Niagara Gazette — Ever read "The Notebook" or "Message in a Bottle" and wonder how the author comes up with ideas for stories? Or how long it takes for a wildly successful writer to turn his ideas into best sellers?
Nicholas Sparks, the author of these books and 15 more, will answer all of those questions and more when he takes the stage at 5 p.m. tonight in the 440-seat Bear's Den auditorium at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, 310 Fourth St.
"It'll have everything you want to know about an author you enjoy reading," Sparks said by telephone. "We'll talk about how I got started, where the ideas come from and other things. It's real fun with lots of jokes. The audience will laugh and cry, just like with the books."
Before the entertainment, though, Sparks will be in the hotel lobby for a free, public book signing from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
With him on stage, expect to hear about his writing process. Best described as methodical and hectic, he said he manages to average writing about 2,000 words every day despite being involved in two movie productions and maintaining a family life with his wife, Cathy, and their five children.
Working on a novel, he said, must start with an idea. The author needs to come up with a brilliant idea to start the process off with a bang, so the story provides the reader with something to hold on to.
"The idea is paramount," he said. "Whether you're a young author, in my position or have a couple successes and you need to find the next thing, the idea is paramount. You need the kind of idea everyone will want to read. It needs to appeal to a good-sized audience, no matter the genre you choose. You need to remember it's not about what you want to read, but what everyone else wants to read."