Thursday, March 11, 2010
The great thing about writing on your own website is you get to choose what you write each day. I write about things that catch my eye pertaining to film, books, music, and underground Americana. Some days I see something out there that really fires me up. Today was one of those. Afterall, since when did Nicholas Sparks become James Patterson?
Nicholas Sparks, is a best selling author of over 61 million books, with the #1 & #2,current best sellers on USA Today's best seller list. I met Mr. Sparks several years ago in St. Louis after "The Notebook" had came out and I found him to be a gracious man who was kind & patient with everyone in attendance that evening. His books have found a receptive audience in Hollywood as well. Films based on his books include, "A Walk to Remember", "Message in A Bottle", "The Notebook"," Nights in Rodanthe", "Dear John" and soon to be released "Last Song", featuring Miley Cyrus.
Up until today, I'd never wished him any ill will. He doesn't really write my kinda books, but I know alot of friends and family members who've enjoyed his books (mostly women & kids) over the years.
However, that all changed today after reading a story in the USA Today. The story was ok up until the point where Sparks is looking at the shelves at Book Soup in L.A., and pulls Hemingway's "A Farewell To Arms" off the shelf and says, "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." ... SAY WHAT, BLASPHEMY !!!! Then it got even worse...when Miley Cyrus says her favorite book is, "Catcher in the Rye", J.D. Salinger's classic. Then Sparks is asked his favorite tale of youth? He responds, " I think "A WALK TO REMEMBER", 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. Then he was asked of any he thinks are overrated? "I don't like to say bad things about others". "Except McCarthy? "He deserves it" Sparks says with a laugh. Then when he was asked what he likes in his own genre, he replies: "There are no authors in my genre". "No one is doing what I do". When others (James Patterson ?) are suggested to him, he keeps his lips pursed.
Well it was nice knowing you Mr. Sparks, because I certainly won't be reading you any longer. When it comes to critqueing books, maybe you ought to stick to what you know, (those love stories or romance novels) as some would call them. After all, you don't need people like me when you are already your own favorite writer quite obviously. To be egotistical is one thing, but to put down one of the finest writers of our time in Cormac McCarthy, is heresey. I think you and James Patterson would enjoy each others company afterall.
Posted by Rod Norman at 4:04 PM