NEW BERN, NC (WECT) - When it comes to authors of romantic novels, there is one man that many say is second to none -- Nicholas Sparks. He is one of New Bern's most famous citizens. Plans are well underway for Sparks and his family to help several charities of the area, thru several events designed for the whole community.
Wilmington and New Bern have a lot of things in common. They both have a rich historical background and each have a riverfront. But New Bern is smaller than Wilmington when it comes to population, and that small town charm is what drew Sparks and his wife, Catherine, to make their home in Craven County.
"There are big city people and there are small town people," said Nicholas Sparks. "I guess I am just a small town guy. Both of us just really like this town."
Sparks said he and his family like this region of the country and "love the people in the community."
"That is why we chose to make New Bern our home, in fact most of my children were born here," said Sparks.
Sparks, however, does not get to spend a lot of time at his riverfront home because much of his time is spent on the road on book promotion tours and at locations where his books have been turned into movies.
But for the weekend of April 20 -22, Sparks will be in New Bern all weekend long, hosting the first Nicholas Sparks Celebrity Family Weekend.
"My wife and I founded a school here, but of course, we have supported a lot of other things in this town," Sparks said. "It is a way to get everyone together, to bring in some celebrities, to let everyone see where we live and to get a lot of different events so it allows people to do different things, or one thing and nothing else, and try to keep it affordable so everyone can enjoy it, and of course, it is all for very good causes."
Over a half dozen of his books have been developed into movies, including The Notebook, Dear John, and Message in a Bottle. Friday, April 20, Sparks' latest novel, The Lucky One, will hit the Silver Screen.
Sparks is already working hard on his next book turned motion picture. Production of Safe Haven is slated to begin Southport May 18.
"And I will be down in that part of the state quite a bit for that movie, plus at the end of the year, another book The Best of Me will start movie production, but I don't know where that one is going to film," said Sparks.
Despite a very active schedule, Sparks said he still finds time to write at home along the Trent River and he's a third of the way through his newest book that he hopes to have finished this summer.
If you would like more information about the Nicholas Sparks Family Fun Weekend, you'll find details at www.sparksevent.com.
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