Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nicholas Sparks

Born December 31, 1965

“The first thing I did when I sold my book was buy a new wedding ring for my wife and asked her to marry me all over again”. Aww.. isn’t that romantic? But then it has to be, coming from an author who writes the most romantic stories. That’s Nicholas Sparks. I first read Message in a Bottle and loved it right away. Interestingly, he refuses to be slotted as a ‘Romance writer’. But for me he’ll always remain master of mush.

Slow start

Success took a while to come to him. While in college he wrote two novels that never got published. He gave up writing and turned to other careers including real estate appraisal and waiting at tables. Five years later he co-wrote a non-fiction book that got published. However that wasn’t really the start of his writing career. He went on to sell pharmaceuticals. While on the job he wrote a book in his spare time, inspired by his wife's grandparents with everlasting love as it's theme. Luckily for him, that book was picked off from the bunch of unsolicited manuscripts by a publisher's assistant and Sparks landed his first book contract for The Notebook.

Since then he has published 17 novels, 8 of which have been made into films. How's that for success?

Message in a Bottle

My favourite, however, remains Message in a Bottle. It was his second book. In the film Kevin Costner as the grieving widower is just perfect. I was heartbroken at that very sad ending apparently like many other readers. I couldn’t believe real life could ever be that cruel. However, Sparks says the book was inspired by the life of his father. When Sparks’ mother died his father was shattered. He wore black for four years and turned a recluse. It took him seven years to get into a new relationship and finally he found someone and was engaged. Two weeks later he died in a car crash. That’s where the story came from. 

He says the message he's trying to put across is not a tragic one. Rather, it is one of hope - that people do get second chances at loving. Sigh!
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First: A round of applause for the lady who got Nicholas Sparks right Sreeja Praveen. She blogs at The Alter Ego. Do drop by people. Take a bow Sreeja. 

Now for tomorrow: My next author is miles away from mush and romance. This clue should give it away - one of his most famous protagonist is an animal named Napoleon. So tell me now.
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This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.


Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

33 comments:

  1. I have read Dear John from Nicholas Sparks. All these author/writer stories clearly show that fame came to most of them after a lot of struggle.
    And Napolean was in Animal Farm by George Orwell! :)

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  2. My wife has put her hands on couple of books of Nicholas Sparks.. am yet to... Thanks for introducing him...

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  3. I don't like him very much! *shrugs*
    I do enjoy a good romance every now and then.. but somehow Sparks hasn't clicked! :-/

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    1. Over the top mush? Yes I can see why someone may not like him.

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  4. Hi Tulika, dropping in from AtoZchallenge. Loved your theme and the fact that you are so well read. This is one good habit i want to inculcate, but when ? God knows.

    Hugs from Bangalore,
    http://sinhasat302.blogspot.in/

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    1. Thanks for dropping by DeafMamma. I like your name.

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  5. A really interesting post. Thank you so much, nice to follow and connect through atozchallenge.
    http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. I know... I know.. N for NS!!!! Such a brilliant author!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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    1. Heh heh... He's nice if you're in the mood for romance.

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  7. Phew !! That's a sad story behind the 'Message' . I haven't read it, but the description here makes me want to go for it, even though I know it's sad.

    And Shilpa ji takes the cake this time with Orwell :)

    and Thanks , thanks a lot for the mention *Blushes blushes* :)
    I'm sure many would've guessed NS but wouldn't have mentioned :)




    * Blushing * Blushing* :)

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    1. You you're welcome Sreeja. I would never have believed such a thing can happen in real life.

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  8. I saw The Notebook a few days back and my eyes were brimming with tears. I have promised myself to read Nicholas Sparks books although I avoid mushy books. Currently The Longest Ride awaits in my bookshelf to be read :)

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    1. Yeah I'm not high on mush too and read Message in a Bottle without knowing what it had. But I ended up liking it.

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  9. I love Message in a bottle too, I cried while reading it :) I hated the Notebook though, the end was revealed in the beginning and that made for a dull and predictable book, for me. Thanks for another great writer's bio.

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    1. Haven't read Notebook... Will avoid it. Thanks Sulekha.

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  10. Napoleon in Animal Farm by George Orwell...Oh and I love Nicolas Sparks...I find he is so good with the emotion of love..subtle yet intense...
    N for Nauseated-Random Thoughts Naba

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  11. Haven't read the book Tulika. But looks like I would enjoy a nice romance. Perhaps I'll see the movie instead. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I have not read Nicolas Sparks! I should read him after this post!!! (Normally romantic stories give me a hard time more than others- I weep and weep, take a break... get normal... read again and weep) Lol
    Napoleon a pig I suppose.. Read Animal farm long back!!

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    1. If you're the weep and read kind.. His books are so for you. Do try them.

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  13. I LOVE his books! He is an amazing writer and his stories are phenomenal! ♥

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  14. Really moved by this post and the story of Sparks, Tulika. Sad that his father experienced so much pain.

    Tomorrow is Orwell! And I got that without reading any of the comments before mine ;)

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    1. :-) .. Well I expected you to get it so no surprises there.

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  15. Tulika, one for my list, eventually. I've never read Nicholas Sparks - always picked up the books and then replaced them on the shelves. I don't know why but having read your review I'll give it a go again.

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  16. Well Notebook is one of my favorite movies... But not the book so much...I have read one more of his books, but not remembering the name clearly shows not much of an impact made! ;)

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  17. I have read message in a bottle... And that just broke my heart... It's so wonderfully written... I watched notebook but didn't like it that much... Too mushy for my taste and the girl sounded really stupid :P

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  18. Your choice of authors is just fabulous, Tulika! My eyes just fill up when I think of his books!

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  19. Fabulous choice and another common love. I love all of his books. I prefer his books than the films...
    All those letters his characters wrote..I wish I had him on my list of people who email me..:D
    I don't think any other man can beat him in the mushy stuff..:)

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