Nicholas Sparks may run low on creative gas, but that only lasts for a minute or two. The multimillionaire author of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe works out for nearly 3 hours a day before writing 2,000 words and coaching track at his son's school. ''I'm efficient," he smiles. And he's confident enough to compare himself to Shakespeare—which may be why he bristles at the tag of "romance writer."
''I write dramatic fiction," he tells Entertainment Weekly, naming Greek tragedy, the Bard, and Hemingway as progenitors of the love story subgenre. "I do this currently today.'' Driven to make a million by age 30, Sparks has written 14 best-sellers, drives a Bentley, and trumpets his new screenplay gig with Miley Cyrus. But he still worries that "the well is dry" after every piece of writing. "Got nothing. Done," he mourns—until the next idea comes along.