I’ve been a Nicholas Sparks fan for as long as I can remember. In case you don’t know who I’m referring to and you live under a rock, he’s the best-selling author who’s books were then turned into amazing films like The Notebook and A Walk To Remember. I have always felt a great connection to his books and have loved and seen all the movies that have come out. I even had a 6 degrees of separation from Nicholas Sparks as in college I directed one of the actors that was in A Walk to Remember in a short film I did called The Woods. My 6 degrees became one degree as I recently had the amazing opportunity to finally meet this amazing writer to chat with him about his latest book to film Safe Haven.
Here is a little about the film and the trailer for you to check out in case you haven’t heard of it:
Safe Haven is an affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
I got to sit next to Mr. Sparks at this interview session and myself and some fellow bloggers had the amazing opportunity to ask him a questions. Here is what he had to say.
Where did the idea for this film come from?
Safe Haven started with the germ of an idea. Years ago, I had written a novel called The Guardian, which had an element of danger in the novel. And it was never adapted into film. The danger came from a stranger. It was almost like a stalker type danger. And I said, well, if I’m gonna do that again, I have to make a difference. So, what’s the opposite of that, right? So, there’s the germ of the idea. What if she’s got this husband who she wants to escape from? And then, the goal is, from that point on, to make it feel as fresh and original as it possibly can because this is an area that has been covered in film. You’ve had Sleeping with the Enemy, you’ve had The Burning Bed, it’s been covered in books, too. I can rattle off some other novels that have this. So, how do you make it feel fresh and original? And so, you start it with mystery and you really fully develop a love story. None of these other novels had, or films had a full love story really at the core of it. So then, you twist it this way, and you say, well, what else can I add to make this just a little bit more mysterious. Have y’all seen the film? Well, y’all know what I’m talking about right? You have to add something else that was a little bit unexpected. We’ll call it a twist. So, it starts with a germ. Okay, I have this. And then, you just keep adding what if questions until, finally, the story fleshes out and it’s mine.
All your stories are set in these really beautiful small towns. How important or why does it play so heavily in your stories?
Well, I write in North Carolina, and if you’re anywhere near the coast, they’re all small towns. It’s a very strange state in that the big cities are farther from the beach. I don’t know why that is. But, in California, LA, San Francisco, they’re right there on the water. But, the closer you get to the ocean, the smaller the towns get. Southport’s only 1,000 people. You’re like, wow, it’s so beautiful. You could see yourself imagining it.
How often do you read?
Nicholas Sparks: I read a book once a day.
Do you ever reread them, ever?
Nicholas Sparks: Yes, if they’re good, yes, yes.
It was an amazing experience to chat with him about this film and an honor to meet someone you’ve looked up to for some time.
Safe Haven opens in theaters everywhere February 14th Valentine’s Day! It’s a great Date Night movie, but then again what Nicholas Sparks movie isn’t?