Nicholas Sparks and wife of 25 years separate

Nicholas Sparks And Wife Cathy Split After 25 Years Of Marriage

For one of the most prolific romance writers, there won't be a "happily ever after."

Nicholas Sparks -- the author of "The Notebook," "Walk To Remember," "Message in a Bottle" and many other popular romance novels -- is separating from his wife of 25 years.

The 49-year-old bestselling author told PEOPLE, "Cathy and I have separated. This is, of course, not a decision we've made lightly. We remain close friends with deep respect for each other and love for our children. For our children's sake, we regard this as a private matter."

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Nicholas Sparks and wife of 25 years separate
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Writers Nicholas Sparks and wife Cathy arrive for the Premiere Of Relativity Media's 'Safe Haven' held at The TCL Chinese Theater on February 5, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Los Angeles, California, U.S. - Cathy Sparks, Nicholas Sparks attending the Los Angeles Premiere of ''Safe Haven'' held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 5, 2013. 2013.(Credit Image: © D. Long/Globe Photos/ live news)

Back in 2013, Sparks sat down with HuffPost Live and explained how his wife inspired many of the strong female characters in his stories.

"I married a woman who loves a lot," he said to host Nancy Redd. "Certainly every female character I've ever crafted is a lot like my wife. They're intelligent and loyal, they're funny. And most of all, they're not wishy-washy women. They're good, solid women."

Nicholas and Cathy sparks married in 1989 and have five children between the ages of 12 and 23; three sons and two daughters.

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