Nicholas Sparks: American writer and novelist (1965-)
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Nicholas Sparks
American writer and novelist

Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American writer and novelist
A.K.A. Nicholas Charles Sparks
Is Writer Novelist Martial artist Athlete Taekwondo athlete Screenwriter Film producer
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature Sports
Gender male
Birth 31 December 1965, Omaha, USA
Age 57 years
Star sign Capricorn
Romance novel
The details (from wikipedia)


Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is an American romance novelist and screenwriter. He has published twenty novels and two non-fiction books. Several of his novels have become international bestsellers, and eleven of his romantic-drama novels have been adapted to film all with multimillion-dollar box office grosses. His novels feature stories of tragic love with happy endings.

Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska and wrote his first novel, The Passing, in 1985, while a student at the University of Notre Dame. His first published work came in 1990, when he co-wrote with Billy Mills Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding, which sold approximately 50,000 copies in its first year. In 1993, Sparks wrote his breakthrough novel The Notebook in his spare time while selling pharmaceuticals in Washington, D.C.. Two years later, his novel was discovered by the literary agent Theresa Park, who offered to represent him. The novel was published in October 1996 and made the New York Times best-seller list in its first week.

Early life

Nicholas Sparks was born on December 31, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska to Patrick Michael Sparks, a future professor of business, and Jill Emma Marie Sparks (née Thoene), a homemaker and an optometrist's assistant. Nicholas was the second of three children, with an older brother, Michael Earl "Micah" Sparks (born 1964), and a younger sister, Danielle "Dana" Sparks (1966–2000), who died at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. Sparks has said that she was the inspiration for the main character in his novel A Walk to Remember.

Sparks was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, and is of German, Czech, English, and Irish ancestry. He and his ex-wife are Catholics and are raising their children in the Catholic faith.

His father pursued graduate studies at University of Minnesota and University of Southern California, one reason for his family's frequent moves. By the time Sparks was eight, he had lived in Watertown, Minnesota; Inglewood, California; Playa Del Rey, California and his mother's hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska for a year, during which his parents were separated. By 1974 his father became a professor of business at California State University, Sacramento, and the family settled in Fair Oaks, California.

The family remained there through Sparks' high school days, and in 1984, he graduated as the valedictorian of Bella Vista High School. After being offered a full sports scholarship for track and field, at the University of Notre Dame, Sparks accepted and enrolled, majoring in business finance. In 1988, while on spring break, he met his future wife, Cathy Cote of New Hampshire, and then concluded his early academic work by graduating from Notre Dame with honors. Sparks and Cote would be married on July 22, 1989, and they moved to New Bern, North Carolina. Prior to those milestones, however, Sparks had begun writing in his early college years.


Sparks decided to start writing based on a simple remark from his mother when he was 19 years old that introduced him to the possibility:

'"Your problem is that you're bored. You need to find something to do..." Then she looked at me and said the words that would eventually change my life: "Write a book." Until that moment, I had never considered writing. Granted, I read all the time, but actually sitting down and coming up with a story on my own? ...I was nineteen years old and had become an accidental author.

In 1985, while at home for the summer between his freshman and second years at Notre Dame, Sparks penned his first – though never published – novel entitled The Passing. He wrote another novel in 1989, also unpublished called The Royal Murders.

After college, Sparks sought both work with publishers, and applied to 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 a book with Billy Mills entitled Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding, a nonfiction book about the influence of Lakota spiritual beliefs and practices. The book was published by Feather Publishing, Random House, and Hay House, and sales for this first book approximated 50,000 copies in its first year after release.

In 1992, Sparks began selling pharmaceuticals, and in 1993 was transferred to Washington, D.C.. 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, North Carolina. He subsequently wrote several international bestsellers, and several of his novels have been adapted as 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), Safe Haven (2013), The Best of Me (2014), The Longest Ride (2015), and The Choice (2016). He has also sold the screenplay adaptations of True Believer and At First Sight. His 2016 novel, Two by Two, sold about 98,000 copies during the first week after release. 11 of Nicholas Sparks' novels have been No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers.

Personal life

Sparks and his then-wife Cathy lived together in New Bern, North Carolina, with their three sons and twin daughters until 2014. On January 6, 2015, Sparks announced that he and Cathy had amicably separated. They subsequently divorced.

Sparks donated $9,000,000 for a new, all-weather tartan track to New Bern High School along with his time to help coach the New Bern High School track team and a local club track team as a volunteer head coach.

Sparks contributes to other local and national charities, including the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame by funding scholarships, internships and annual fellowships. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sparks and his then-wife had donated "close to $10 million" to start a private school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies. In 2019, the media reported on e-mails sent by Sparks in 2013 to the school's headmaster, in which Sparks strenuously opposed attempts to make the school more inclusive in terms of faith, race and sexuality, including by permitting a LGBT student group. In the e-mails, Sparks accused the headmaster, who later resigned and sued Sparks, for promoting "an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted." Sparks apologized for these and similar statements, and said that he supported LGBT rights.

Published works


According to The Daily Beast, in Sparks' novels, "handsome, hard-working, and occasionally brusque men tend to encounter waifish, strong-headed women, fall passionately, chastely in love, only to have some obstacle—status, sickness, hidden histories—intervene. Tragedies are common, love usually conquers, and Christian values can often be found in between."

His published novels include:

  • The Notebook series:
    1. The Notebook (October 1996)
    2. The Wedding (September 2003)
  • 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)
  • Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell series:
    1. True Believer (April 2005)
    2. 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)
  • See Me (October 2015)
  • Two by Two (October 2016)
  • Every Breath (October 2018)
  • The Return (September 2020)


  • Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding (1990), Nicholas Sparks and Billy Mills.
  • Three Weeks with My Brother (April 2004), Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

Adaptations in other media


Year Film Director RT critics'
approval rating
Budget Worldwide
1999 Message in a Bottle Luis Mandoki 32% $80 million $118,880,016
2002 A Walk to Remember Adam Shankman 27% $12 million $47,494,916
2004 The Notebook Nick Cassavetes 52% $29 million $115,603,229
2008 Nights in Rodanthe George C. Wolfe 30% $30 million $84,375,061
2010 Dear John Lasse Hallström 29% $25 million $114,977,104
2010 The Last Song Julie Anne Robinson 20% $20 million $89,041,656
2012 The Lucky One Scott Hicks 21% $25 million $99,357,138
2013 Safe Haven Lasse Hallström 12% $28 million $97,594,140
2014 The Best of Me Michael Hoffman 8% $26 million $35,926,213
2015 The Longest Ride George Tillman Jr. 30% $34 million $62,944,815
2016 The Choice Ross Katz 12% $10 million $23,420,878
Total/Average 24% $288 million $889,615,166


Year Series Credit Director/Showrunner Network RT critics'
approval rating
2014 Deliverance Creek Executive producer Jon Amiel Lifetime 50%
TBA Untitled The Notebook follow-up Characters based on
The Notebook
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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