Author Nicholas Sparks Talks to Rocking God’s House
About New Film “Deliverance Creek”

Josh-Belcher-At-Rocking-gods-HouseI finally got to chat to my favorite love guru and living author Mr. Nicolas Sparks (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven), in addition to the very talented actor Lauren Ambrose.

I was able to ask Nicholas a question that I have seen many Christians discuss in recent years: has social media changed the way we understand and experience love? In other words, has social media made love relationships more self-absorbed and self-centered? Nicholas’s answer intrigued me.

Because it was a round-robin interview, I shared my interview time with other journalists, but Nicolas and Lauren gave some fantastic answers despite the limited time I had with them. The two are promoting the made-for-TV film Deliverance Creek, which will be Sparks’s television debut as executive producer. It will be a two-hour event that premiers Saturday, September 13th at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime. You can find out more here.

Deliverance Creek Lifetime Television At Rocking Gods HouseThe movie stars Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), accompanied by a large and talented cast that includes Wes Ramsey (CSI: Miami), Yaani King (Mad Men), and Caitlin Custer (Teen Wolf), to name a few.

Two years into the Civil War, widow and mother of three Belle Gatlin Barlowe (Ambrose) faces uncertainty as she attempts to defend her family’s land by any means necessary. When the corrupt bank that runs their town pushes Belle into becoming an outlaw, the stakes become personal, setting off a chain of events that force her to question whether it’s better to be good or to survive.

Josh Belcher: [To Nicholas] Let me just start off by saying thank you. Your quotes have gotten me many dates in my lifetime, and I appreciate you taking this call. You and Lauren both.

Nicholas Sparks: [Laughs] You’re welcome.

Josh Belcher: All right. Let me just ask you this. You’ve written some great love stories over the years; do you think our culture’s understanding of love has become more self-absorbed in recent years because of social media?

Nicholas Sparks: No. I don’t. I think — I think when it comes down to it, emotions — and it was the same lesson I drew when trying to work with Melissa in drafting Deliverance Creek — and that is that emotions change much less than the world at large. They change much, much less quickly, if they change at all. In other words, when Belle loses her son in Deliverance Creek, her anguish is real, you know, the pain she would feel today is the same pain; it is the pain she would feel in 1863. The emotion itself hasn’t changed. So the emotion of love hasn’t changed. The way people communicate, granted, that may have changed and without question people are self-absorbed. The mass ability of communication now probably allows individuals to meet more self-absorbed individuals. And it has certainly changed the way that people meet, and yet I think that when, you know, Belle was in love, it was the same as Noah and Allie in love, and it was kind of the same as when my wife and I fell in love. It’s love. The emotion is what it is, and it kind of feels the same for everybody, and it has for a long time.

Josh Belcher: And I agree, and well put. My next question is for Lauren. It’s a two-part question. Can you give us some insight on what you did to prepare for you character, and also are you related to Dean Ambrose from the WWE Wrestling?

Lauren Ambrose: I’m not related to any wrestlers that I know of, I’ll do that one first. Well, I read about Belle Scarpe, who is the awesome outlaw lady whom this character is maybe a little bit based on, in some ways. I learned how to ride a horse. In fact, they even sent a cowboy to my house to teach me how to ride Western a little bit.

Josh Belcher: That’s cool.

Lauren Ambrose: Yes, it was amazing.  I live in New England, and he showed up with a belt buckle like the size of a plasma screen TV and an enormous hat and he was like, “Let’s do this.”  And so I learned from him, Jason Cowboy, who [led] the team of animal wranglers on the set.  We had amazing animals and cowboys working with us on this movie.  It was so much fun. It was just such a dream to make a Western, and I mean, just to speak to what you were saying before about it being old-fashioned. To me it was certainly — we’re in the Civil War era — but it was so like sexy and fun.  There is nothing dated about it other than the era [and she then mentioned there being a modern tone in the way that some of the villainous characters were written].  The era is actually really super fun to play in.  So, yes — and [my character] also lives out in the woods.  So, I [had to] have a pioneer’s spirit, and I drew on that.

Josh Belcher: Well, you did a fantastic job, and I’m very proud of you, and I think everybody else will be too when they see it.

Lauren Ambrose: Thank you.