Guys, The Notebook—and therefore the entire treacly Nicholas Sparks Sob-tainment Industry—very nearly did not happen.

Sparks stopped by Meredith Vieira's talk show and told her he'd almost given up on his literary endeavors, but decided to give it one more shot when he found himself with lots of time on his hands: "Our second son was probably about eight months old, but he still wasn't sleeping through the night, he was waking up three or four times. So my wife was going to bed at 8:30, 9 o'clock because she'd be up all night. So there I was, sitting alone, like, well, I could either watch TV or chase a dream."

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I guess doing some chores around the house to help his exhausted wife didn't occur as an option. How romantic!