Sunday, June 22, 2014

On the Record: Meet Nicholas Sparks

Meet Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Charles Sparks is an American novelist, screenwriter and producer. Eight of his romantic-drama novels have been adapted to film.

Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. He has seventeen published novels plus one non-fiction. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 89 million copies in print worldwide, in over 50 languages, including over 50 million copies in the United States alone, and his popularity continues to soar.


 Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), and The Longest Ride (2013), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah.

 Safe Haven, filmed in Southport, North Carolina was released on February 14, 2013, and marks Sparks’s eighth film adaptation, following The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, which thus far have a cumulative worldwide gross of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Sparks lives in North Carolina with his family. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

In 2011, Nicholas and his wife launched the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

On April 19-22, 2012, he launched the inaugural Nicholas Sparks Celebrity Family Weekend and Golf Tournament in New Bern, North Carolina, a weekend devoted to raising awareness and funds for the Foundation. Sparks and his family hosted stars from the worlds of sports, music, movies and television, along with fans, for a full calendar of events, raising over $500,000.

Filming on "The Longest Ride" has begun and fans of "The Choice" will soon be able to see it on the big screen! just broke the news that Lionsgate has acquired the North American and UK distribution rights for a film adaptation of the bestselling book.

The Choice tells the story of a long love affair that begins when Travis Parker and Gabby Holland first met as neighbors in a small coastal town and end up pursuing a relationship that neither could have foreseen. It spans a decade and traces the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life’s most defining events.

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life—boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies—he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

The Best of Me
Nicholas Sparks

Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen.”

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew—about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear—was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
The Longest Ride
Nicholas Sparks
In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose parallel love stories intersect in profound and surprising ways.
Ira Levinson is in trouble.  At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash.   Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him:  his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago.  Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families.  Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change.  Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school.  Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life.  As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans --  a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth.  Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

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