Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks
Sparks in 2006
Sparks in 2006
BornNicholas Charles Sparks
(1965-12-31) December 31, 1965 (age 58)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Occupation
  • Novelist
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
Genre
Spouse
Cathy Cote
(m. 1989; div. 2015)
Children5
Website
nicholassparks.com

Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is an American romance novelist, screenwriter, and film producer. He has published twenty-three novels, all New York Times bestsellers,[1] and two works of non-fiction, with over 115 million copies sold worldwide in more than 50 languages.[2] Among his works are The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle which, along with eight other books, have been adapted as feature films.[3]

Sparks lives in North Carolina, where many of his novels are set.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Nicholas Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska.[5] His father, Patrick Michael Sparks, was a business professor and his mother Jill Emma Marie Sparks (née Thoene) was a homemaker and an optometrist's assistant.[6] Sparks is of German, Czech, English, and Irish ancestry.[7] He 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, an event that inspired his novel A Walk to Remember.[8] As a child, Sparks lived in Watertown, Minnesota; Inglewood, California; Playa Del Rey, California; and Grand Island, Nebraska, before the family settled in Fair Oaks, California in 1974.[7]

In 1984, Sparks graduated valedictorian of Bella Vista High School.[9] He began writing while attending the University of Notre Dame on a track and field scholarship, majoring in business finance and graduating magna cum laude.[10] Sparks wrote his first, never published, novel, The Passing in 1985 and a second unpublished novel called The Royal Murders in 1989. He married Cathy Cote in 1989 and moved to New Bern, North Carolina.[11]

Literary career[edit]

Sparks' first published book was Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding,[12] a nonfiction book co-written by Billy Mills about Lakota spiritual beliefs and practices, published by Feather Publishing. The book sold 50,000 copies in its first year after release.[13]

In 1995, literary agent Theresa Park secured a $1 million advance for The Notebook from Time Warner Book Group, the book that became Spark's breakthrough novel.[14] 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.

In 1998, after the publication of The Notebook, Sparks wrote Message in a Bottle which, in 1999, became the first of his novels to be adapted for film in 1999. In total, 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).[15] He has also sold the screenplay adaptations of True Believer and At First Sight.

Including The Notebook, fifteen of Sparks's novels have been No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, and all of his novels have been both New York Times and international bestsellers.[16] Sparks has also often been listed on Forbes annual highest-paid authors lists.[17]

In September 2020, Sparks published his twenty-first novel The Return and followed that up with The Wish in 2021 and Dreamland in 2022, each of which were optioned as films.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Sparks lives in New Bern, North Carolina. He has three sons and twin daughters. Sparks married Cathy Cote in 1989 whom he divorced in 2015.[19]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2008, Sparks donated nearly $900,000[20] for a new, all-weather tartan track to New Bern High School, where he has also volunteered to coach.[21] The same year, he also donated "close to $10 million" to start a private school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies.[22][23] Sparks has also funded scholarships, internships, and annual fellowships at the University of Notre Dame Creative Writing Program. In 2012, he founded The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a nonprofit that funds global education experiences for students, which has donated more than $15 million to charities, scholarship programs, and other projects.[24]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

Nonfiction[edit]

Adaptations[edit]

Eleven of Sparks's books have been turned into films, four of which he produced, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, and Safe Haven. Seven other of his books have also adapted for film: The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, The Last Song, and The Notebook.[27] Films based on his novels have grossed $889,615,166 worldwide, while the Rotten Tomatoes scores range from 11% for The Choice[28] to 53% for The Notebook, the most critically acclaimed film based on his work.[29]

In April 2021, it was announced that a film adaptation of The Return was in development. Tom Dean joined the production as director, with the project developed by Bisous Pictures, and MRC Films, while MRC will serve as distributing company. Sparks will serve as a producer alongside Elizabeth Cantillon, and Theresa Park.[30][31] In May of the same year, it was announced that three additional films based on novels by the author were in development for distribution by Universal Pictures. The company signed a first-look deal with Sparks, with intentions being that a long-term working relationship follow; the three movies will be joint-venture productions between Universal Pictures and Anonymous Content. The Wish will be the first book to be developed by the studio, followed by Dreamland, and an as-of-yet unspecified third adaptation. The Wish will be Sparks will serve as producer, alongside Park, and Zack Hayden.[32][33][34][35]

Film[edit]

Year Title Screenwriter Producer Director Notes Box office RT
1999 Message in a Bottle No No Luis Mandoki Based on the novel of the same name. $118,880,016[36] 32%[37]
2002 A Walk to Remember No No Adam Shankman Based on the novel of the same name. $47,494,916[38] 27%[39]
2004 The Notebook No No Nick Cassavetes Based on the novel of the same name. $115,603,229[40] 53%[29]
2008 Nights in Rodanthe No No George C. Wolfe Based on the novel of the same name. $84,375,061[41] 30%[42]
2010 Dear John No No Lasse Hallström Based on the novel of the same name. $114,977,104[43] 29%[44]
2010 The Last Song Yes No Julie Anne Robinson Based on the novel of the same name. $89,041,656[45] 21%[46]
2012 The Lucky One No No Scott Hicks Based on the novel of the same name. $99,357,138[47] 21%[48]
2013 Safe Haven No Yes Lasse Hallström Based on the novel of the same name. $97,594,140[49] 13%[50]
2014 The Best of Me No Yes Michael Hoffman Based on the novel of the same name. $35,926,213[51] 12%[52]
2015 The Longest Ride No Yes George Tillman Jr. Based on the novel of the same name. $62,944,815[53] 31%[54]
2016 The Choice No Yes Ross Katz Based on the novel of the same name. $23,420,878[55] 11%[28]
TBA The Return No Yes Tom Dean Based on the novel of the same name. TBD TBD
The Wish No Yes TBA Based on the novel of the same name. TBD TBD
Dreamland No Yes TBA Based on the novel of the same name. TBD TBD
Untitled film No Yes TBA Based on one of his published novels. TBD TBD
Total $889,615,166

