Nicholas Sparks Biography
Nicholas Charles Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on December 31, 1965, the second son
of Patrick Michael (1942-1996) and Jill Emma Marie (Thoene) Sparks (1942-1989). His siblings
are Michael Earl Sparks (b. Dec. 1964), and Danielle Sparks (December 1966 - June 2000). As a
child, he lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair
Oaks, California, at the age of eight. His father was a professor, his mother a homemaker, then
an optometrists assistant. He lived in Fair Oaks through high school, graduated valedictorian in
1984, and received a full track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.
After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a
record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer,
he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and
graduated with high honors in 1988.
He and his wife Catherine, who met on spring break in l988, were married in July 1989. While
living in Sacramento, he wrote a second novel that same year, though that novel wasnt
published, either. He worked a variety of jobs over the next three years, including real estate
appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone, and starting his own small
manufacturing business which struggled from the beginning. In l990, he collaborated on a book
with Billy Mills, the Olympic Gold Medalist, and it was published by Feather Publishing before
later being picked up by Random House. (It was recently re-issued by Hay House Books.)
Though it received scant publicity, sales topped 50,000 copies in the first year of release.
He began selling pharmaceuticals and moved from Sacramento, California to North Carolina in
l992. In l994, at the age of 28, he wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October
1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October 1996, and
he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue
(2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The
Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005), At First Sight (a sequel to True Believer) (2005), Dear
John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008) and a non-fiction memoir, Three Weeks
With My Brother (2004), written with his brother, Micah. All of his books were published with
Warner Books / Grand Central Publishing. All were domestic and international best sellers, and
his work has been translated into more than 35 languages. The Last Song was released in September 2009.
The flim version of Message in a Bottle was released in 1999, A Walk to Remember was released
in January 2002, The Notebook, a New Line feature film, was released in June, 2004, and Nights
in Rodanthe, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, was released in September 2008. Two new
films are in the works: Dear John, starring Channing Tatum, and The Last Song, starring Miley
Cyrus. Both have tentative release dates of early 2010. Warner Brothers snapped up the rights
to The Lucky One, with plans to begin filming in late 2009.
Nicholas ancestry is German, Czech, English and Irish; hes 510 and weighs 185 lbs. He is an
avid athlete who exercises daily. He attends church regularly and reads approximately 125
books a year. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor
to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides
scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The
Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina, and he spent five years coaching track and field
athletes at the local public high school.
Nicholas lives in North Carolina with his wife and family.
This biography was last updated on 05/05/2010.
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