Buffalo News: Nicholas Sparks brings the war home in 'Lucky One'

April 17th, 2012

Buffalo News
By Melinda Miller
April 17, 2012

Hopping from city to city on a media tour, attending “sneak peaks” of a major motion picture, making appearances at press junkets, doing videos with movie stars: “It’s pretty typical,” says author Nicholas Sparks of this part of his life.

But then he laughs. He knows that what has become the norm for him is not a typical life for most writers, even others with his kind of mega-best-selling numbers. Few are so comfortable moving between the worlds of fiction and film; even fewer have been so successful at it.

“You could say I’ve been ‘the lucky one,’ ” Sparks adds, gently getting in what he was on the phone to talk about. “The Lucky One,” starring Zac Efron as a young Marine having trouble adjusting to civilian life, opens in theaters Friday. It is the seventh Sparks novel to be made into a film, joining “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle” and “A Walk to Remember,” among others, with two more in the pipeline — and it is a movie his fans will consider one of his best.

“The Lucky One,” set during and after the combat mission in Iraq, is one of his most timely novels, and, Sparks says, it was one of the hardest to write.

“I wanted to make sure it was as accurate as possible, because it is about the Marines,” he said. His hero, Logan, has survived three rough tours in Iraq, and seen more than his share of casualties. And Sparks didn’t want to fudge it. “I wanted these tragedies to have happened [in the real war], for him to regard the photo [a picture of a woman that he finds in the rubble] his lucky charm, and, obviously, I needed three hot zone deployments, in which there was … sadly, tragically … there was real loss of life.”

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