An expert on the dark corners of the heart, Freda Hansburg is a psychologist and author of the thrillers Tell on You and Shrink Rapt. Her suspenseful novels depict characters driven to the edge, then forced to let go. Freda is co-author of the self-help books PeopleSmart, a bestseller translated into eleven languages, and Working PeopleSmart.
Freda grew up in New York and is a Yankee fan. Writing since she was old enough to hold a pen, Freda won a medal, presented by the mayor, in a citywide essay contest when she was in fifth grade. An English Lit major, she earned a BA, magna cum laude, from Barnard College, nominated by her department for an academic fellowship.
As a journalist, Freda co-edited high school and college newspapers, published front-page features in New York community newspapers, and briefly attended Columbia Graduate School of Journalism before concluding that journalism entailed too much running around in dangerous places. When she quit J-school, Freda went home, fixed herself a Bloody Mary and decided to write the Great American Novel. She finished the Bloody Mary, but not the novel. Wanting to stay close to literature, but pay the rent for an apartment, she turned to publishing. Freda worked as a copywriter and publicity assistant in two major publishing houses. She wrote jacket copy, ads and PR materials, including the press release for Jean Kirkpatrick’s first book.
In her mid-twenties, Freda relocated to Philadelphia and made a career shift to become trained as a psychotherapist. She completed her MSS in Clinical Social Work at Bryn Mawr, and then her Ph.D. at Temple, becoming a licensed psychologist. Over the course of her clinical career, Freda practiced psychotherapy, career counseling, coaching and provided specialized training to groups and organizations as a noted communications expert. She originated and directed a nationally recognized day treatment program at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, where she was an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She also directed a consultation and training center at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and was an Adjunct Professor in Adult and Organizational Development at Temple University and authored numerous professional publications.
But that novel always called to her. Having listened to many stories, deepened her insight into human nature, and solidified her determination, the psychologist at last turned novelist.
Completing her first thriller, Shrink Rapt, Freda found that writing a novel is like walking through the Lincoln Tunnel alone with a flashlight. You can only see a little ways ahead. You will bump into the walls more than once along the way. But if you keep moving forward, eventually you reach daylight. No achievement is more gratifying than coming out the other end of the tunnel. Which may be why which is why Freda’s first published thriller, Tell on You, is set in New Jersey.
Tell On You, the story of a married teacher’s fatal infatuation with his beautiful 16-year-old student, best fits into the emerging niche genre of “domestic noir.” These novels, usually authored by women and inspired by the wildly successful Gone Girl, are thrillers with psychological nuances and frequently unreliable narrators. Readers love the must-turn-the-page suspense, even while they may dislike the characters. The author of Tell On You is a psychologist, well-acquainted with the dark corners of the heart.
Now retired from psychology practice, Freda lives in beautiful South Carolina where she is working on her next novel and her Pickleball game.
Freda is available for book clubs and events. Drfreda@consultant.com
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