On Nov. 10, author Nicholas Sparks visited Castle Rock for a book signing, speech, and Q&A session. The evening was held at Cielo Event Center in Castle Pines. It began with mingling time and book signing by Sparks, followed by his speech. After descending down a spiral staircase, he began his talk–instantly mesmerizing the 300 hundred plus women that attended.
Sparks first talked about life before writing. Track was his passion–he had a full ride athletic scholarship. Sparks set a track and field record at Notre Dame that still stands. However, one summer while he was still in college he was told that he could no longer run because of tendonitis in his achilles tendon and injuries to his knee . Depressed and put down, his mother told him to write a book, which he completed in six weeks. This book, he said, no one would ever see.
Sparks next plan was to go to law school, though he remarked, “You know what they say, right? We plan and God laughs.” He wasn’t accepted into law school.
After graduating and getting married, Sparks got a pharmaceutical job, setting up displays and pitching drugs to doctors, which was good for the time being, but he knew that’s not what he wanted to do for his entire life. Finally, Sparks decided to give writing another try.
He explained that this time the story would be about his mother’s parents, a young couple that was separated by parents and war. Their relationship was rekindled just before she was to be married to somebody else. They spent many happy years together, until she was stricken with dementia and could no longer remember the times they had together. This was the premise of The Notebook.
The inspiration for Sparks’s second novel Message in a Bottle was his dad. Sparks’s mother was killed in a horseback riding accident, which completely crushed his father. Just a little over 7 years later, his father fell in love again, but he was killed in a car crash just two days after telling Sparks of his engagement to this woman. His third novel was inspired by his sister, who wanted nothing more than to get married. His sister’s story was cut short when she was diagnosed with cancer. This novel was A Walk to Remember. The last novel he described was The Wedding, which essentially is the sequel to The Notebook. Though the book wasn’t inspired by any one event in his life, Sparks explained this was the hardest of his novels to write–he used a couple that had drifted apart, and instead of making the story of adultery, like many other similar novels, he explored rekindled love.
His hour long talk was concluded with a question and answer session.
One women in the front row asked, “Is it your goal to make women cry their eyes out in every novel?”
Sparks laughed and responded that his goal was to provide a novel that allowed readers to experience the entire spectrum of feeling, which, included crying.
Sparks concluded the talk and left to finish his book signing.