It started as a dream in a $300-a-month apartment. A place Candace Bushnell could barely afford. Then the New York Observer hired her to write a column called "Sex and the City," all about the real-life stories of her and her friends. Little did she know she was redefining what it means to be a modern, urban woman.
Six books, a wildly popular television series and two movies later, Bushnell is an international best-selling author with this balanced perspective: "Sometimes it's important to be a person first and a gender second." Her latest book, The Carrie Diaries, tells the backstory of Carrie Bradshaw and how she made her way from a small town to the big city.

Before Bushnell hits the red carpet, she answered 20 questions exclusively for readers.

1. What was the oddest job you ever had?

Being a judge on a reality show, Wickedly Perfect, which aired for 13 episodes in 2004. It was fun, but also strange. I had to yell at people because they forgot to put salt in the salt shakers.

2. How did you start writing?

Ever since I can remember I was telling stories and had a huge interest in other people and what made them tick. When I was 8 months old, I learned how to walk, and whenever my mother turned her back, I would run down the sidewalk wearing diapers and a bib and holding a little spoon. I always ran to our neighbor's house where the nice lady had a giant cat and lots of porcelain figures behind a glass case.

3. What is your greatest career coup?

Well, my biggest career break was creating and writing the column and book Sex and the City. I was about 34, and I'd worked a long time to get there.

4. What is your favorite film?

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, simply for the unadulterated silliness.

5. What would your theme song be?

Probably something by Joni Mitchell. Maybe "Free Man in Paris." I still like the idea of escaping.

6. Which individual has, for better or worse, had the single greatest influence on your life?

Probably my father. He used to yell at me quite a bit when I was young, but I could always turn to him for advice. Now he's in his late 70s and I feel like I've lived a whole life cycle with him. I just adore the old fellow.

What talent would Candace Bushnell most like to possess?


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