Here to Save You Podcast

Here to Save You Podcast

A podcast about writing, parenting, and creative accountability brought to you by writers and youngish mothers Annie Hartnett, Tessa Fontaine, and Ellen O'Connell Whittet. We are here to save you, each other, and ourselves.


October 6, 2022 60 min

Tessa and Annie talk accountability groups (find out more at and then chat with Vanessa A. Bee, author of HOME BOUND, out October 11

See Vanessa on tour:

Vanessa's book:

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Ellen and Tessa and our guest Joe Scapellato talk writing 2 books at once, writing for middle grade audiences, and how parenting can enrich your writing.

Joe's books:
The Made-Up Man
Big Lonesome 

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Ellen and Annie talk agents and non-fiction projects put on the back burner, and then chat with Nancy Reddy and Emily Pérez, the editors of The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood.
The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood

Article mentioned
Folding Clothes is a Scam by Kathleen Donahoe

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Antonia Angress, author of SIRENS & MUSES, doesn't have children, but hopes to have one someday soon.

Antonia's book:

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Amy Jo’s Books: 




Also mentioned: 

Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlisle concert 


Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison 

Everything I Have is Yours by Eleanor Henderson 

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Shannon Sanders's book COMPANY, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2023. Her short story “The Good, Good Men” was a 2020 winner of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She is a mother of three, including a set of twins, and she writes on the back porch. 

We met her on twitter, so you should follow her too, @ShandersWrites

Also mentioned: 
Reiko Davis, Shannon's agent 
Laura van den Berg 
Monica Wo...

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Tessa and Annie talk with the wise and earnest Jericho Vincent, author, parent, and spiritual entrepreneur. 

Jericho's books: 
Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood
Legends of the Talmud: A Collection of Ancient Magical Jewish Tales

Also mentioned: 
The Crane Wife: A Memoir by CJ Hauser 

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Your hosts Tessa and Annie talk with Chloé Cooper Jones about being her memoir and tour, her son, tennis, philosophy, and being a master of everything and nothing.

Chloé's book:

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Such a wonderful and inspiring chat with Phuc Tran -- this one is for all the writers working many different jobs!

Phuc's book:
SIGH, GONE a memoir 

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July 3, 2022 32 min

A quicky episode to get to know your hosts a little better. 

Annie's books: 
Rabbit Cake 
Unlikely Animals

Tessa's books: 
The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death Defying Acts 
And an untitled novel forthcoming from FSG

See Tessa eat fire here:

Ellen's book: 
What You Become in Flight 
and a novel in progress! 

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Tessa and Annie talk about their own voices, vaccinations, and then have the great pleasure of talking about writing with Courtney Maum, author of five books, most recently The Year of the Horses, a memoir of conquering depression through reclaiming a childhood passion

The Year of the Horses
Before and After the Book Deal 
I am Having So Much Fun Without You

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Ellen and Annie finally get to meet Katie Gutierrez, their friend from twitter and author of MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW, Good Morning America's Book Club pick -- (we called it!!!)

We left the kiddo interruptions in this episode because they were so sweet.

Katie's book:
More Than You'll Ever Know

Also mentioned: 
Julia Fine, author of The Upstairs House and What Should Be Wild 

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Annie and Tessa talk with Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender. She is maybe the coolest person we've ever met, and we hope you love the conversation.

Susannah's books: 
Brain on Fire
The Great Pretender

Also discussed:
Deep Work by Cal Newport

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All three hosts got together to fangirl over Jessamine Chan, the bestselling author of The School For Good Mothers.

Jessamine's book

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May 30, 2022 8 min

Tessa, Annie, and Ellen hold space for grief after the shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. 

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Annie and Ellen discuss their friendship, writing with small kids, crying in front of Cheryl Strayed, and what drives us to tell birth stories.

BOOKS and BOOK PEOPLE discussed:
What You Become in Flight by Ellen O'Connell Whittet
Annie and Ellen's agent, Katie Grimm
Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner and Cinderland 
Becca Worby,
Cheryl Strayed 
A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

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Tessa and Annie discuss adding a cohost, the impossibilities of working with a newborn who doesn't nap, and then we talk to Taylor Harris, the author of This Book We Made.

What We Become in Flight by Ellen O'Connell Whittet
This Boy We Made by Taylor Harris 
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi 
Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know 
Julie Buntin, editor and author of Marlena 
Amy Kurzweil, car...

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An introduction to your Here to Save You hosts Tessa Fontaine and Annie Hartnett. We share the details of the "writing accountability contract" we signed in 2018-- which is how we were able to write second books and also how we became friends.

This contract we signed came from this Aimee Bender essay: Why the Best Way to Get Creative Is to Make Some Rules

Books mentioned: 
Deep Work by Cal Newport 
I'll Show Myself Out by...

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Annie and Tessa discuss why publishing a book doesn't seem to ever bring complete joy and fulfillment, and then Clare Beams joins us to give us her sage advice on writing, parenting, scheduling, and happiness. Clare is a gem of a human being, and no one should miss this episode. 

The essay that inspired our contract: Why the Best Way to Get Creative Is to Make Some Rules
More info about our accountability workshops: http://www.a...

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