The Notebook is a 1996 American romantic novel by American novelist Nicholas Sparks. The novel was later adapted into a popular romance film by the same name in 2004. However, the movie and the book have very different endings. The novel was Nicholas Sparks' first published novel, and the third written after The Passing and The Royal Murders, which were never published. It was written over a period of six months in 1994. Literary agent Theresa Park discovered Sparks after picking the book out of her agency's slush pile. Park liked it and offered to represent him. In October 1995, Park secured a $1 million advance for it from Time Warner Book Group, and the novel was published in October 1996. It was on the New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release. The Notebook spent over a year as a hardcover best seller. The Notebook was inspired by the story of the grandparents of Sparks' wife, who had been married over sixty years when Sparks met them. Sparks marveled at how much the couple cared for each other, and wrote his novel as an attempt to describe such a love.