Nicholas Sparks from North Carolina talks about his new book ‘Dreamland’ | WFAE 90.7

Author Nicholas Sparks has written 23 novels, all of which were on the New York Times bestseller list, with more than 115 million copies sold worldwide. His career as a writer began in 1994 when he was working in pharmaceutical sales and wrote a novel on the side. It was titled “Notepad”.

This novel quickly made the New York Times Best Seller list when it was released in 1996 and was later made into a movie like many of Sparks’ subsequent novels. Sparks, who has lived in New Bern, North Carolina for 30 years, released a new book out this month called Dreamland. It’s a passionate love story between two young musicians from different backgrounds and set in North Carolina, like all of his novels, and on a Florida beach. Sparks says the inspiration for Dreamland came from personal experience.

Nicholas Sparks: When I met my wife years ago, we were on the west coast of Florida for a week. You know, I met her and knew by the end of the first week that she would be the right fit for me. And so we got married, had five kids, and all of that stuff. It didn’t last long, but it was great during it. Meanwhile, the big thing I really wanted to do was point out the parallels between making music and falling in love.

You have these two guys, Colby and Morgan, and they just met on the beach and they’re young and well, you know, that could say “hello” or it could be a fling. And they discovered that they shared this passion for creating music and it was part of their dreams. And when they start getting to know each other and fall in love, they also fall into the songwriting process. And I really wanted to explore those parallels — that right tone when you meet someone and fall in love with them, it just feels like a song, right?

Gwendolyn Glenn: She seemed to be more aggressive about “that’s what I’m going to do”, but he’s a bit hesitant.

sparks: This was something I trained on, worked with teachers, and went to college for. Then you have someone who loves music, but kind of started doing something else in life, right? The thing he was very good at was working on the family farm.

Glenn: yes. He doesn’t realize how good he is until he takes this opportunity to go to Florida for a few weeks and spend there and there being loved by the crowds.

sparks: Sometimes it happens. You know, I’ve been to those kinds of places when I’m on vacation, near this or that beach. And you know, I’ve heard some unusual sounds.

Glenn: yes. So the other side of the story is in North Carolina, where we have these other great characters to bring to life.

sparks: You know, the interesting thing about Dreamland is that you have a great love story that takes place in Florida and then another, and you don’t know how it relates at all. She is a woman running away with her child from what she feels is a very dangerous situation.

And the reader, going through it, reads one story and then the other, not necessarily knowing how they will come together. And that’s one of the things I’m trying to do, is to write a novel that ultimately surprises the reader in a way that they wouldn’t expect.

Glenn: This character also lost his parents. So it is not only about love between two people in this type of relationship, but also about love for family and loss.

sparks: Yes, these are the topics that often mean the most to me, and to my family. And in my own life, I lost my mother, and I lost my father, when I was in my twenties. I lost my younger sister shortly thereafter – I was, I don’t know, 32 or 33. However, without my family, I don’t know who I would have been.

So I like to explore the concept of family love. It’s a different kind of love. And when I pray, I basically – thank God for all those different love. And I love exploring this topic in my books. And I think by the time you get to the end of Dreamland, you know, you’ll really realize love in all its diverse forms.

Glenn: And I read where you once said, and I think on NPR with Scott Simon, that you love to explore human — all human emotions are in your books. And this particular person took on a lot of feelings, as I just spoke.

sparks: Well, for me, the most important stories are the ones that touch all the feelings of life. Because the more you touch all the feelings of life, the more you feel as if they are happening to you. For me, it’s a way to bring you closer to the character.

Well, I will write about love, but I will write, for example, about fear. You know, in this novel, I’m going to write about uncertainty. I will write about the confusion. I will write about happiness, right? Just laugh. And you’re trying to cover it all up. And I think by introducing the entire human experience, the characters feel more real. So the story stays in the memory longer once the last page is folded.

Glenn: A lot of your books have been made into movies and TV series. Do you see this as one?

sparks: yes I do. Universal bought this book, among other things.

Glenn: Well, you had one, Safe Haven. You are the performing producer. I was going to ask you, how much input do you have when you turn to movies and TV?

sparks: I am one of the main voices in the room. Unlike the novel where I’m the boss. But in the movie, you’re dealing with the studio director in charge of production. You have a director who has a specific vision. Sometimes staff members have important input. For example, in “Message in a Bottle” when I work with Kevin Costner, Kevin Costner has an opinion and it’s important to listen because he’s Kevin Costner, right? “

Message in a Bottle | Nicholas Sparks “Fight in the Rain” | Warner Bros. Entertainment

sparks: I have 11 different movies, so that could be on Amazon and Netflix. They could be anywhere. They are often on network TV.

Glenn: When you think of stories, do you think in terms of this has to work in North Carolina because there are a lot of different plots or things, but it might not necessarily work in North Carolina?

sparks: So yeah, you pick and choose some things like that. But I tend to choose stories that I can write in North Carolina. I’ve lived there for a long time and I’m just a small town guy. I think from my novels I’m trying to tell you a little bit about the magic I find in small town life – the geography, the slowness of speed, the opportunity to be able to calm one’s soul for a while, and thus allow yourself to open up to new experiences, perhaps.

Author and screenwriter Nicholas Sparks new book is “Dreamland”. He will be in Charlotte on Monday for a book signing at 4 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble Arboretum.

Leave a Comment