TV[edit]

Year Series Credit Director/ showrunner Network RT
2014 Deliverance Creek[56][57] Executive producer Jon Amiel Lifetime 50% (6 reviews)[58]
TBA Untitled The Notebook follow-up[56][57] Characters based on The Notebook TBA The CW TBD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Notebook Author Nicholas Sparks Inks First Look Deal with Universal". Deadline. May 17, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  2. ^ "Every Nicholas Sparks Book in Order". Hachette Book Group. April 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "The 11 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies". Oprah Daily. April 2, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  4. ^ "Take a Nicholas Sparks Tour of the North Caroline Coast". Visit NC.
  5. ^ "Nicholas Sparks". Britannica. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  6. ^ "Author Biography" (PDF). University of Southampton. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks (2006). Three Weeks With My Brother. Grand Central Publishing.
  8. ^ "Walk to Remember Anniversary". People. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  9. ^ "Author of Love". Notre Dame Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  10. ^ CliffNotes on Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks. CliffNotes.
  11. ^ "Nicholas Sparks and Wife Separate". People. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Nicholas Sparks". Ferrum College. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  14. ^ "Nicholas Sparks hits a tear-soaked milestone". Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  15. ^ "The 11 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies". Oprah Daily. April 2, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  16. ^ "Nicholas Sparks Books". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  17. ^ "Nicholas Sparks, 16 million". Forbes. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  18. ^ "Nicholas Sparks Sets Movie Deal at Universal Pictures". Variety. May 17, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  19. ^ Nudd, Tim (January 6, 2015). "Nicholas Sparks and Wife Separate". People.
  20. ^ "The Philanthropist: Nicholas Sparks". October 24, 2008.
  21. ^ Buckley Cohen, Adam. "Nicholas Sparks." Runner's World 43.12 (2008): 70–71. Web. September 29, 2012.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "The Epiphany School: Welcome". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  24. ^ "Nicholas Sparks Foundation". Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "The Return". NicholasSparks.com.
  26. ^ "The Wish". NicholasSparks.com.
  27. ^ "Sparks Sets Movie Deal at Universal Pictures". Variety. May 17, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  28. ^ a b "The Choice". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  29. ^ a b "The Notebook". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  30. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 28, 2021). "MRC Film & Elizabeth Cantillon Acquire Nicholas Sparks Bestseller 'The Return'". Deadline. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  31. ^ Grobar, Matt (July 15, 2022). "MRC Film Names Its Romance Division, Appoints Sydney Fleischmann As VP Development And Production". Deadline. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  32. ^ Grobar, Matt (May 17, 2022). "'The Notebook' Author Nicholas Sparks Inks First-Look Deal With Universal, Will Produce Three Features For Studio Alongside Anonymous Content; Adaptation Of His Novel 'The Wish' First Up". Deadline. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  33. ^ Sparks, Nicholas (May 17, 2022). "Three Nicholas Sparks novels are to be adapted for the big screen, including the latest bestseller, The Wish!". NicholasSparks.com. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  34. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (May 17, 2022). "Nicholas Sparks Sets Three Films, Including 'The Wish,' at Universal Pictures". Variety. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  35. ^ Yahoo! staff (February 13, 2023). "Nicholas Sparks Teases 'Dreamland' Movie". Yahoo!. NBC Universal. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  36. ^ "Message in a Bottle". Box Office Mojo.
  37. ^ "Message in a Bottle". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  38. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Box Office Mojo.
  39. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  40. ^ "The Notebook". Box Office Mojo.
  41. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe". Box Office Mojo.
  42. ^ "Nights in Rodanthe". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  43. ^ "Dear John". Box Office Mojo.
  44. ^ "Dear John". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  45. ^ "The Last Song". Box Office Mojo.
  46. ^ "The Last Song". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  47. ^ "The Lucky One". Box Office Mojo.
  48. ^ "The Lucky One". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  49. ^ "Safe Haven". Box Office Mojo.
  50. ^ "Safe Haven". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  51. ^ "The Best of Me". Box Office Mojo.
  52. ^ "The Best of Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  53. ^ "The Longest Ride". Box Office Mojo.
  54. ^ "The Longest Ride". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  55. ^ "The Choice". Box Office Mojo.
  56. ^ a b "Noah and Allie Forever! The CW Is Developing The Notebook for TV". Us Weekly. August 11, 2015.
  57. ^ a b The Uprising Creative. "Nicholas Sparks".
  58. ^ "Deliverance Creek (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2020.

External links[edit]