My Secret Life: Nicholas Sparks, 46, author
'I wanted to be an Olympian'
My parents were… intelligent, kind and occasionally a little in over their heads when it came to children.
When I was a child I wanted to be… a gold medal-winning Olympian. I loved athletics, the 1,800m and 1,500m. I was very good, even up to the collegiate level, but I just did not have what it took to be the elite level. I chose my parents poorly; in the end it does come down to genetics.
If I could change one thing about myself… I would be better at relaxing.
You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… taekwondo.
You may not know it but I'm no good at... any sport that includes a ball.
I wish I had never worn… the maroon tuxedo to my junior prom.
What I see when I look in the mirror… I see myself and the following question generally pops into my head: 'That's it?'. I remember myself being better looking than that.
My favourite item of clothing… I like a comfortable pair of shoes.
It's not fashionable but I like… going to church.
I drive… a Bentley.
My house is… a low, country-style house, on the water, in North Carolina. It's a great place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of our topography and geography.
My favourite work of art… The photographs of Peter Lik. I just think he's the finest landscape photographer ever.
A book that changed me… Stephen King's The Stand, which taught me the power of telling a story in which the pages literally seem to turn themselves.
Movie heaven… A movie that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, whether it's comedy or horror or a thriller or a drama. If you expect something to be funny and it isn't, that's a bummer. If you expect something to be moving and it isn't, that's a bummer.
The last album I bought… In this world of downloadable songs, I buy them one at a time now. I haven't bought an album in years!
My secret crush… I've been married for 22 years, I don't have too many crushes. There are women I think are attractive but that's where my thinking stops.
My real-life villains… Osama was a real-life villain, we have to go with him. And paedophiles, murderers, and rapists.
The last time I cried… My sister's funeral in 2000.
My five-year plan… To move my business to the point where as much of it is on auto-pilot as possible.
What's the point? Love. Love comes in many forms – for one person; your family, neighbours, friends; passion about your hobbies or work – but if you have no love of any kind in your life, there is no point.
My life in six words… I did my best, my friends.
My life in brief
Nicholas Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1965. He won a track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, and following a sports injury, began writing. In 1996, his debut novel The Notebook was published; in 2004 it was made into a hugely popular film. He's since written 16 international bestsellers. Many have been made into movies, including Message in a Bottle, Dear John and The Last Song. The film of Sparks' The Lucky One is out on DVD on Monday. He lives in North Carolina with his family
From the blogs
A slight deviation from style this week and admittedly a bit weird, but at least I can finally say I...
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
Woolwich terror attack: Suspect Michael Adebowale saw friend 'literally sliced to pieces' in 2008
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.