“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
You likely already have some idea of where this swoon-worthy line is from. And if you are a fan of heartthrobs and full-on romantic endeavors, you probably know who wrote this. And if you don’t, well — you have the chance to meet author Nicholas Sparks in Carroll County this September.
Sparks, author of the best-seller “The Notebook” and other novels, is returning to Carroll County as part of his national book tour for “The Wish,” on Sept. 29. Tickets are $40, plus processing fees, and can be purchased on Eventbrite or by visiting the library’s website.
It’s the second time the library and the Sykesville-based A Likely Story Bookstore partnered to bring the Sparks to the county. In 2018, Sparks visited Westminster High School to talk about his most recent novel, drawing about 1,600 people to the event.
“We are delighted to be having Nicholas Sparks again,” said Lisa Picker, the director of communications for Carroll County Public Library. “He was just absolutely sensational.”
If you want to catch him this time, be quick. The library system announced the tour at 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Less than two hours later, it had already sold 145 tickets. In 2018, the tickets were sold out in two days.
“I’m sure we’ll sell out by the weekend,” Picker said. “It’ll just be a wonderful event. Everyone is looking forward to being back together.”
While the library plans to have the event in-person, should circumstances change, those who purchase a ticket will still be able to talk with the author in a virtual setting. They will also receive a copy of “The Wish.”
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The exact venue for the event is not finalized yet, but the library system will make an announcement next week, Picker said. They are expecting to host the talk somewhere in Carroll County.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than half of the 900 tickets available had been sold. But once they announce the venue, organizers will make additional tickets available, Picker said.
Even if the event sells out, Picker encourages those interested in attending to sign up for the waitlist. If someone decides they are no longer able to attend the event, those tickets become available.
Debbie Scheller, owner of the A Likely Story Bookstore, said the last event with Sparks was really well-received.
“We worked so well, the publisher was extremely happy with the smoothness of the event, and how everything was so well-organized, that they approached us to have him again this year,” she said.
Sparks’ visit will be the bookstore’s first major event since the pandemic started. The bookstore recently hosted a book talk with an author at a local restaurant, drawing about 50 people. Everybody was happy to be able to see the authors in person, Scheller said. Virtual events just aren’t the same.
“[Sparks] was a lot of fun last time he was here,” she said. “So I’m surely expecting the same thing again.”