When I heard that I was going to get the chance to visit the movie set of, The Best of Me, I could not believe it was real life. The Best of Me is a book turned movie, written by one of my favorite author’s Nicholas Sparks. I was thrilled to be able visit a movie set, meet the stars of the movie and most certainly feeling amazed that I was going to get the chance to meet Nicholas Sparks in person.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes and no. There’s two parts to writing a novel, really, if you break it down. You have the thinking of the story–the period prior to writing. And then you have the moments when you write.
So, when you’re thinking of a story, yes, I do take sometimes the film into account, not necessarily my own, but other films as well, for instance.
And that’s just so that I can be original. I don’t want to do something that feels unoriginal. So, it’s got be original for both a novel and original for film, and so you want to do that.
For instance, I would never write a love story set on the Titanic. Why? There’s never been a book, right? But, you see, it wouldn’t feel original, right? And it wouldn’t. So, it’s just that same concept.
So many ideas get rejected because, well, it’s too similar to Ghost, it’s too close to Dirty Dancing, or whatever. You go through these things. So, that’s the thinking. You’re just trying to be original, and that includes film.
Then the moment I actually start writing, it’s only about the novel, because, I’ve had novels that have not been adapted into films. There’s no guarantee. Although it may seem, I don’t have a straight pipeline into Hollywood, you know?
It looks like that from the outside, but they all have their own. Yes, it’s always exciting to have a movie made, because there’s always a challenge involved in having a film adapted.
Question: At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer? Or when you knew you were a writer?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Totally different. If you ask my college roommates, they’ll say when I was 19 to 20, because I’d written a novel between my freshman and sophomore years of college.
I lived with a group of guys, still good friends, and they say, oh, you talked about being a writer all the time. So, they would say, he knew when he was 20 that that’s what he was going to do.
Part of me said, there’s no way I’ll ever make a living at doing that. So, it might have been more of a want than anything that was based in reality. I majored in business finance. I mean, you know?
So, I guess then it was probably into halfway through Message in a Bottle that I knew I could be a writer, because you didn’t know if The Notebook was a fluke, and you had to know if you could do it a second time.
So, it was somewhere around 1990. If The Notebook–I sold it in ’95. Probably somewhere in the spring of ’97. So, right around then.
Question: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Vanilla.
We share the same favorite ice cream. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this fun little Q&A with Nicholas Sparks. Check back in a few days for a post showing my entire visit to the set of The Best of Me.