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|Born||Nicholas Charles Sparks|
December 31, 1965
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame|
(m. 1989; div. 2015)
Nicholas Charles Sparks is an American novelist, screenwriter, and philanthropist. He has published twenty-two novels and two non-fiction books, all of which have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 115 million copies sold worldwide in more than 50 languages.
Eleven of his novels have been adapted to film, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, The Last Song, and The Notebook.
Sparks lives in North Carolina, where he contributes to a variety of local and national charities. In 2011, he 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.
Nicholas Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Patrick Michael Sparks, a future professor of business, and Jill Emma Marie Sparks (née Thoene), a homemaker and an optometrist's assistant. Nicholas was the middle of three children, with an older brother, Michael Earl "Micah" Sparks (born 1964), and a younger sister, Danielle "Dana" Sparks Lewis (1966–2000), who died at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. Sparks has said that she was the inspiration for the main character Jamie Sullivan in his novel A Walk to Remember. Sparks was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, and is of German, Czech, English, and Irish ancestry. He and his ex-wife are Catholics and are raising their children in the Catholic faith.
His father pursued graduate studies at University of Minnesota and University of Southern California, one reason for his family's frequent moves. By the time Sparks turned eight, he had lived in Watertown, Minnesota; Inglewood, California; Playa Del Rey, California and his mother's hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska for a year, during which his parents were separated. By 1974, his father had become a professor of business at California State University, Sacramento, and the family settled in Fair Oaks, California.
The family remained there through Sparks' high school days, and in 1984, he graduated as the valedictorian of Bella Vista High School, where he learned to slam dunk. After being offered a full sports scholarship for track and field, at the University of Notre Dame, Sparks accepted and enrolled, majoring in business finance. In 1988, while on spring break, he met his future wife, Cathy Cote of New Hampshire, and then concluded his early academic work by graduating from Notre Dame magna cum laude. Sparks and Cote were married on July 22, 1989, and they eventually settled in New Bern, North Carolina. Prior to those milestones, however, Sparks had begun writing in his early college years.
Sparks started writing at his mother's suggestion:
'"Your problem is that you're bored. You need to find something to do..." Then she looked at me and said the words that would eventually change my life: "Write a book." Until that moment, I had never considered writing. Granted, I read all the time, but actually sitting down and coming up with a story on my own? ...I was nineteen years old and had become an accidental author.
In 1985, while at home for the summer between his freshman and sophomore years at Notre Dame, Sparks penned his first, never published, novel, The Passing. He wrote another in 1989, also unpublished, The Royal Murders.
After college, Sparks both sought work with publishers and applied to law school, but was rejected in both attempts. He spent the next three years in various occupations, including real estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone, and starting his own manufacturing business.
In 1990, Sparks co-wrote a book with Billy Mills entitled Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding, a nonfiction book about the influence of Lakota spiritual beliefs and practices. The book was published by Feather Publishing, Random House, and Hay House, and sold some 50,000 copies in its first year after release.
In 1994, while working in pharmaceutical sales, Sparks began a novel in his spare time, The Notebook. In 1995, he was discovered by literary agent Theresa Park, who picked The Notebook out of her agency's slush pile, fell in love with it, and offered to represent him. In October 1995, Park secured a $1 million advance for The Notebook from Time Warner Book Group. Published in October 1996, the novel made The New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release and eventually spent fifty-six weeks there.
Including The Notebook, fifteen of Sparks's novels have been No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, and all of his books have been both New York Times and international bestsellers. Eleven of his novels have been adapted as 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), Safe Haven (2013), The Best of Me (2014), The Longest Ride (2015), and The Choice (2016). He has also sold the screenplay adaptations of True Believer and At First Sight. In September 2020, Sparks published his twenty-first novel The Return.
Sparks has frequently drawn inspiration from his own experiences.
Sparks and his then-wife Cathy lived together in New Bern, North Carolina, with their three sons and twin daughters until 2014. On January 6, 2015, Sparks announced that he and Cathy had amicably separated. They subsequently divorced. Sparks still resides in New Bern.
Sparks donated nearly $900,000 for a new, all-weather tartan track to New Bern High School along with his time to help coach the New Bern High School track team and a local club track team as a volunteer head coach.
Sparks contributes to other local and national charities, including the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame by funding scholarships, internships, and annual fellowships. The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, launched by Sparks in 2012, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages was launched in 2011. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sparks and his then-wife had donated "close to $10 million" to start a private school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies.
