Saturday, October 22, 2022

Book Tour: Hope Knocking by Nova Mann @RABTBookTours

Fiction/Political fiction

Date Published: May 23, 2022

Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.


Hope Knocking tells the story of 2020 from three different perspectives: Amantha, an opinionated retired educator who considers herself to be half hillbilly and half flatlander; Matthew, her soft-spoken mountain husband; and Nancy Mae, Amantha's charismatic elderly mother who has returned to her East Tennessee roots after leaving nearly seventy years ago. The three live in Mavie, a mere speck on a USGS topographical map, on the banks of the Diamond River.



 Interview with Nova Mann

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    Upon my return from a trip in the spring of 2020, I began a two-week quarantine, due to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. To pass the time and to help me deal with the overwhelming anxiety and fear that the pandemic ushered in, I began a journal. The journal soon morphed into a book, as I continued to document the events of 2020 and early 2021, and added other characters to gain varying perspectives.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goals in writing Hope Knocking were as follows: 1. document for future generations how an American family experienced the tumultuous year of 2020-2021; 2. explore the mental health issues surrounding that year and various coping mechanisms used by the three main characters (nature as healer, physical exercise, energy healing, dance, prayer, journaling, reminiscing of the past, modern technology, friendship, etc.); and 3. Express my concern for the many problems facing our democracy and the natural world.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The most difficult part was learning to allow myself to be authentic and vulnerable. The main character, Amantha, is based on me, and she’s extremely vocal and knows that there are many in her community that won’t agree with her political stance. I’ve had to learn to be okay with that. Now that the book is out there, I’m more relaxed about expressing my views.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I enjoyed the freedom of expression the most and using words to show the beauty in nature. I am so thankful that we still live in a country that allows its citizens this freedom. We shouldn’t take our freedoms for granted. There are so many authoritarian regimes in the world that censor everything people do. We need to safeguard our freedoms and realize that once they are taken away, it will be difficult to regain them, in my opinion.

    Where there alternate endings you considered?

    I tried to keep my sequel to Hope Knocking in mind while writing the ending, so that the events flow easily. The ending helped me deal with grief in my real life, although I don’t want to give away too much here. I’ll just keep it at that.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    There was one of mom’s former classmates living alone that momma and I visited in the fall of 2020. She had dementia and had forgotten about our visit but was just so thrilled to have people visiting. I played some old-time songs that she requested – Knoxville Girl, Tom Dooley, Barbara Allen, etc. – and that seemed to open the floodgates of memory for her. Her face lit up as the two old friends talked about days past, and she begged us not to go, but momma was tiring from the visit. It really hit home for me to see how the lack of socialization – especially during Covid- affected the elderly in our country, and around the world, I suppose. This was so apparent in my own mother, who was the inspiration for the Nancy Mae character in the book, so I decided to use that encounter as a channel for addressing those concerns.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I’ve always loved historical novels, but lately I’ve been drawn to books about the environmental crisis that’s occurring so rapidly. I’m reading Abundant Earth by Eileen Crist right now. I really agree with her argument presented in the book that in order to save the remaining endangered animal and plant species that we’ve been eradicating, we have to change homo sapiens’ perception that everything on Earth is put here for our use, enjoyment and disposal. I am planning to explore animal rights more in my next book.


About the Author

This is Nova Mann’s first novel, but she is already working on a sequel to Hope Knocking, which will hopefully be released sometime in 2023. Ms. Mann is a former high school teacher who began her career in North Carolina and retired in Tennessee. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her graduate degree from Appalachian State University. As a lifelong learner, she continues to explore the world through hiking, sustainable gardening, writing, and playing old-time mountain music. One of her life’s biggest accomplishments was spent as a Fulbright scholar in South America, teaching English at a public high school. She later led many American students on trips throughout Latin America and Europe, believing that travel is the best way to uproot intolerance and replace it with respect for all cultures. She lives with her husband in the mountains of Tennessee, embraced by the Cherokee Forest. 

Contact Links


Facebook: @NovaMann20

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