|Born||Nicholas Charles Sparks
December 31, 1965
|Spouse(s)||Cathy Sparks (m. 1989)|
|Children||Miles, Ryan, Landon, Lexie & Marin|
Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is an American novelist and screenwriter. He has 17 published novels. Eight have been adapted to films, including Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, The Last Song, The Lucky One, and most recently Safe Haven.
Nicholas Charles Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Patrick Sparks, a scientist, and Jill Marie (née Thoene) Sparks, a housemaker and an optometrist's assistant. He was the middle of three children, with an older brother Michael Earl "Micah" Sparks (1964–) and a younger sister, Danielle "Dana" Sparks (1966–2000), 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.
His father was pursuing graduate studies, and the family moved a great deal, so by the time Sparks was eight, he had lived in Watertown, California, New York, and Grand Island, Nebraska. In 1974 his family settled in Fair Oaks, California, and remained there through Nicholas's high school days. He graduated in 1984 as valedictorian from Bella Vista High School, then enrolling at the University of Notre Dame, having received a full track and field scholarship. In his freshman year, his team set a record for the 4 x 800 relay. Sparks majored in business finance and graduated with honors in 1988. He also met his future wife that year, Cathy Cote from New Hampshire, while they were both on spring break. They married on July 22, 1989 and moved to New Bern, North Carolina.
While still in school in 1985, Sparks penned his first (never published) novel, The Passing, while home for the summer between freshman and sophomore years at Notre Dame. He wrote another novel in 1989, also unpublished, The Royal Murders.
After college, Sparks sought work with publishers or to attend law school, but was rejected in both attempts. He then spent the next three years trying other careers, including real estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone and starting his own manufacturing business.
In 1990, Sparks co-wrote with Billy Miles Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding. The book was published by Feather Publishing, Random House, and Hay House. Sales for this book approximated 50,000 copies in its first year after release.
In 1992, Sparks began selling pharmaceuticals and in 1993 was transferred to Washington, DC. It was there that he wrote another novel in his spare time, The Notebook. Two years later, he was discovered by literary agent Theresa Park, who picked The Notebook out of her agency's slush pile, liked it, and offered to represent him. In October 1995, Park secured a $1 million advance for The Notebook from Time Warner Book Group. The novel was published in October 1996 and made the New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release.
With the success of his first novel, he moved to New Bern, NC. After his first publishing success, he wrote several international bestsellers. Eight of his novels have been made into films: Message in a Bottle (1999), A Walk to Remember (2002), The Notebook (2004), Nights in Rodanthe (2008), Dear John (2010), The Last Song (2010), The Lucky One (2012), and Safe Haven(2013).
According to his website, he has also sold the screenplay adaptations of True Believer and At First Sight, though it is uncertain whether either film will be made.
On June 17, 2011, Sparks stated on his official website that Warner Bros. had bought the movie rights to his novel The Best of Me, published October 11, 2011. The production date for the movie has not been verified, although Sparks believes that filming of the movie will start in 2012.
Sparks is scheduled to release his 18th novel, The Longest Ride, on September 24, 2013. On his official website he announced that the film adaptation rights have already been acquired and the film is set to be released on February 13, 2015.
Personal life and philanthropy
Sparks resides in North Carolina with his wife, Cathy; their three sons, Miles, Ryan, and Landon; and twin daughters, Lexie and Marin. Sparks has donated a track to New Bern High School and contributes to local and national charities. Nicholas Sparks donated $900,000 for a new, all-weather tartan track, to New Bern High School. He also donates his time to help coach the New Bern High School track team and a local club track team as a volunteer head coach. He contributes to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame by funding scholarships, internships and annual fellowships. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sparks and his wife had donated "close to $10 million" to start a Christian, international, college-prep private school, The Epiphany School, which emphasizes travel and lifelong learning.
- The Notebook (October 1996)
- Message in a Bottle (April 1998)
- A Walk to Remember (October 1999)
- The Rescue (September 2000)
- A Bend in the Road (September 2001)
- Nights in Rodanthe (September 2002)
- The Guardian (April 2003)
- The Wedding (September 2003)
- Three Weeks With My Brother (April 2004) – A non-fiction account of traveling with his brother after the men lost both parents and their sister in quick succession.
- True Believer (April 2005)
- At First Sight (October 2005)
- Dear John (October 2006)
- The Choice (September 2007)
- The Lucky One (September 2008)
- The Last Song (September 2009)
- Safe Haven (September 2010)
- The Best Of Me (October 2011)
- The Longest Ride (September 2013)
- Message in a Bottle (February 12, 1999)
- A Walk to Remember (January 25, 2002)
- The Notebook (June 25, 2004)
- Nights in Rodanthe (September 26, 2008)
- Dear John (February 5, 2010)
- The Last Song (March 31, 2010)
- The Lucky One (April 20, 2012)
- Safe Haven (February 14, 2013)
- The Best of Me (2014)
- The Longest Ride (February 13, 2015)
The Watchers is a television supernatural drama which will be run on ABC. The show is based on a concept by Sparks, and will be co-written by Kristin Hahn who co-produced the film adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife; the show will be produced by Twilight producer Temple Hill.
- "Author Nicholas Sparks remembers his Catholic roots". Catholic-doc.org. 1999-11-04. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Formal Biography". Nicholas Sparks. 1965-12-31. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Nicholas Sparks: The Official Website". Willow Holdings INC.
- Billy Mills; Nicholas Sparks (July 1999). Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding. Hay House. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-56170-660-0.
- Nicholas Sparks bio from ferrum.edu. Ferum College official website.
- "Biography for Nicholas Sparks". Book Browse.
- "Frequently Asked Questions about At First Sight". The Official Nicholas Sparks Web Site: The Novels. Retrieved 2007.
- Author's Official Website
- Author's Official Website
- Author's Official Website
- Buckley Cohen, Adam. "Nicholas Sparks." Runner's World 43.12 (2008): 70-71. Web. 29 Sept. 2012.
- Valby, Karen (October 10, 2008). "True Believer The chemistry of Nicholas Sparks -- The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe scribe has penned 14 bestsellers in 14 years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- "The Epiphany School: Welcome". Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "ABC Buys Sparks's Archangel Love Story". Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- "Mr. Movie Date Night Wants to Ruin Your Television Experience, Too". Retrieved September 29, 2011.