Saturday, August 16, 2014

Interview with author Freda Hansburg (Shrink Rapt)

Today I am interviewing Freda Hansburg, author of the upcoming thriller, Shrink Rapt. 

Why did you pursue writing?

I’ve been a voracious reader all my life, so the written word – especially fiction – has always held special magic for me.  Long before computers, I was scrawling away.  Over the years my writing output has included poetry, journalism, advertising, scholarly publications, training materials and self help books, but it was always my dream to write a novel.  I tried to start one when I was just out of college, but couldn’t find a story to tell.  My psychology career intervened, and years later I returned to the challenge, having lived and listened to many stories.  The most pleasant surprise of completing Shrink Rapt was discovering how gratifying the process of seeing a novel through to fruition could be.   Dorothy Parker famously said:  “I hate writing, but love having written.”  I get what she meant.  Writing is a glorious and terrible labor of love.

What inspired your book?

Shrink Rapt is loosely based on some of my experiences as a psychologist working with seriously mentally ill adults in an academic medical center.   And I do mean “loosely,” since I fictionalized like crazy.  In reality, there were patients and professors, but, unfortunately, no sexy cops.  And, thankfully, no murders. But the cats were real.   

How long have you been publishing your work?

The two self help books I coauthored with the late, great Mel Silberman – PeopleSmart and Working PeopleSmart – were published in 2000 and 2004.  I produced a handful of articles in professional journals before that.  If I told you how far back my smattering of published poetry and journalism goes, you’d be horrified (or I would).  Shrink Rapt is my first novel.

What’s your writing environment like?

Much as I’d like to invent some exotic setting – a tropical paradise where I lounge on a hammock with a laptop and pet monkey, ocean waves pounding in the background – my writing space is a desk between two windows at home.  Instead of pounding waves, I get the roaring of lawnmowers when the landscape guys are working outside.  In place of the monkey, there’s a chipmunk that scuttles around the deck.  Otherwise, my work space is pretty organized in a low tech sort of way. I’m still into paper. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m finishing the first draft of my new suspense novel, Tell On You.  It revolves around a deadly triangle – a high school English teacher and two female frenemies, his students.  Sort of Fatal Attraction meets Pretty Persuasion.

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