I am so excited to announce that Beside the Music got a perfect score in the 2018 BookLife Prize. They haven't announced the winner, but here's what the judge had to say about it.

Plot/Idea:10 out of 10
Originality:10 out of 10
Prose:10 out of 10
Character/Execution:10 out of 10
Overall:10 out of 10



This novel is skillfully plotted and well paced. It's a book that readers won't want to put down.


The prose is smooth and conversational, featuring subtle humor, great turns of phrase, and a contemporary voice.


There are plenty of books about crumbling marriages, but this one is unique thanks to the original characters and winning premise, which the author somehow makes believable.

Character Development

All of the characters are distinct and feature realistic flaws and qualities. Brenda and Tim's interactions are authentic, with all the tics and quirks of a marriage.

The rock band characters are also exceptionally well portrayed.


Knapp turns the potential tragedy of a troubled marriage into smart satire. Rock groupies ranging from tame to obsessed will have a great time indulging in this fantasy of an idol sleeping in the guest bed.

Date Submitted: April 05, 2018

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.