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USA Today just did an interview on Nicholas Sparks. You know, Nicholas Sparks, literary equivalent of a Thomas Kinkade painting? Yeah, him. Highlights:
- “I don’t write romance novels.” His preferred terminology: “Love stories — it’s a very different genre. I would be rejected if I submitted any of my novels as romance novels.”
- And though The Last Song is not as squeaky-clean as her [Miley Cyrus] Disney Channel show, the PG-rated movie is still very “chaste” (Sparks’ word). “My own opinion is: dark — easy to write. Easy!” he says. “I find no challenge in it.”
- When Cyrus calls The Last Song melodramatic, Sparks replies: ”I’m going to interrupt you there. There’s a difference between drama and melodrama; evoking genuine emotion, or manipulating emotion. It’s a very fine eye-of-the-needle to thread. And it’s very rare that it works. That’s why I tend to dominate this particular genre. There is this fine line. And I do not verge into melodrama. It’s all drama. I try to generate authentic emotional power.”
- Said as Sparks is perusing the shelve of a bookstore: ”Hemingway. See, they’re recommending The Garden of Eden, and I read that. It was published after he was dead. It’s a weird story about this honeymoon couple, and a third woman gets involved. Uh, it’s not my cup of tea.” Sparks pulls the one beside it off the shelf. “A Farewell to Arms, by Hemingway. Good stuff. That’s what I write,” he says, putting it back. “That’s what I write.”
- Cormac McCarthy? “Horrible,” he says, looking at Blood Meridian. “This is probably the most pulpy, overwrought, melodramatic cowboy vs. Indians story ever written.”
- Sparks’ favorite tale of youth? “I think A Walk to Remember,” he says, citing his own novel. “That’s my version of a coming-of-age.” He pauses and adds: “You have to say To Kill a Mockingbird is an all-time classic.”
- Asked what he likes in his own genre, Sparks replies: “There are no authors in my genre. No one is doing what I do.”
So, he’s self-important, cocky, and kind of insufferable. It’s pretty sad when you and Miley Cyrus do an interview together and you’re the one who comes off as unbearable. And, having read at least one Sparks’ novel in my youth, I have to attest that he’s full of bull. Him dissing Cormac McCarthy and equating himself with Hemingway is hilarious. What kind of things are going on in his mind that he’s turned “millions of teenage girls love my books” into “I’m a pioneer writer on par with Hemingway”? Yeah, DELUSIONAL.
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