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Nicholas Sparks & Safe Haven *Giveaway*

Posted Jan 29 2013 12:00am

In August I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful state of North Carolina, specifically Southport to visit the set of the newest Nicholas Sparks movie, Safe Haven.  It’s in theaters on February 14, 2013 and I’m so excited!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the trailer, view it now…

While we were in Southport, we started our day on the set (awesome!) and Mr. Sparks gave us a tour of the house, store (which had already been burnt in the fire), restaurant where Kate works.  We were able to meet the actors, Josh Duhamel, Julianna Hough and David Lyons.  While on set, it was interesting to see David Lyons get into character.  (I don’t want to revel too much!)

We also shared hushpuppies with Mr. Sparks while he answered our questions.

Do you think that you will ever change your location somewhere outside of North Carolina?

Mr. Nicholas SparksNo, I don’t.  You know, it’s a really interesting area to write about for a number of reasons.  Number one, it’s not that I believe that it can only happen here.  That’s not the point.  I try to make each story universal enough that people love them.  The reason I write about this place is that not too many people write about eastern North Carolina and eastern North Carolina is very different because it’s all small towns. It is a different way of life here than it is in other places, all small towns.  And when you’re in a small town–the town I live in has a population of 30,000.  So, you know, you’ve got everything there that you need.  But, if you move there, the first question they’ll ask you is, “Well, what church do you go to?”  And they’re not saying that because they’re going to pass judgment.  It tends to be very open. They just want to know who you’re going to meet first, see, because if you’re going to be the Presbyterian, oh, and you’re this age, well, you’re going to go meet the Stallings first and the Rankins and they’re really nice.  Oh, Baptist, okay, well, you’re going to meet the Crows–he’s a judge–and then Dr. Barton over here.  It’s just a way of lumping people who most likely they’re going to meet with first in their circle of friends.

 Your books bring out a wide range of emotions.  Do you go through the same emotions as you write? 

Mr. Nicholas SparksNo. Writing is incredibly taxing.  I find it incredibly hard and challenging.  But, no, I don’t get caught up in the emotion because it’s so slow compared to reading.  I mean, you’re writing a sentence and then you’re evaluating it.  I sit back, tweak this and that.  It’s a very slow process.  To put that into perspective, I always like to do math because math to me is a great way to understand what is it like to write a novel.  Okay?  So, we’ll do the math.  When I sit down to write, I write 2,000 words.  Okay?  That usually takes me five hours.  So, do the division, 400 words per hour that I’m keeping, right?  I type 40–let’s say I only type 40–I type about 60, but let’s say I type 40 words a minute.  Okay?  So, I’m typing for 10 minutes and then sitting there like this for 50 or tweaking for 50 minutes what I just wrote for 10.  That’s the speed you go.  And at that speed, it’s 75 days to write a novel out of how many days, 120, 180, 150, 180.  It just depends.  Am I promoting films?  Am I touring overseas?  How much time?  So, it’s 75 days out of 180, and that gives me 150,000 words of which I keep 100 in the end.  And that’s how long it takes.  But, really, it’s so slow.  So, you’re not–you know, it doesn’t just flow, you know?  I mean, these letters that I write that break your heart that are two pages long–.

Mr. Nicholas Sparks–Two and a half days, eight to 10 hours to write, you’re like, “Hmm, is that too much, or how do I do this?”  It’s more like–you know, it’s finding your way in a darkened room with your hands.  And then finally you get there, and the switch is on the other side, and you look back and say, “Perfect.  Got it.”

What was your favorite part that they’ve shot so far?  Any specific favorite scene you enjoyed seeing come to life?

Mr. Nicholas SparksBoy, that is a great question.  There’s a few of them.  What you really look for is a level of performance that really shows the depth and complexity of a character.  As boring as that sounds, it is the key thing that you really want to do whenever you create one of these films because what you’re trying to do is to achieve audience engagement.  And so, these characters have to feel very real.  You have to sympathize with them.  So, there was a great scene with Alex in the canoe.  He and Katie are getting to know each other.  He’s taking her out on a date.  It’s kind of their first date, and he’s getting to know her.  And he says, “This is my favorite place.  You know, I used to love coming to” –and she says something like, “You used to bring your wife here, right?”  And there’s just a quiet moment there.  And then he starts talking you’re trying to get him to come across that he loved his wife very much.  He’s really sad that she died.  And it was awful, and it was terrible.  But, you know what?  He’s kind of mad that she’s dead, you know, ’cause he’s got two kids.  He doesn’t know how to be mom and dad.  He’s got to run the store.  “I’ve got to get them to the school.  You know, I have no life.  I get that.”

And he feels guilty about feeling this–.

Mr. Nicholas Sparks–Instead of just playing–and that’s a very real genuine emotion that a guy in this position would be going through or anybody really, you know, because you’re mad.  Then you feel guilty about it.  But, you still love them, and you miss them.  And you wish that–anyway, okay.  Now, capture all of that in 15 seconds.  Just with three of four lines of dialogue.  That is one of the scenes with Josh I liked.

There’s a great scene with Julianne, a really, really fabulous scene.  When she’s with the evil husband and who brings her a beautiful gift.  And again, you know, you’ve got so many threads in these stories, and you have very limited time.  He presents her with this beautiful necklace,  “Oh, thank you, honey.  This is great. Let me put it on.”  And she turns around.  And all of the expression just dies from her face.  And you don’t know why.  He hasn’t done anything.  He seems like a nice guy.  He’s really good looking.  And what is going on with this?  And it’s just a flashback.  And you end there.  And you’re like, “Whoa, whoa, wait, wait, whoa.  Oh, here’s the next piece of that at dinner,” right?  That’s really what you’re trying to do is to get this really strong growth from her character.  When I’m looking at it from a producer standpoint or from the guy who created the novel, that’s really what you’re looking for.  You have to know going in that these are very different mediums.  A novel is a story told in words.  A film is a story told in pictures.  You’re trying to get these pictures to fill in all that introspection that I could do and you don’t have a lot of time.  You really need these quality performances that make you say, “I know who that person is.  I relate to them.  And I’m going to root for them by the end of the film.”

That’s where I’m going to leave it this week….I’ll bring some more next week!  Until then, enter to win a copy of Safe Haven (paperback movie tie-in edition) as well as $25 Fandango dollars so you can watch Safe Haven on February 14th!

To enter, please let me know if you’ve read Safe Haven and/or why you’re excited to see the movie.  {This is a mandatory entry, if you do not complete this step, you will be ineligible to win!}

Extra entries available:

This giveaway will end on February 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST and is open to readers in the US.

Thanks for entering and good luck!!

*All travel and accommodations were provided at no cost.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author.  Additionally, Relativity Media is providing the prize for the giveaway.*

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