NC Literary Hall of Fame



Knock on Wood by Leslie Tall Manning

Kindle Direct Publishing
$15.00, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0960017737
November, 2019
Available from


Fourteen-year-old Billy Baker is the first into the pond that early summer day. Ten minutes later, his lifeless body is pulled from the chilly water, his lips like two slivers of blue ice. Billy Baker dies...but only for a little while. Thirty-nine days later, he emerges from a coma.

But he is not alone.


Billy (AKA William) is turning thirty. He forgets some letters in the alphabet. He can't set a table properly. He still believes it's the disco era. And he can't remember that day at the pond.

But the young boy William used to be has never left his side.

A brain-damaged hero. An unrequited love. A lottery windfall. A jealous brother. A terrifying memory hidden just below the surface…

Sharp contrasts of sunshiny music and life's dark periphery are delicately mingled in this extraordinary tale, putting a new twist on the age-old question: Is it possible to find the way home again when one's memory is nothing more than a blank slate?

Leslie Tall Manning is an award-winning novelist who loves writing about grown-ups who crave change and often discover it in ways they never expected (Gaga and Maggie's Dream). She also writes about teenagers who believe in independence, often stumbling into it headfirst (Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town and I Am Elephant, I Am Butterfly). She has lived in Western Maryland and Southern California, but has called North Carolina her home for the last two decades. As a private English tutor and writing specialist, Ms. Manning spends her evenings working with students of all ages and her days working on her own writing projects. When she isn’t clacking away at the computer keys or conducting hands-on research for her books, she loves walking the river in her tiny historic town and traveling with her artist husband. She is happily represented by the TriadaUS Literary Agency.

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