Talking Scared

92 – Anne Heltzel and a Big Pile of Dead Baby Dolls

May 17, 2022 Neil McRobert Episode 92
Talking Scared
92 – Anne Heltzel and a Big Pile of Dead Baby Dolls
Show Notes

This week’s episode couldn’t have come at a more pertinent time. As women’s reproductive rights come under assault in the US, as Roe V Wade gets rolled back and fat, sweaty men in suits make rules they will never have to obey – I’m joined by a writer who wrote a book about the cult of having babies.

Anne Heltzel is the author of Just Like Mother, a contemporary Gothic techno-thriller about fertility, pressure, choice and cults. Okay, the real-world context may be heavy, but the book is a blast. It’s both a surface-level thriller and a deep indictment of the way that modern life has got us all under pressure and running just to keep up.

Anne and I talk about the creepiness of dolls, whether we give too much importance to twists, our shared experiences of feeling off-course in our twenties, and how everything, anything can be a cult if you just tweak it hard enough.


Just Like Mother is published on May 17th by Tor Nightfire 

Other books mentioned in this episode include: 

  • In the Dream House (2019), by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1967), by Ira Levin
  • The Seven Visitation of Sydney Burgess (2021), by Andy Marino
  • It Rides a Pale Horse (2022), by Andy Marino 

You can download your free copy of Ash by Dan Soule from Amazon in your region until May 19th.  

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