Sparks signing autographs in 2006
|Born||Nicholas Charles Sparks
December 31, 1965
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame|
|Spouse||Cathy Cote (m. 1989; div. 2015)|
I read over a hundred books a year and have done so since I was fifteen years old, and every book I've read has taught me something.
I'm writing a new love story, set in eastern North Carolina. Surprise, surprise, huh?
There's always pressure, a great deal of pressure, when writing, since my first books were so successful.
What's the challenge in writing a novel that few people will read? I'm more than happy writing what I do and have no plans to change that.
Publishing is a business. Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars.
I'll admit that it's not easy to get an agent, but becoming successful in anything requires perseverance.
I have a great wife and it's very easy to be romantic because it makes her happy and then my life is so much better when she's happy.
Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.
Spreading the news is your duty as a Christian, and there are many ways to do this.
I write 2,000 words a day when I write. It sometimes takes three hours, it sometimes takes five hours.
My wife, my family, my friends – they've all taught me things about love and what that emotion really means. In a nutshell, loving someone is about giving, not receiving.
To be quite honest, I've been very blessed when I've worked with Hollywood. The studios that have purchased my work to be adapted to film have really liked the work and wanted to stay as close as they could to what the book was.
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.
None of my characters are rich or famous, and the situations they find themselves in could happen to anyone.
I have certain moral parameters that I do not cross in writing; I don't write about adultery or kids having premarital sex.
I suppose more than anything, it's the way of life in this part of the country that influences my writing. In Eastern North Carolina, with the exception of Wilmington, most people live in small towns.
I think that enduring, committed love between a married couple, along with raising children, is the most noble act anyone can aspire to. It is not written about very much.
I think that men know how to romance a woman and most do it well, at least for a time, otherwise women wouldn't marry them. The problem is that most of them begin to rest on their laurels.
A typical agent in New York gets 400 query letters a month. Of those, they might ask to read 3-4 manuscripts, and of those, they might ask to represent 1.
Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.
If you look for me, I'm in the fiction section. Romance has its own section.
I think, above all, the characters in my novels feel universal to the readers.
In all love stories the theme is love and tragedy, so by writing these types of stories, I have to include tragedy.
By reading a lot of novels in a variety of genres, and asking questions, it's possible to learn how things are done – the mechanics of writing, so to speak – and which genres and authors excel in various areas.
Dramatic fiction – William Shakespeare made his biggest mark writing dramatic love stories.
Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It's the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It's that important, so don't mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.
Because publishing is becoming more business-oriented each day with more examination of the bottom line, it's harder to break out than ever.
Focus in on the genre you want to write, and read books in that genre. A LOT of books by a variety of authors. And read with questions in your mind.
I suppose I'm most influenced by any good, commercial writer. I learn from everyone.
All characters come from people I know, but after the initial inspiration, I tend to modify the characters so they fit with the story.