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!

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.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.

Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.


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