- The Notebook series:
- Message in a Bottle (April 1998) ISBN 978-1-57042-605-6
- A Walk to Remember (October 1999) ISBN 978-0-446-52553-4
- The Rescue (September 2000) ISBN 978-0-446-52550-3
- A Bend in the Road (September 2001) ISBN 978-1-58621-177-6
- Nights in Rodanthe (September 2002) ISBN 978-1-58621-440-1
- The Guardian (April 2003) ISBN 978-1-58621-393-0
- Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell series:
- Dear John (October 2006) ISBN 978-0-446-52805-4
- The Choice (September 2007) ISBN 978-0-446-57992-6
- The Lucky One (September 2008) ISBN 978-0-446-57993-3
- The Last Song (September 2009) ISBN 978-1-60024-638-8
- Safe Haven (September 2010) ISBN 978-1-60788-619-8
- The Best of Me (October 2011) ISBN 978-0-446-54765-9
- The Longest Ride (September 2013) ISBN 978-1-61969-138-4
- See Me (October 2015) ISBN 978-1-61969-135-3
- Two by Two (October 2016) ISBN 978-1-4555-2069-5
- Every Breath (October 2018) ISBN 978-1-5491-9469-6
- The Return (September 2020) ISBN 978-1-5491-0221-9
- The Wish (September 2021) ISBN 978-1-5387-2862-8
- Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding (1990), Nicholas Sparks and Billy Mills. ISBN 978-0-9627943-0-8
- Three Weeks with My Brother (April 2004), Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks. ISBN 978-1-58621-643-6
Adaptations in other media
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|Year||Film||Director||Rotten Tomatoes||Budget||Worldwide |
|1999||Message in a Bottle||Luis Mandoki||32%||$80 million||$118,880,016|
|2002||A Walk to Remember||Adam Shankman||27%||$12 million||$47,494,916|
|2004||The Notebook||Nick Cassavetes||53%||$29 million||$115,603,229|
|2008||Nights in Rodanthe||George C. Wolfe||30%||$30 million||$84,375,061|
|2010||Dear John||Lasse Hallström||29%||$25 million||$114,977,104|
|2010||The Last Song||Julie Anne Robinson||21%||$20 million||$89,041,656|
|2012||The Lucky One||Scott Hicks||21%||$25 million||$99,357,138|
|2013||Safe Haven||Lasse Hallström||13%||$28 million||$97,594,140|
|2014||The Best of Me||Michael Hoffman||12%||$26 million||$35,926,213|
|2015||The Longest Ride||George Tillman Jr.||31%||$34 million||$62,944,815|
|2016||The Choice||Ross Katz||11%||$10 million||$23,420,878|
|Year||Series||Credit||Director/ showrunner||Network||Rotten Tomatoes|
|2014||Deliverance Creek||Executive producer||Jon Amiel||Lifetime||50% (6 reviews)|
|TBA||Untitled The Notebook follow-up||Characters based on
- "Every Nicholas Sparks Book in Order – Hachette Book Group". April 8, 2020.
- "Nicholas Sparks Foundation".
- "Author Nicholas Spark remembers his Catholic roots". Catholic-doc.org. November 4, 1999. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- "Morality in Hollywood: An Interview with Author Nicholas Sparks".
- Nicholas Sparks mother and Nicholas Sparks as quoted in: Three Weeks with My Brother, pp. 183–184
- 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". Ferrum College. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Biography for Nicholas Sparks". Book Browse. Retrieved March 26, 2006.
- Djinis, Elizabeth. "Nicholas Sparks' books are based on true stories, author says at Bradenton talk". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- Nudd, Tim (January 6, 2015). "Nicholas Sparks and Wife Separate". People.
- "The Philanthropist: Nicholas Sparks". October 24, 2008.
- Buckley Cohen, Adam. "Nicholas Sparks." Runner's World 43.12 (2008): 70–71. Web. September 29, 2012.
- "Nicholas Sparks Foundation". Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- 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 September 3, 2009.
- "The Epiphany School: Welcome". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- "The Return". NicholasSparks.com.
- "The With". NicholasSparks.com.
- "Noah and Allie Forever! The CW Is Developing The Notebook for TV". August 11, 2015.
- The Uprising Creative. "Nicholas Sparks".
- "Deliverance Creek (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
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