Writer’s Digest 25th Annual Self Published Book Award

Judges comments on Beside the Music by BJ Knapp


I entered Beside the Music in the Writer's Digest Self Published Book Awards.  And while I didn't win the prize, I am still extremely flattered by the comments of the judge.  Writer's Digest emailed the judge's comments to me, and I have to say I love you, Judge #72. The below is based on a scale of 1-5.

Entry Title: Beside the Music
Author: BJ Knapp
Judge Number: 72
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 4

Judge’s Commentary:

Judge #72 Book Title: “Beside the Music”
Author: BJ Knapp
Review: The premise of this story “Beside the Music” was unheard of by me. A famous rock band staying at your house while they work on their next album? Never heard of that before though I am tempted to ask how and say, “sign me up”! It would have been amazing if my favorite band stayed in my house and like Brenda in this story, I got a front-row seat to their songwriting and music production process. This idea is very creative and cool but still a bit unbelievable for me. However, the author (BJ Knapp) took this original idea and not only did she run with it, she crossed the finish line and won a medal! Knapp’s writing style is engaging, her characters—though wild—are believable, and the pace of this story is perfect. As a reader, this story made me laugh and go “oh-oh”. It was filled with plot twists and surprises. The ending of this story was very sweet and made me root for the heroine (Brenda) and her husband. The author did a great job of layering the conflict in this story: the conflict between Brenda, her husband and his Mom; the conflict in Brenda’s marriage; the conflict at work as she struggles to not allow her personal trials to affect her job performance; and of course, the major conflict of her trying to live a normal life while her favorite band takes over her home.

Thank you, Judge #72 for the beautiful review of my book.  I am flattered.  I am honored.  I am grateful.  


BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 01.09.18

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