by Nickie Wang
American novelist and screenwriter Nicholas Sparks spends five to six hours a day to come up with two thousand words enough to produce a novel in a month time. Ask if he encounters any writer’s block, he answers: Every single day.
The 45-year-old author has published 17 titles, six of which have been adapted into film namely Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song. In August next year, The Lucky One, Sparks’s another best-selling novel published in 2008, will be released as a motion picture. It will star Zac Efron as a US Marine named Logan Thibault, the main character in the story.
Two other novels are in various stages of development. Safe Haven, published in September 2010, is set to be released as a film next year, while his recently-authored book called The Best of Me has already caught the attention of Warner Bros. and will be turned into a big screen feature sometime next year.
On Oct. 26, Sparks arrived in Manila to officially promote The Best of Me. He is having a book singing tour and considered Manila as his only pit stop is Asia. The day after he met the local press, and held a book singing at The Podium the succeeding day.
The book, which Sparks considered as his hardest and most challenging work so far, was twice re-written. This newest offering begins with the passionate and unforgettable young love affair between high school sweethearts. Now grown-up and middle-aged, the two are forced by fate to meet again, only to discover how far apart and distant they have become.
“This novel is similar to the story of The Notebook. It’s a poignant story of small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor whom once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made,” he told the press.
The American author admitted that he is comfortable with romance genre but claimed that it’s harder to write about it because of the real human emotions involved in the entire story.
“I would love to write stories of different genre like thriller but just not right now,” he stressed and added that love stories involve more internal conflicts and have been proven as page-turners.
Most of Sparks’s novels are known for stories about letting go and finding a new love. His novels give readers an overview about life, love and choices people have to make. But ultimately, his works are known for their tragic endings. In line with, the author said that great love stories are supposed tragic end because that is how readers are affected. Looking at the bigger picture, his endings are not actually tragic in a sense that he would usually leave his protagonists hoping and in a way, leaving his readers inspired.
“All great love stories, by definition, must have to end in tragedy. That gives readers a chance to reflect. And they must feel that they have live a mini life between the covers the book,” the American author, who reads Stephen King and Dennis Lehane, explained.
Sparks said he was tempted to visit the Philippines because of the overwhelming support from the Filipino readers to his novels. He sold more than 60,000 copies of his books in 2010 alone and according to a National Bookstore official, his titles remain as bestselling novels in the country. To date, his books have generated almost $80 million in worldwide sales, and have been translated into more than 45 languages.