Nicholas Sparks to Speak at Southeast March 10

News_SparksCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 24, 2014 – Nicholas Sparks will speak as part of Southeast Missouri State University’s 2013-2014 Speakers Series at 7:30 p.m. March 10 in the Show Me Center.

The title of his presentation is “An Evening with Nicholas Sparks.”

Tickets are required for entry. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at
www.showmecenter.biz and the Show Me Center Box Office. Current Southeast faculty, staff and students can use a valid Redhawks ID to pick up a free ticket in the University Center Room 202, the Center for Student Involvement or the Show Me Center Box Office.

In 1994, rejected from both publishers and law schools, Nicholas Sparks was a job-jumping salesman who wrote in the evenings. In early 1995, and against all odds, his manuscript was discovered in the slush pile. By October, Warner Books famously paid $1 million for an unknown story about a notebook. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now with almost 80 million copies of his books in print, literary sensation Nicholas Sparks is the author of 17 New York Times #1 bestselling books and a cultural phenomenon in his own right.

Born in Omaha, Neb., Sparks graduated as the valedictorian of his California high school 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, 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.

Sparks wrote his second novel in 1989, though again, it was not published. 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 1994, 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 16 novels, including “Message in a Bottle” (1998), “A Walk to Remember” (1999), “Nights in Rodanthe” (2002), “Dear John” (2006) and “The Last Song” (2009), to name a few, all with Warner Books/Grand Central Publishing. All of his books were domestic and international best sellers, with almost 80 million copies sold worldwide, translated into more than 45 languages. His newest book, “The Best of Me,” was released in October 2011.

Coupled with the undeniable success of his many books, the movie adaptations of Sparks’ books have become the most iconic romantic feature films for a whole new generation. Beginning with “Message in a Bottle” in 1999, Sparks’ novels continued to grace the silver screen with adaptations of “A Walk to Remember” (2002), “The Notebook” (2004) and “Nights in Rodanthe” starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane (2008). “Dear John,” starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, and “The Last Song,” Starring Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear, were released in 2010 to great success. Sparks continued to dominate the box office with the release of “The Lucky One” starring Zac Efron in April 2012. His latest blockbuster smash hit, “Safe Haven” starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, was released on Feb. 14, 2013.

At the podium, Sparks takes audiences deeper into the sleepy towns and poignant relationships that ignite the pages of his romantic pageturners. Sparks, in person, displays the traits that make his books so beloved: great storytelling and a unique voice and a charm that connects through the power of words. His relatable talks weave his own personal story of hard work, rejection, anxiety and triumph for inspiring authorsᾰand romanticsᾰeverywhere.

Sparks 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. Along with his wife, he founded the Epiphany School in New Bern, N.C., and he spent five years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. Sparks lives in North Carolina with his wife and family.

Arrangements for the appearance of Sparks were made possible through the Greater Talent Network, Inc., New York, N.Y.