Nicholas Sparks: That comes from the genre. It was very evident in the film Nights in Rodanthe because I never spoke to George (Wolfe, director). George understands it on-screen the same way I understand it about novels. It comes down to atmosphere. Atmosphere can either enhance or detract. Most people ignore it. It's kind of one of those things when you craft a scene the setting makes a difference. If it's a crowded place versus a quiet place, there's a difference. If it's dusk versus late evening versus dawn, it's different. As I'm working through a novel I have an idea of which one I think is best for where I'm in in the novel. Then you get George and he comes in and captures that in the same way in a filming way. It's an amplifying affect. You're much better to tap into the emotions you're trying to convey. That's what I write. These are love stories. These are dramatic fiction. You have to genuinely evoke emotion. You can't manipulate it. I am not allowed to write the words 'I love you.' By the time I write it, the reader's first response should be, 'duh! It took you long enough! You were in love with her eight pages ago. Now, you're blubbering like a fool.' But, if you read other love stories, they're like, 'I love you.' 'No, I love you.' Because they don't know how to evoke that genuine emotion, so atmosphere plays into that. Atmosphere is all important.
SheKnows: That's one of the final things I wanted to touch on, female readers just adore your books. One thing I've heard from women is men don't get how to write for women or craft female characters that are true. Yet, you do. What is your background that allows you to capture that essence?
Nicholas Sparks: I have a great mom, married a great woman, have a great female agent, and a great female editor. Anything I write, if it gets by my female agent and editor, it's OK. But really, I craft women the way I like women. Which is the way I think most women see themselves. When push comes to shove, in this movie, she says, 'Your son, you have to go to him.' She wants him there with her! That is the beauty of these things. I think most women think that I would make that choice. It's a very hard choice. But it's the one that says, if I'm honest, kids are most important. Family is most important and that's life. You got to live it.
Be sure to visit SheKnows Thursday for our interview with Richard Gere and Diane Lane and Friday for our review of Nights in Rodanthe.
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