Why do you call it a “follow-up,” instead of a sequel, to The Notebook?
Technically, it isn’t a sequel. A sequel would have followed the lives of Noah and Allie after the conclusion of The Notebook. Instead, I wrote about the next generation.
Are you more like Wilson or Noah?
Oh, I guess I’d have to say Noah. But you should probably ask my wife that question.
Where did you get the idea of centering the novel on the planning of a wedding?
I love weddings, and I thought it would be a way to make the novel seem more universally romantic. Usually, when I make decisions about particular elements or events in a novel, it’s for those same reasons. In addition, when I was originally thinking through the novel, I spent a lot of time focusing on exactly what Wilson could do for Jane as an anniversary gift. It had to be dramatic, it had to be surprising, but it couldn’t be something crazy. For instance, I couldn’t have him quit his job and move her to the bed & breakfast she always wanted, simply because it seemed to unrealistic. Almost all women, however, like to be romanced and courted.
Will you ever do a follow-up to The Wedding?
Maybe. I’m toying with the idea of using Anna and Keith again and even have some ideas for a possible story. But I can’t say when I’ll actually sit down to write it.
Why did you include the swan in the story? And what are your thoughts about it?
For starters, Noah needed to have his own story because I didn’t want his presence in the novel to feel forced. Yet, if that was my intent, I wanted Noah’s story to model the story in The Notebook, i.e., Allie had to find a way to come back to him again. I chose a swan because of a scene I’d written in The Notebook, in the chapter entitled, “Swans and Storms.” As to what I was thinking, I suppose Wilson’s thoughts were my own. No, it didn’t make sense, but Noah needed to believe it, so Wilson was willing to go along with Noah. In a way, it’s a metaphor for faith. Did I think it was Allie? I think that’s for every reader to decide for himself (or herself, as the case may be.) Giving my thoughts would sort of ruin it.
In what ways are you like Wilson?
I love my wife, and take my work seriously.
Have you ever forgotten your anniversary?
No. Thank goodness.
Will The Wedding be adapted into film?
So far, no, though I haven’t offered the novel to Hollywood as of yet. In the future, I may, and we’ll see what happens.
How can they make a movie out of The Wedding since Noah and Allie died in the film version of The Notebook?
Movie magic, of course, if the producers choose to go that route. Either (a) Noah miraculously recovers—in which case, the opening scene would be one in which Noah is rushed, via ambulance to the hospital, (b) Noah is more of an imaginary character that resides in Wilson’s mind (and they could use “memories” of conversations gone by identical to those in the book), (c) The Wedding takes place earlier in time—in other words, before the film version of The Notebook (which would require a new story for Noah that’s different from the one in The Wedding, or (d) delete Noah’s character entirely. All of those options, while not strictly in line with The Wedding, are typical of the way Hollywood would choose to handle the problem. If asked, my own choice would be for option (a).
Is Noah’s house real?
Sort of. Noah’s house was inspired by a house in Pollocksville, North Carolina, though I set the house in New Bern. I incorporated other changes, however, including the addition of the formal rose garden.
What was it like revisiting Noah as a character?
In the beginning, I was nervous about it because Noah remained so vivid in the minds of those readers that loved The Notebook. I didn’t want to write anything that seemed out of character, yet I wanted to add to his character in such a way as to make him even more likeable. In the end, I gave him more of a sense of humor than he’d showed in The Notebook.