Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas-Sparks-Autograph-1-4-06.jpg
Sparks signing autographs in 2006
Born Nicholas Charles Sparks
(1965-12-31) December 31, 1965 (age 50)
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, producer
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Genre Romantic fiction
Romantic drama
Spouse Cathy Cote (m. 1989; div. 2015)
Children 5
Website
www.nicholassparks.com

Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is an American novelist, screenwriter and producer. He has published eighteen novels and two non-fiction books. Several of his novels have become international bestsellers, and eleven of his romantic-drama novels have been adapted to film with multimillion-dollar box office grosses.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska, to 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 (1964–present), 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 was the inspiration for the main character in his novel A Walk to Remember.

He was raised Roman Catholic,[2] 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.[3]

His father pursued graduate studies at University of Minnesota and University of Southern California, and the family thus moved a great deal. By the time he was eight, he had lived in Watertown, Minnesota, Inglewood, California, Playa Del Rey, California, and Grand Island, Nebraska which was his mother's hometown during his parents' one year separation. In 1974 his father became a professor of business at California State University, Sacramento, and the 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. He 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.

Career[edit]

Sparks was inspired to start writing by a remark from his mother when he was 19 years old.[4]

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 and 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 Mills Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding.[5] 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.[6]

In 1992, Sparks began selling pharmaceuticals and in 1993 was transferred to Washington, D.C.. It was there that he wrote another novel in his spare time, The Notebook.[7] 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, North Carolina. He subsequently wrote several international bestsellers, and several 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. His 2016 novel, Two by Two, sold about 98,000 copies during the first week after release.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Sparks and his then-wife Cathy lived together in New Bern, North Carolina with their three sons, Miles, Ryan, and Landon; and twin daughters, Lexie and Savannah, until 2014. On January 6, 2015, Sparks announced that he and Cathy had amicably separated. They subsequently divorced.[10]

Sparks donated $9,000,000 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.[11]

Sparks contributes to other local and national charities, as well, including 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 then-wife had donated "close to $10 million" to start a Christian, international, college-prep private school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies, which emphasizes travel and lifelong learning.[12][13] In his spare time, Sparks volunteers at his local retirement home.

Published works[edit]

List[edit]

Adaptations in other media[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Director RT critics'
approval rating
Budget Worldwide
Gross
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 52% $29 million $115,603,229
2008 Nights in Rodanthe George C. Wolfe 30% N/A $84,375,061
2010 Dear John Lasse Hallström 29% $25 million $114,977,104
The Last Song Julie Anne Robinson 20% $20 million $89,041,656
2012 The Lucky One Scott Hicks 20% $25 million $99,357,138
2013 Safe Haven Lasse Hallström 12% $28 million $97,594,140
2014 The Best of Me Michael Hoffman 8% $26 million $35,926,213
2015 The Longest Ride George Tillman, Jr. 30% $34 million $62,944,815
2016 The Choice Ross Katz 12% $10 million $23,420,878
Total/Average 24% $288 million $889,615,166

TV[edit]

Year Series Credit Director/Showrunner Network RT critics'
approval rating
2014 Deliverance Creek[14][15] Executive Producer Jon Amiel Lifetime 50%
TBA Untitled The Notebook followup[14][15] Characters based on
The Notebook
TBA The CW TBD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nicholas Sparks Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo". 
  2. ^ "Author Nicholas Spark remembers his Catholic roots". Catholic-doc.org. 1999-11-04. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Morality in Hollywood: An Interview with Author Nicholas Sparks". 
  4. ^ "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.'... I was nineteen years old and had become an accidental author." From Three Weeks with My Brother, pp. 183-184
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Nicholas Sparks". Ferrum College. Retrieved August 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Biography for Nicholas Sparks". Book Browse. Retrieved March 26, 2006. 
  8. ^ Good Morning America ABC TV, interview about the book "Two By Two", October 3, 2016
  9. ^ "King of the love story turns to divorce". Toronto Star, October 21, 2016. page E6
  10. ^ Nudd, Tim (6 January 2015). "Nicholas Sparks and Wife Separate". People. 
  11. ^ Buckley Cohen, Adam. "Nicholas Sparks." Runner's World 43.12 (2008): 70-71. Web. 29 Sept. 2012.
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "The Epiphany School: Welcome". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  14. ^ a b "Noah and Allie Forever! The CW Is Developing The Notebook for TV". 
  15. ^ a b Creative, The Uprising. "Nicholas Sparks". 

External links[edit]