The Wall Street Journal
April 25, 2012
By Alexandra Cheney
As his seventh book to film adaptation “The Lucky One” hits theaters, Nicholas Sparks recalls a time before he spent his days writing. The author entered the working world when he was 16 as a dishwasher in Fair Oaks, Calif.
“It was terrifying. I worked after school and as a dishwasher on a school night the restaurant would be closing and the dishes would be piling up. I remember the first night, I was washing until 1:30 in the morning,” said Sparks.
The year was 1982 and Sparks was getting paid $3.35 an hour. But he quickly got over his fear and thought of dish-washing as merely a starting point. Throughout high school Sparks worked his way up from dishwasher to busboy to fountain jerk and then finally to waiter.