Writer to be at New Bern Target at 8 a.m. Tuesday

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 09:48 AM.

“Sophia and Luke are very real characters. So are Ira and Ruth,” Sparks said. “They have the same hopes and fears and dreams that everyone has.”

While writing “The Longest Ride,” Sparks researched and studied every aspect of artwork, rodeos, bull riding, maintaining a ranch and sorority life.

It took him three months to create the concept before beginning to write it.

“What I wanted to do was write the story where you really appreciated the distinct love story of these two couples,” Sparks said. “Hopefully, the reader will wonder how on Earth these stories are going to intersect and what’s going to happen in the end.”

Sparks wrote most of “The Longest Ride” with western North Carolina in mind, but he includes portions from the eastern part of the state.

“This state has so much variety, from the coast to the mountains to the Piedmont,” Sparks said. “I write about small town life, so I am very happy writing my novels here.”

Sparks sold his story to Fox, and the movie for “The Longest Ride” is expected to be released in early 2015. Sparks is a producer for the movie.

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