hanel said she feels ready.

Though her background in journalism (she is a former Free Press employee and occasional columnist for Mankato Magazine) and naturally reserved demeanor made her initially skeptical to write a memoir, Hanel said she’s comfortable with the combination of local history, cultural observation and personal insight she’s shared.

After all, she always knew she had stories to tell.

“It feels good to me to be at this point,” she said. “There have been a lot of different turning points in the creation of it. ... If a story needs to get out, it will get out. I’m not sure I really had a choice.”

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