Nicholas Sparks: A Biography

Nicholas Sparks: A Biography


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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.”


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.

Sparks’ marriage to Cathy (as he affectionately calls her) is the source of inspiration for many of his romantic tales. The day after he and his bride tied the knot, Sparks heard the story which inspired The Notebook. Cathy’s grandparents were too ill to travel to the ceremony the day before, so the Sparks’ decided they would bring the wedding to them, redressing in tuxedo and gown and taking pictures at Cathy’s grandparents home. Nicholas observed how Cathy’s grandfather treated his wife with great respect and admiration. The story of their love was recited to Sparks, who retold it in The Notebook, changing the genre of romantic fiction permanently.

Family tragedy struck six weeks after the wedding when Nicholas’ mother Jill was killed in a horse riding accident at the age of forty-seven. The Sparks family was deeply saddened by Jill’s passing and grieved in their own ways. Patrick relied on his children for companionship and motivation to try moving on with his life,

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015028843
Publisher: Hyperink
Publication date: 07/26/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 439,276
File size: 142 KB

About the Author

Jessica Estremera holds a Bachelors of Arts from Baruch College. In her free time she mentors disadvantaged youth via, fundraises for charitable organizations such as the Kidney Foundation and Autism Speaks. Her work has appeared in “Mets Chronicle” and “Mets Today” sports blogs.

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