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Nicholas Sparks visits Ohio State, offers insight on the inspiration behind his novels

Courtesy of MCT

In tune with Valentine’s Day approaching, romance novelist Nicholas Sparks visited Ohio State to discuss his works.

More than 800 people came out Monday night to listen to Sparks speak at the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union. The bestselling author gave fans a glimpse into his writing process and explained where his inspiration comes from.

Sparks told the crowd that many of his novels, including his first published novel, “The Notebook,” were based on his family’s own stories.

“I remember thinking, I’ve got this one story, it’s really sweet but I don’t know if anybody’s going to like it,” Sparks said. “And that novel eventually became ‘The Notebook.'”

Some students were surprised to find out how much truth there was to the stories.

“I personally don’t know how someone could write about every single personal, detrimental experience they’ve ever had,” said Alexandra Flores, a second-year in communication. “I really commend him for that and thought that was amazing.”

Heidi Liou, a second-year in fashion and retail studies, said she was inspired and motivated by Sparks’ speech.

“I think that he’s a really great speaker and it brought some tears to my eyes when I found out that all his stories are true stories,” Liou said. “He’s gone through a lot of things but he still maintains a positive outlook on life, so I really appreciate that.”

After his hour-long speech, Sparks opened up the floor for questions from attendees. One student asked Sparks about the famous Hollywood heartthrobs that have appeared in the films based on his books.

“I often like to think that I look really good next to people that shop at Wal-Mart or something,” Sparks said, “but I don’t look good sitting next to Josh Duhamel or Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling.”

Sparks is traveling around the United States promoting the movie based on his book, “Safe Haven,” which is slated to release nationwide Thursday.
 

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