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Author Nicholas Sparks is the real-life 'lucky one'
With a new novel and a new film, this author lots to feel good about
By John Mark Eberhart
McClatchy Newspapers
Page 16
2008-10-12 12:50 AM
Best-selling authors tend to be busy people. It goes with the turf. Writing books is tough enough, and these days successful authors are expected to be touring celebs, too.

But Nicholas Sparks is really busy, and having a new novel on the shelves, "The Lucky One," is just part of the deal.

Sparks took time out recently to answer a few questions by e-mail.

Question: Your new book deals with what some folks call luck; others might term it "fortune" or even "destiny." Do you believe in such things?

Answer: I don't know if I necessarily believe in fate or destiny, though I'm a big believer in the fact that people have the ability to influence the future in a way that seems coincidental and when that happens, the feeling of fate or destiny is amplified. A basketball player, for instance, could practice a certain shot over and over until perfected and later, when the game is on the line, he might have the chance to make that exact same shot. To him, it might feel like destiny, to others, it might seem like fate, but in reality, it was simply a coincidence that seemed powerful because of how often it had been practiced.

At the same time, couples who ended up falling in love often attribute the first meeting to fate or destiny, while completely ignoring the fact that in all the places he or she had ever been before, their love interest wasn't there. It's actually an interesting facet of human nature.

In the end, when writing "The Lucky One," I wanted to explore the subject of fate or destiny, but in a way that reflected the reality of the world.

Q: I've been seeing lots of previews for the new movie "Nights in Rodanthe," adapted from one of your books. Aside from liking Richard Gere and Diane Lane a great deal, I must say the movie looks like it's going to be visually stunning. Give us your take on how you think it turned out.

A: The movie is gorgeous, with wonderful performances and a fabulous director, and the audiences have adored it. It's the kind of movie Hollywood hasn't made well in a long time, and my first thought when leaving the theater was not only that I wanted to see it again, but that I'd missed films like these. I think the closest approximation would be something like "Casablanca," one of my favorite films of all time.

Q: Tell us more about your coming project with Miley Cyrus. What's her involvement, your involvement, Disney's involvement?

A: In one way, it's like other adaptations made from my novels. Disney purchased the film rights to my 2009 novel, in the same way Warner purchased the rights to "Message in a Bottle" (which hadn't yet been completed, either). The primary difference is that I've been asked to write the screenplay as well, and I agreed to do that. It's a way to keep the project interesting to me, which will help make the novel interesting to readers.

At the same time, Miley Cyrus is slated to star in the film. Overall, it was like one of those "destiny" things. I had plans to write a certain type of novel, Disney called to see if I had anything that might interest Miley, and they were one in the same. It just sort of came together. Essentially, I'm the screenwriter, Miley will star and Disney will develop the film.

Q: Where's home for you? And what's your schedule like these days?

A: I live in New Bern, N.C., and these days I'm exceptionally busy. With a new novel, a new film ... along with five kids and three dogs, my days are fairly long. At the same time, we're building a new house (halfway through construction), I coach the local track team, and my wife and I started a Christian high school (the Epiphany School) that still needs a great deal of attention.

Leave it to say, there's not a lot of downtime, though hopefully, by the spring, things will be a bit calmer.

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