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ABOUT THE BOOK
If the names Allie and Noah call to your mind two young sweethearts who in turn pull at your heartstrings, then chances are you are familiar with their creator, Nicholas Sparks. As one of the world’s preeminent storytellers, Nicholas Sparks has penned highly popular love stories for the contemporary reader. His works include novels turned motion pictures such as The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Lucky One and The Last Song--tallying seventeen published novels and seven movie adaptations.
In 2003 he co-wrote a moving memoir with his older brother Michael (Micah,) entitled Three Weeks With My Brother, chronicling their journey around the world while bonding over childhood memories of family tragedy and triumph. As the last remaining members of the family, the brothers bond while crossing international borders.
Sparks’ writings have spent a lot of quality time on the bestsellers list, garnering him the title of #1 New York Times bestselling author. With the translation of his novels into more than thirty languages, he has achieved international success. Speaking about his global adulation, Sparks says, “I try hard. There have been a lot of movies and people are familiar with my work. It just goes to the fact that love is a universal emotion. It’s experienced around the world and people relate to it and there are certain segments of the population, in every country of the world that want to read about it.”
Sparks finds inspiration in his surroundings, often using names, places and familiar stories in the weaving of his classic tales of love. Sparks’ tales are faithfully set in a small town somewhere in North/South Carolina and feature a love lost/love found theme.
Admittedly, Sparks wants the reader to feel genuinely strong emotions when reading his work, as death and illness are usually incorporated in his stories. “I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me. They were set 2,000 years ago by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. They were called the Greek tragedies. A thriller is supposed to thrill and a horror is supposed to scare you.”
Screenwriting has also become a weapon in his arsenal. While Message in a Bottle was his first novel-based film, it was The Notebook that propagated his name amongst readers and moviegoers across the country and beyond. Big-name movie stars now jump at the chance to work with Sparks, whose movies have progressed the careers of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, and have also starred other A-list actors such as Kevin Costner and Paul Newman.
Recently Disney Pictures purchased The Last Song screenplay specifically for the then seventeen-year old starlet Miley Cyrus. Sparks completed the screenplay for the film before he had written a single word of the novel.
Finding success at the age of twenty-nine both humbles and surprises Sparks. He says of his fast track success, “I never grew up thinking I was going to be a novelist. You hope for the success, you dream about it but you never expect it.”
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Life for Sparks took an unexpected twist in his last year of college. On his final Spring Break he met his future wife Catherine. A day after meeting he told her “you and I are going to get married one day,” a statement that proved to be correct. His post graduation future was up in the air at this point because he was not accepted to any law schools to which he applied. Working as an apprentice real-estate appraiser during the day and moonlighting as a waiter at night, Sparks saved enough for an engagement ring. Cathy agreed to marry him and his big brother Micah was the best man...
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