“The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” and “The Choice”: These are just a few of the love stories Nicholas Sparks has created. Sparks’ new novel, “Every Breath” returns to his roots and channels the classic love story that he has become so well-known for.
Sparks will be at Greenville’s Fiction Addiction on Oct. 19 to promote and sign copies of his first book in almost two years. The author says he took a year off from writing to travel and reconnect with his passion as an author.
“Every Breath” tells the story of two very different individuals who have a chance encounter that changes their lives. The story centers on a place that Sparks encountered in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, called “Kindred Spirit,” that served as a huge inspiration for the novel. Kindred Spirit is a lone mailbox on the uninhabited Bird Island that is filled with notes, journals, and letters from the strangers who pass by. “Making a trip to Kindred Spirit would really be worth it,” Sparks explains. “It’s not especially convenient to get to, and there’s nothing out there. It makes me wonder who thought of it and why. How many people have visited? How many stories have been told here? All of those elements appeal to me both as a person and as an author.”
While the mailbox serves as inspiration, Sunset Beach serves as the backdrop for the chance love story between characters Hope Anderson and Tru Walls, both at a crossroads in their lives.
Sparks says he is excited for this novel because it brings him back to his roots.
“The original idea was that I wanted a return to form, a novel vaguely similar in structure to some of my earlier work (such as) ‘The Notebook’ or ‘Nights in Rodanthe,’” he says. “It’s a two-part story: What happens if you fall in love and then something happens — what is the outcome of that?”
In the story, Hope Anderson has dated a man for six years with no marriage on the horizon. Her father has recently been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, so she decides to take a week of vacation to her family’s cottage at Sunset Beach. Tru Walls is summoned to Sunset Beach by a man claiming to be his biological father. As a safari guide born and raised in Zimbabwe, Walls is new to America and definitely does not expect to connect with Anderson.
Sparks explains that some of Walls’ character was inspired by his travels to Zimbabwe. “The character of Tru was reminiscent of the people that I met in Zimbabwe, and my readership is more international now. I want to appeal to them while retaining my North Carolina roots. Those ideas kind of mash together in the character of Tru Walls.”
Sparks will sign copies of ‘Every Breath’ for fans of his 20-year career.
“I’m excited about the novel in general and I’m hopeful that people will love it and there is something for everyone,” Sparks says. “I’m hopeful that in the reading of this novel that they understand why I love the Carolinas so much.”
If you go
- What: Nicholas Sparks book discussion and reading
- When: 5 p.m. Oct 19
- Where: Fiction Addiction, 1175 Woods Crossing Road No. 5
- Tickets: $28-35
- Info: www.fiction-addiction.com