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'The Guardian'

Author Nicholas Sparks has won legions of fans with his best-selling books. His seventh novel, "The Guardian," puts a unusual spin on the classic love story, weaving a romantic tale with an intense thriller.

"I write these love stories; it's an old genre, and you want to keep doing things to make it original. So I start with, love and everlasting love. Or first love or love and sacrifice. This one was love and danger," Sparks tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

"The Guardian" tells the story of a young widow who is left with a couple of suitors.

"One is Mike, and he's a best friend," Sparks says. "And he was the best man in their wedding. And he's more like a brother than anything else. And there's Richard. And he's new in town, very successful. And so she's trying to decide which one she wants to see. She makes her decision. Then the other one doesn't take it too well. I guess he goes a little nuts," Sparks says.

Though it is easy for him to explain, Sparks says, the story was not easy to write.

"Oh, my gosh," he says, "you have no idea how hard it was to write. It was so hard. Because it was, just getting the right balance between the love story and the thriller, because that's what I write. I wanted this love story to be the most prominent part of the novel. I read lots of thrillers with a love story in it. But the thriller is prominent. This is the exact opposite. So I never read anything like it. I didn't know how to get the balance right. Oh, it was fun," Sparks says.

And he plans to have more fun writing some more. He says he has a lot more to say in books to come. "I'm still very young. There are a lot of people who have got a lot more books out there. As long as I think I have really good stories I'm going to continue to write," he says.

And why not? His books have had a lot of success. Some have been turned into films and others into TV movies. "'The Notebook' was his first novel; filming just ended on the movie, starring James Garner and Gena Rowland. That will be out next year. His second book, "Message In A Bottle," already was filmed as was "Walk to Remember" .

"The Rescue" is being adapted for a television series on CBS. Sparks says detaching himself screenplay process has never been a problem for him once his books are chosen to be adapted.

"I love it. My motto has always been, Any time you want to make a $50 million commercial about my career, I'm all for it," he says.