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Nicholas Sparks on his connection with North Carolina's setting for 'The Choice'

Note: The latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, "The Choice," opens Feb. 5 The Lionsgate film is a romantic drama about a medical student and a womanizer who fall in love, with complicated consequences.

FULL COVERAGE: 2016 movies guide

We asked Sparks to pick out some photos from the film's North Carolina location and explain his deep connection with the state.

When I first moved to North Carolina in 1992, I was immediately struck by how varied and vast the landscape was. North Carolina is a rare state that has gentle mountains, expansive farmland, slow-moving rivers and an incredible coastline.

Practically every city has its own identity, idiosyncrasies and charms, but the beauty of the state as a whole is unparalleled, and I knew when I started writing "The Notebook" that North Carolina (where I then lived) would be the setting. Since then, every book I've written has been set in North Carolina.

Setting is a major aspect of my work, both in terms of natural and cultural environments and atmosphere. I love the community, the pace of life, the languid summers and the beautiful small towns that offer memorable backdrops to my stories.

One of the people who understands this more than anyone is [production designer] Mark Garner. Mark first worked on [the movie version of] "The Notebook" years ago and has worked on many of my films since then, so when I produced "The Choice," I knew that he would be my first call.

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For the Record, 2:10 p.m. Friday: In an earlier version of this post, Nicholas Sparks misidentified production designer Mark Garner as a set designer.

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He understands what it takes to bring my vision of North Carolina to life, and he did so perfectly in "The Choice."

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 10, 2016, in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "State of author's affection - Nicholas Sparks of `The Choice' tells why he always returns to North Carolina for his settings - THE WRITERS" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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