Nicholas Charles Sparks was born December 31, 1965 in Omaha, Neb. He is known for his romantic novels, many of which have been adapted to film.

Nicholas Sparks Bio

His family includes Patrick Michael Sparks, a professor of business, and Jill Emma Marie Sparks (née Thoene), a homemaker and an optometrist’s assistant. He was the middle of three children, with an older brother, Michael Earl “Micah” Sparks and a younger sister, Danielle “Dana” Sparks, who died at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. Sparks has said that she is the inspiration for the main character in his novel A Walk to Remember.

Nicholas Sparks Writing Career

Sparks began writing at 19 at the suggestion of his mother, and was first published in 1990. Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding was co-written with Billy Mills and sold 50,000 copies in the first year of publication. By 1992, Sparks was working in pharmaceutical sales and writing in his spare time. The result was The Notebook, a romance novel that was based on his wife’s parents who were married sixty years by the time he met them. The manuscript followed the love triangle of Noah, Allie and Lon, and took them throughout their lives from their first meeting until their deaths. Sparks wrote the first draft in six months and it languished in slush piles at publishers until it was discovered by Theresa Park in 1995. Park offered to represent Sparks and secured a million dollar advance for The Notebook which was eventually published by Time Warner Book Group, and made the New York Times bestseller’s list in its first week.

Since then he has become a household name not only to readers but to moviegoers as well. Since the success The Notebook, Sparks has published a new novel almost every year. Starting in 1999 with Message in a Bottle, many of his books have been adapted into major motion pictures. Since A Walk to Remember (2002), adaptations of his work have been almost constantly in production or on the screen; The Notebook (2004), Nights in Rodanthe (2008), Dear John (2010), The Last Song (2010), The Lucky One (2012), Safe Haven (2013), and The Best of Me (2014) have all been adapted, and a trailer to The Longest Ride was released just this week.

The most recent adaptation, The Best of Me, which stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as high school sweethearts from Louisiana that reunite in their forties and realize they still have feelings for each other. It’s largely about lost love and coming to define yourself in your forties.

Nicholas Sparks Controversy & The Epiphany School of Global Studies

Sparks has been accused of racism, homophobia, and anti-semitism by the former headmaster of the North Carolina private school he co-founded, the Epiphany School of Global Studies. The ex-headmaster, Saul Hillel Benjamin, claims in a lawsuit that Sparks has “endorsed vulgar and discriminatory views about African-American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.” The school has 2 black students of 514. When the lack of diversity at the school was brought to his attention, Sparks allegedly said “black students are too poor and can’t do the academic work.”

Sparks has denied the allegations as false and libelous.

Nicholas Sparks Interview

uInterview interviewed Sparks while he was promoting the release of The Best of Me. He spoke about his actors, adapting novels for the screen, and the art of writing. When asked about one of the biggest factors to him in writing romance, he said “Authenticity.”

“Authenticity, I think that’s the big thing,” Sparks told uInterview exclusively. “You don’t want to manipulate. You don’t want it to feel hackneyed or anything. You really want to be swept along with the emotions of the character whether it’s in a novel, a play or whether it’s a film. If you are effectively moved and you fall in love with the characters and you fall in love with the idea of them falling in love, no matter how it ends, then, that’s the story that resonates with me for a long time.”

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