How Nicholas Sparks broke through

January 27, 2011 Writing Comments (0) 366 has a brief and somewhat interesting interview with Nicholas Sparks in which he discusses how The Notebook was really his last-ditch effort at getting published. At the time he’d written a few books, one of which enjoyed some small success but two of which were unpublished, and was working full-time as a pharmaceutical rep.

…at 28-years-old, I had realized I didn’t want to move my family every couple of years. I also knew at the same time that I didn’t want to be a pharmaceutical rep for the rest of my life. So, I had an epiphany. I said, “Okay, I’m going to give writing another shot” and you know, I came up with the story for The Notebook, and I had two small children at that time. I had from 9 am to midnight to work and so I did, three or four days a week. Six months later, I had finished the novel. Three years prior to that, I hadn’t written a thing.

Warner Brothers picked up the rights for The Notebook for $1 million. Sparks went on to write 15 more bestsellers. How’s that for a dream come true?

My mother loves Nicholas Sparks books.  I have seen (and, yes, cried through a good portion of) The Notebook.  It was one of the schmaltziest, most manipulative movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve never been tempted to read his work – but  I have to admit that in his interview he comes across as intellectual and dedicated to his craft. Sparks explains that he writes (in his mind) “love stories,” and not “romance novels,” explaining that the difference is between internal and external conflict.  He describes how he avoids infidelity as conflict because it strikes him as too easy, and not interesting for him as an author.

My reading list is pretty long right now, especially since I got my Kindle, but maybe I should let up and give Nicholas Sparks a shot.

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