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.
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About the Book:
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 lifeA 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.
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As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
As a psychologist, I’ve listened to many people’s stories over the years. Tell on You is not the story of any one patient, but some of the situations I encountered, especially those involving marriages in crisis, inspired this fictional tale.
Can you tell us what your book is about?
Tell on You follows a married teacher’s infatuation with his beautiful 16-year-old student as it turns from daydream to nightmare.
Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?
Jeremy Barrett, a 33-year-old teacher, has an unexpectedly pregnant wife, insufferable in-laws and no real prospects. Nikki Jordan, his young student, with eyes the perfect blue of glaciers, inspires him to write poetry and dream of new possibilities. What Jeremy doesn’t realize is that Nikki is a budding psychopath, and he’s fair game. He may be his own worst enemy, but she runs a close second.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?
That it’s normal and inevitable to become stuck. Accept it and grow from the experience.
What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?
Sometimes I’m too daunted by the prospect of starting a new scene or chapter to draft it into my manuscript in progress. I have to ease into it by opening a new file and “tuning up” before I’m comfortable incorporating what I’ve started into the story. (One of my ways of dealing with being stuck.)
Do you hear from your readers? What do they say?
Recently, two readers of Tell on You told me they read the book in one sitting because they couldn’t put it down. Music to my ears!
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Whatever it is, it inevitably comes from my husband. Kidding aside, the feedback I’ve taken to heart is to flesh out my dialogue (which comes easily to me) with more description and action (which I find harder). But that’s what second (and third, fourth and fifth) drafts are for.
What has been the best accomplishment?
Finishing my self-published first thriller, Shrink Rapt, took eight years, but I did it. The momentum of that experience made it easier to write Tell on You.
Do you Google yourself?
Rarely. Think I should?
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
In my early twenties, I tried to write the Great American Novel. There was nothing left to save. Presently, I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft of my third thriller. I hope it doesn’t turn into a half-finished book!
Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?
I’m honored, grateful and elated whenever someone reads one of my books. If you enjoy suspense, I hope you’ll take a look at Tell on You.