"The Best of Me," by Nicholas Sparks

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Nicholas Sparks: I wanted to write a novel with characters in their 40s, when adults strongly begin to confront the "What ifs?" in life, when people really begin to second-guess the choices they'd made in the past. For Amanda, that question takes the form of "What if I'd chosen to stay with the man I loved, rather than marry someone else?" Obviously, to address such an issue, I had to recreate the past as well as explore the present. In that way, it's a bit like "The Notebook."

At the same time, I'd once started (but never finished) a novel in which characters were reunited after years apart at the funeral of an old friend. I chose to reuse that element in this novel, since it seemed to reflect the tone and mood I wished to create.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

NS: Frankly, I was surprised at the difficulty in crafting the appropriate emotional beats. It's a novel in which two people are friends and strangers, in love but not lovers at exactly the same time. Add in the fact that Amanda was married to someone else, and creating scenes that emotional reverberated in a realistic way -- without melodrama or cliche -- were that much more challenging.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

NS: I have no idea. My standard answer is that I'd run a global-macro hedge fund but in all candor, I'd probably stay in the creative arena. Perhaps as a director or producer.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

NS: I'm reading "Einstein His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson.

JG: What's next for you?

NS: In January, I'll start my new novel. I also have a couple of films going into production in 2012 ("Safe Haven" and "The Best of Me"), and I'm also developing a couple of television shows. I've also launched a foundation, and I'll be doing quite a bit over the next year to raise awareness.


Jeff Glor talks to bestselling author Nicholas Sparks about his new novel, "The Best of Me" and the plans to turn it into a major motion picture.
Jeff Glor talks to Nicholas Sparks about his first published novel, "The Notebook" - a New York Times bestseller in its first week of release - and how it made him a writer.

For more on Nicholas Sparks visit his website