Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sparks will fly!

By Melissa Amster

This author blog is about Nicholas Sparks. I was first introduced to him when I saw "Message in a Bottle" over 10 years ago. I thought it was a good movie, but never read the book (due to my thing against reading the book after seeing the movie). Then I read "The Notebook" later that year and was hooked. A few months later, I read "A Walk to Remember" and loved everything about it. I was so disappointed by how the movie changed around the feel of the story. It was written to take place during a simpler time. It didn't work in the 90's and I felt it was only there to glorify Mandy Moore's voice (as beautiful as it is, and as much as I liked "Only Hope").

Later on, I read "A Bend in the Road," "The Rescue," and "Nights in Rodanthe" all within a short time period. As of now, I've read all his books except "Message..." and "Three Weeks with my Brother" (which I own now). As for the latter, I find it cool that he has a brother named Micah since my younger son is named Micah. :) And a girl I met at his book signing told me I'd really like it.

I've met him at two book signings. I forgot to bring a camera to the first one (in Illinois), but still got his autograph in "True Believer." That was in April of 2005. I met him again this past September in Virginia. I got a picture and his autograph in "The Last Song" this time. I also made a new friend during that signing. (The girl who recommended "Three Weeks...", as she was in line behind me and upset that she forgot her camera, so I offered to take a picture with my camera and e-mail it to her. We ended up talking through most of our wait in the long line.)

In addition to "A Walk...," I've seen the other movies made of his books (I loved "The Notebook" and still cry thinking about it) and am excited to see "Dear John" (now out on DVD) and "The Last Song" when I get a chance.

If someone were to ask which of his books is my favorite, I'd definitely have to go with "The Rescue." I also loved "The Last Song" and "A Walk to Remember." All his books have been interesting and captivating and I hope he'll write sequels to some more of them or bring back characters into other books. I eagerly await his next book, whatever and whenever that may be.

I consider his books to be chick lit on some level because they are all romantic and beautifully written, with an element of drama. While most of his main characters are men, I don't know a lot of men who read his books as diligently as women.

Also, my experience at his last signing goes to show that if you attend a book signing for an author, reach out to the other people there. You're all at the signing for the same reason, so why not make a new friend at the event? If you're going to wait in line for hours, it might as well be fun!

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