Kerry Clare and Nicholas Sparks on the event talking about “Dreamland” (Screenshot by Paola Anguiano)
If you are looking to pick up a romantic novel to dive into this winter break or to give as a holiday gift, Nicholas Sparks's new novel “Dreamland” might be a great choice for you.
On Oct. 25, Toronto Public Library hosted an online event with Kerry Clare, a novelist, and author of “Waiting for a Star to Fall,” and Sparks, where he presented his new novel and answered questions from his audience.
Sparks is a “New York Times” bestselling author from North Carolina who has written 24 books, including his most famous novel, “The Notebook.”
About 150 people attended the event worldwide, including Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Italy, and the United States. The audience was thrilled and actively involved in the chat, asking questions about the new novel, the author, and about possible future novels from Sparks.
"I love Nicholas Sparks books; I think I’ve read them all," said Ida Cienik, a reader from Etobicoke, Ontario, who attended the event.
"Dreamland” cover (photo obtained
from the Nicholas Sparks site)
Clare said she had never read a Sparks novel until “Dreamland,” which was published on Sept. 20, 2022, and she was delighted. "What an amazing start!" said Clare. She also called it a "remarkable novel."
“Dreamland” is the story of a young couple who share the same passion: music. The main characters, Colby and Morgan, fall in love and learn that “we don’t always get to choose our paths in life; sometimes they choose us,” as wrote Sparks in his novel.
At a previous event, Sparks was asked about his novel, and he answered that it was a Nicholas Sparks novel. "What does that mean?" asked Clare.
“When I think about my novels, certainly there would be a romantic story in there somehow, it could be many different ways," said Sparks. "My first novel [“The Notebook”] was an everlasting love, or it could be about first love, or it could be about love after loss, or love and danger; there’s gonna be some sort of a love story in there, there’s probably going to be a North Carolina element in there somewhere, somehow, and I guess the final piece of the puzzle, and it’s not something that a lot of people say, is that there will be a bit of a surprise in the novel.”
Clare asked what is different in “Dreamland” from the other novels, and Sparks answered, "The majority of the story takes place in Florida, not North Carolina."
“This is my second novel that really deals with a music element,” said Sparks. “And the music is used as a metaphor for falling in love.”
"This was a story in which the two characters shared a single passion, and I don’t often write stories like this," said Sparks.
Sparks also said that the characters bring out the best in each other. “Not only did they share
this passion, but they seemed to make each other better," said Sparks.
The audience asking questions to Nicholas
Sparks (Screenshot by Paola Anguiano)
“They both have a lot to learn from each other, which is, I think, part of that chemistry," said Clare. "It's really interesting to read about it."
"The interview brought out thoughts that made the author think before he answered," said Wendy Brunelle, a reader from the audience. "He was engaged with the questions."
Clare read a line from the novel: "It’s sort of like I’m making my way through a dark, cluttered attic where my goal is to find the light switch on the far side of the room." And Sparks answered, "That’s how I feel when I write."
"I like to challenge myself and hopefully come up with stories that the readers will say: I’m glad that I read that," said Sparks.
"I love all his novels," said Maria Limas, a reader from Mexico who was at the event. "Reading his stories makes me feel like one day we will find our love story."