For first time in his career, Nicholas Sparks simultaneously publishes in both Spanish and in English. The Longest Ride is the newest addition to the library by this phenomenal writer. To this date, his books have sold over 85 million copies. From The Notebook to The Last Song, to his latest, The Longest Ride, his rich storytelling leaves readers wondering: How does he continue to write so many novels, each seemingly better than the last? This is the story of two very different couples, Ira and Ruth on one side and Sophia and Luke. Both stories would connect through some sort of serendipitous event that would make reading the book pure enjoyment from beginning to end. From Los Angeles we bring to you this exclusive interview as we introduce the author that choose to print his novel in both English and Spanish, for the first time.
Q: I would like to ask you why you decide to release the book at the same time in Spanish and in English?
A: Is something that we wanted to do early on in my career opening simultaneously in Spanish and English, but my books were coming in so late to the American publisher that there was no time to be translated at the same time that were published in English. This one I finish it last year and I have a great publisher that suggested to do it in both languages at the same time.
Q: Do you like to know who is your translator, are you on top of that part of the process of publishing?
A: Yes. I do know. I have meet many of my translators and I do think that really helps if you lead your translator because if you spend time with your translator and you speak with them they kind of give a better sense of your voice and how influence in the writing. Great translation is hard to do, because when you are not giving just the idea but capturing the idea in the same literary style and that is very challenging to do. My Spanish translation is very, very good.
Q: Your new book has a western flavor...
A: I had an idea and I knew what the story was going to be. I knew I wanted it to happen in a ranch because it felt the right thing. The story of Luck and Sofia was different of Ira and Ruth I wanted it to be very different, I wanted to feel different in practically every way and to do that ranching is a big industry here in North Carolina and I have never written about it.
Q: Did you research going to a farm, how did you prepare for the book?
A: It was a lot of research for this book, from American modern art, professional bullring, ranching, WWII, black mountain college, more research went in this particular book than in any of them. Usually I read books on these topics, probably I read 15 books prior to beginning to write and then of course I did a lot of research on the internet, drove a lot around the areas where the story takes place and I have a brother in law who is a rancher so I got a lot of information from him as well.
Q: In your books the element of the ghost shows and seem to be a resource for the characters to show the emotions.
A: I would say that in every story and in every novel that I try to do I try to evoke genuine emotion as oppose to manipulate the reader in feeling a certain way, I want the reader to feel real emotion even before the characters in the novel feel the emotions and that’s really what I tried to do in a variety of different means, sometimes is with the use of a letter, maybe with the reflex ion of a certain event, so the key for me is maybe that these characters feel as real as possible by evoking genuine emotions.
Q: Your stories are really enthusiastic. Is that energy something that come from you?
A: Is a couple of things, first is because those are the kind of books that I like to read. I like to read a book where when you read a chapter you realize you can't stop reading that is to me what makes reading exciting. Those are the kind of books that I like to read and the kind of books that I like to write. The other part is that I grew up watching a lot of television and they do the same thing in television something exciting always happens so you want to be back after the commercial break, that is good story telling.
Q: Talking about the structure. You knew from the begging who is going to be structured.
A: In theory I know how is going to be structured I knew there were going to be 2 stories and were going to be intersected and the rest of the story would unwind in the final act. The question was who to make them intersect so what I made was I wrote the story of Ruth first all the way from start to finish until the story intersected and then I went to the story of Luke and Sophia and then the final stage. And I did that because I want to make continuity in the voice of the characters.
Q: Do you like to create characters that are like a fish out of the water?
A: Yes of course. Ruth is an emigrant, her parents came from a different country but is also something that everyone experience in life whether they are emigrants or not. Life is about experiences and I like to include this elements in the stories because that makes the story memorable or like when Sophia goes to a rodeo for the first time, she is horrified, she is never been to one before.
Q: Do you have an offer to make a movie from this book? Do you think about that when you are writing?
A: No. But I do think about it when I’m coming up with the story before writing, because I always thought that a story would be good if is a novel and a movie. Some times it takes for me one month, two or three months to think on the story but then once I have the story in my head and I start writing I only think about the novel.
Q: Are you already writing your next novel or you have time to rest do the promotion and not writing?
A: Wouldn’t that be nice. Of course I’m writing my next novel and hopefully will be three quarters done by January or maybe completed depending on how much time I have to write.
Q: How do you feel when you are not writing?
A: Relax. Writing is challenging for me the creative process is something that even I don’t understand well and I tried to keep writing and make it fresh and new but I find it very challenging. When I’m not writing I tend to be more relax. At the same time there are a lot of different elements of my work in Broadway, the Foundation that I work with, is a dense and wonderful life.
Q: As an artist, how you can diversify so much in so many fields?
A: I work with very good people and I delegate very well. I have some one in charge of my publicity team, some one in my foundation, in my TV production company, every one is very good and I don’t have to do everything. I delegate well.
Q: Do you write better in the morning, in the night or doesn’t matter?
A: Usually most of my writing is between 9.30 am until about 3.30 in the afternoon. I can write at any time I have no problem writing in the evening or writing first thing in the morning is just that I prefer to write from 9.30 to 3.30 because I like to get up and I like to work out first in the morning and I like to write while my kids are in the school so when they come back I largely am done with my work. I don’t want to write at night because is when my kids are home. Is more a lifestyle preference I suppose but I write everywhere. I wrote the Notebook partially at night. I can do it at any time it just these days with the kids at a certain age from 9.30 to 3.30 is a good time to write. The house is quite, the kids are in the school, I can work stricter.
Q: In the new world of publishing what do you think about the digital books?
A: I do have an iPad where I read books on it, I have 3 of them actually and of course I like books. I prefer the feel of a book. I have a library in my house and I love to sit in my library and look at the books that I read. I like book stores, I like to browse at the same time, but for traveling is very heavy to carry a bunch of books so I also use the electronic versions and they are very convenient.
Q: Do you speak any Spanish?
A: I speak High School twenty years of Spanish. If I’m in Mexico, Spain or South America in about ten days I can talk about well as a five-year old. That’s about it. I can hold a map and ask for directions, order food that’s OK but I can’t discuss philosophy or things like that. My kids speak Spanish as my wife found a school where all the kids emerge in Spanish starting in kindergarten. My children speak much better Spanish than I do.
(c) America Reads Spanish