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Nicholas Charles Sparks Edit Profile

novelist , screenwriter

Nicholas Charles Sparks is a well-known American novelist and screenwriter, author of world bestsellers. He writes romantic stories where the main characters usually don't experience the typical happy ending. The themes of his novels are connected with Christianity, love, fate, tragedy and human feelings. He has published 17 novels, 8 of them have been adapted to films. His novels have been translated into 45 languages.

Background

Ethnicity: Nicholas Sparks is of German, Czech, English and Irish ancestry.

Nicholas Charles Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the middle of three children. Sparks was raised Roman Catholic. He and his wife are devout Catholics and are raising their children in the Catholic faith.

Education

Nicholas spent the early part of his childhood moving around with his family as his father finished up his graduate work. They lived in Minnesota, then Los Angeles, later Grand Island, Nebraska, and finally in 1974 his family settled in Fair Oaks, California, and remained there through Nicholas's high school days. Nicholas went on to graduate from high school there in 1984, becoming the class valedictorian. "Because my father was a student until I was 9 years old and my mother didn't work, we weren't exactly living the high life when I was little. I grew up on powdered milk and ate tons of potatoes, though to be honest, I never noticed how poor we really were until I was old enough to take an honest appraisal of things. Even then, it didn't matter. For the most part, I had a wonderful childhood and wouldn't change a thing".

College brought him to Indiana and the University of Notre Dame, which had offered the athletic Sparks a full track scholarship. In 1985, during his freshman year, Sparks was part of a relay team that set a school track record for the 4 x 800 relay that still stands. But the season did not end on a good note for the future author: An Achilles tendon injury slowed things down for Sparks, and forced him to spend the summer recuperating. Sparks 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.

Career

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 or 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 Miles Wokini: "A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding". 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.

In 1992, Sparks began selling pharmaceuticals and in 1993 was transferred to Washington, DC. It was there that he wrote another novel in his spare time, "The Notebook". 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, NC. After his first publishing success, he wrote several international bestsellers. Eight of his novels have been made into 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), and "Safe Haven"(2013).

On June 17, 2011, Sparks stated on his official website that Warner Bros. had bought the movie rights to his novel "The Best of Me", published on October 11, 2011.

Sparks is scheduled to release his 18th novel, "The Longest Ride", on September 24, 2013. On his official website he announced that the film adaptation rights have already been acquired and the film is set to be released on February 13, 2015.

Achievements

  • He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (Master of Fine Arts) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

    In 2011, Nicholas and his wife 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. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

    On April 19-22, 2012, he launched the inaugural Nicholas Sparks Celebrity Family Weekend and Golf Tournament in New Bern, North Carolina, a weekend devoted to raising awareness and funds for the Foundation. Sparks and his family hosted stars from the worlds of sports, music, movies and television, along with fans, for a full calendar of events, raising over $500,000.

Works

  • novel

    • The Notebook (October 1996)

    • Message in a Bottle (April 1998)

    • A Walk to Remember (October 1999)

    • The Rescue (September 2000)

    • A Bend in the Road (September 2001)

    • Nights in Rodanthe (September 2002)

    • The Guardian (April 2003)

    • The Wedding (September 2003)

    • Three Weeks With My Brother (April 2004)

    • True Believer (April 2005)

    • At First Sight (October 2005)

    • Dear John (October 2006)

    • The Choice (September 2007)

    • The Lucky One (September 2008)

    • The Last Song (September 2009)

    • Safe Haven (September 2010)

    • The Best Of Me (October 2011)

    • The Longest Ride (September 2013)

Views

Quotations: Quotations of Nicholas Sparks:

- "The greater the love, the greater the tragedy when it is over".

- "It has to get ugly before it gets pretty".

- "Over time, quality work will lead to an audience for your work".

- "You are going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it's always their actions you should judge them by. It's actions, not words, that matter".

- "Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can".

Interests

  • Sport & Clubs

    running, weightlifting, taekwondo

Connections

father:
Patrick Michael Sparks - United States - scientist , college professor
Patrick Michael Sparks - father of Nicholas Sparks

His father was born in 1942 and died in 1996. He was a professor.

mother:
Jill Marie (Thoene) Sparks - United States - housemaker , optometrist's assistant
Jill Marie (Thoene) Sparks - mother of Nicholas Sparks

His mother was born in 1942 and died in 1989. Nicholas' mother was killed in a horseback riding accident. She was only 47.

older brother :
Michael Earl "Micah" Sparks - United States
Michael Earl "Micah" Sparks - older brother  of Nicholas Sparks

Sparks wrote one of his novels together with his brother. The novel is called "Three Weeks With My Brother " - a non-fiction account of traveling with his brother after the men lost both parents and their sister in quick succession.

younger sister:
Danielle "Dana" Sparks - United States
Danielle "Dana" Sparks - younger sister of Nicholas Sparks

She died in 2000 at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. Sparks has said that she is the inspiration for the main character in his novel "A Walk to Remember".

wife:
Cathy Cote - United States
Cathy Cote - wife of Nicholas Sparks

She is from New Hampshire. They got acquainted in 1988 while they were both on spring break. They married on July 22, 1989 and moved to New Bern, North Carolina, where they now live together with their 5 children (3 sons and twin daughters).

son:
Miles - United States

son:
Ryan - United States

son:
Landon - United States

Daughters (twins):
Lexie & Marin - United States
Lexie & Marin - Daughters (twins) of Nicholas Sparks