by John Tarpley
I'm not sure what Nicholas Sparks, one of the biggest selling fiction authors of our day, plans to talk about in his UCA lecture. He has a new book called "Safe Haven" about a woman "with [a] dark secret" who gets involved in a love triangle that he'll sign after he speaks. But I suspect he'll talk mostly about himself. A scan of his terrifically chatty 5,000-word web autobiography suggests a few possible topics: his pet turtle committed suicide when he was a kid; his third grade teacher wore Nile-green evening dresses; he got a track scholarship to Notre Dame, where he set a school record in the 4-by-800 relay (which still stands); his parents were killed in tragic accidents years apart; he's a Capricorn; the end of "Cheers" inspired him to write "The Notebook"; when Warner Books bought the rights to "The Notebook" for a million dollars, he proposed to his wife again; he has twin daughters and twin sons, including one who was incorrectly diagnosed with autism; in 2001, he started a massive landscaping project at his house — the possibilities are endless!