Monday, July 3, 2017

Author Interview: Freda Hansburg, author of 'Tell On You'

Freda Hansburg is a psychologist and Tell On You is her debut trade thriller.  She self-published the suspense novel Shrink Rapt and co-authored two self-help books, PeopleSmart – a best-seller translated into ten languages – and Working PeopleSmart.  Freda lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she is working on her next novel and her Pickleball game.

Her latest book is the thriller, Tell On You.



About the Book:

Author: Freda Hansburg
Publisher: Micro Publishing Media
Pages: 248
Genre: Thriller
Tell on You is a psychological suspense novel that best fits within the Gone Girl-inspired niche genre of “grip lit.”   Jeremy Barrett’s obsessive love equals that of Jay Gatsby for Daisy Buchanan, as life imitates art in his private school English class. But his angst-driven infatuation brings dire consequences as he is drawn into the machinations of his disturbed 16-year-old student Nikki Jordan, whose bad intentions rival those of her teacher.  A fast-paced, drama-filled tale, Tell on You reminds readers about the wildness and trauma of adolescence—and the self-defeating behaviors to which adults resort in times of stress. From gaslighting to vicious bullying, poisonous family privilege to the loss of a parent—Freda Hansburg draws on her experience as a clinical psychologist to explore the depths of each dark situation in Tell on You.




Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

As a retired psychologist, I’m fortunate to have time for other pleasures, besides writing.  I’m an avid Pickleball player (never heard of the fastest growing sport in America?  Google and be amazed!).  I also burn some extra calories by working out, riding Trixie (my adult trike), and swimming (well, floating around the pool).  I’m into reading, crosswords and Scrabble.  I’m happily married and a foodie.  Hence, the need for all that exercise.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  In fifth grade, I won honorable mention in an annual Fire Prevention Essay contest and was awarded a medal by the mayor of New York City.  I moved on, through poetry, journalism, advertising, dissertation and scholarly publications, to self-help books and finally to my true love, fiction.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Joining a writers’ critique group.  I had slogged through several drafts of my first novel and thought it was finished.  My fellow writers helped me understand why it wasn’t.  A few more drafts, and plenty of feedback later, I self-published Shrink Rapt.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Truth be told, I’d stay right here in Bluffton, SC.  It’s too beautiful to leave.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Work on my novel in progress, if I didn’t cop out and go to the pool.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  The landscape and local culture would be a strong element of the story.  That’s for the book after next.

Back to your present book, Tell on You, how did you publish it?

I went with a small, new hybrid press – Micro Publishing Media.  Lots of authors swear by self-publishing, but I wouldn’t go that route again.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

All over cyberspace.

Why was writing Tell on You so important to you?

Years of practicing psychotherapy gave me an intimate acquaintance with the dark corners of the heart and the foolish, even dangerous, choices any of us can make.  I wanted to create a deeply flawed protagonist, still sympathetic enough for the reader to follow his journey.  I also wanted to take readers into the throes of a marriage in crisis. 

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Again, years of practice as a psychologist has attuned me to people’s dilemmas, motivations and voices.  Take a situation and ask:  “What if…?”  Then keep going.

Any final words?

Tell on You is the story of a married teacher’s reckless infatuation with his beautiful 16-year-old student, who turns out to be a budding psychopath.  Readers are saying they couldn’t put it down.  I hope you’ll pick up a copy and decide for yourself.

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