Author Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks
American novelist known for his best-selling tales of romance and heartbreak

Here are some interesting facts about Nicholas Sparks:

  • Nicholas Sparks was born on December 31, 1965 in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • His dad would eventually be a professor of business at California State University, Sacramento.
  • His mom was a homemaker and an optometrist’s assistant.
  • Sparks’ younger sister, Danielle “Dana” Sparks died in 2000 at the age of 33 from a brain tumor. He said she was the inspiration for the main character in his novel “A Walk to Remember.”
  • 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.
  • In 1984, he graduated as the valedictorian of Bella Vista High School.
  • Sparks accepted a full sports scholarship for track and field to the University of Notre Dame and majored in business finance.
  • He decided to start writing when he was 19 based on a remark from his mother, “Your problem is that you’re bored. You need to find something to do… Write a book.”
  • Sparks was sidelined by a sports injury during the time he wrote his first (unpublished) novel.
  • In the summer of 1985 while at home and between his freshman and sophomore years of college he penned his first novel entitled “The Passing.” It was never published.
  • After graduating from college, he applied and was rejected to law school.
  • The next three years after college Sparks worked as a real estate appraisal, a waiter, a salesman selling dental products by phone, and he started his own manufacturing business.
  • Another attempt at a novel in 1989 ended up unpublished.
  • In 1992, Sparks began selling pharmaceuticals, and in 1993 was transferred to Washington, D.C.
  • He wanted more than a just a decent living for himself, wife, and young son. So he challenged himself to write three novels. If none were published, he would move on.
  • Sparks started a manuscript in June 1994, and in six months wrote “The Notebook” during his spare time.
  • “The Notebook” was published in October 1996 and made the New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release.
  • He retired from pharmaceutical sales in 1997 when he sold “Message in a Bottle” to a Hollywood studio before the book was even completed.
  • He is a major contributor to Notre Dame, his alma mater, providing annual scholarships and internships.
  • Sparks donated $9,000,000 for a new, all-weather tartan track to New Bern High School.
  • He helps coach the New Bern High School track team and a local club track team as a volunteer head coach.
  • In his spare time, Sparks volunteers at his local retirement home.
The Notebook