I've been reading Nicholas Sparks' books since I was in my early high school years. I remember when I came across The Notebook. I was perusing through my high school library in search of an actual good book to read. I loved reading back then, but I was notorious for never reading assigned books for class. It probably stems from the fact that I like reading at my own pace, and enjoying it while doing it. So there I was, checking out The Notebook and telling myself I would just get the sparks notes on To Kill A Mockingbird and watch the movie. I would do just fine on the daily quizzes. False.
This first Nicholas Sparks book drew me in. The connection that you build between characters makes you feel like you know these people and are a part of their lives. You're transported to these picturesque small towns, the ones you would love to live in but don't believe actually exist. Soon I was reading as many of his books as I could. During these first few years it wasn't hard to read all of the titles written by him, he was still a new author. New books would always come out in the fall. I began putting whatever book had come out that fall on my Christmas list each year.
This year I started to look around when I saw Mr. Sparks advertising his new book on Facebook. On a whim I decided to look at his website to see if he would be doing a book tour. If you don't know this author, you don't know that he's a lover of North Carolina. All of his books are set somewhere in that state. I bring this up because he doesn't get up to my parts very often. More of an East coaster. To my surprise he had a date scheduled to visit Seattle on his tour! I grabbed tickets immediately.
The event featured a talk between Nicholas and an interviewer, a Q&A, and then a meet and greet with pictures. I haven't been to many of these events before but I learned quite a bit and was very pleased with it. Nicholas offered some great insight to his writing and to those trying to become writers. One thing he mentioned about writing was that you cannot be a great writer without reading a lot. You learn how to write by reading the works of others. He offered to those trying to write similarly to him that in order to do that, they have to read what he has read. He further discussed writing by explaining his own approach to the types of books he writes. You cannot put his books into one category, he explained. They aren't just romance like some people think. There are multiple types of genres going on. What's more important to him is having his readers experience a whole plethora of emotions when reading his books. He wants them to feel happiness, love, sadness, loss. Everything. That way when you've completed a book, you have felt connected and moved by it. As he said: "Every great love ends in tragedy". Even if the relationship is great, we all die at some point. Sounds kind of morbid but when you think about it, it makes sense.