Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell (Wendy Carlson / February 3, 2014)

When it comes to romance, who would know better than author/columnist Candace Bushnell, who brought us the love, money and status tribulations of hip New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw and friends in her best-selling novelturned-hit-TV show and movies, “Sex and the City.” Bushnell, who was raised in Glastonbury and has a home in Roxbury, has written several other books, including “The Carrie Diaries” series, about a teenaged Carrie Bradshaw and her young years in Connecticut. That book has also been made into a TV show on The CW and has been picked up for a second season. Bushnell, 55, who was married to former New York City Ballet principal dancer Charles Askegard, divorced last year but has no regrets. Her new life includes two horses, dressage, two pet poodles and a renewed sense of self.

Q: Well, Valentine’s Day is soon upon us. Single women dread it and somehow it just makes not being in love that much tougher. Any advice on how not to feel so alone that day?

A: Valentine’ s Day has never been that big for me. Not even when I was married. My husband was usually working. I think feeling like you have been left behind if you are not in love sounds a little lame. You have to look at your life and find a positive in it. You, not someone else, is responsible for finding happiness. And if you do have that feeling of being left behind that day, I think the pressure is coming from the outside. That is our society. There is no reason to feel that way. I never feel left behind. I have a lot of friends who are married and have kids. And even single, I am still very happy with my life.

Q: I’m not sure many people know you divorced. It is called one of the most difficult experiences of life. How are you doing?

A: My divorce was part of my journey. I loved my husband. It didn’t work out. I am very happy and settled, moving forward.

Q: Are you dating?

A: It has been a while and oddly, I don’t feel like it. Charlotte in “Sex and the City” has a line, “I’ve been dating since I was 18. Where is he?” I feel like I have been dating for 30 years and can take a break.

Q: But your character Carrie Bradshaw seemed to have it down pat when it came to diving into the whole dating thing. What’s your trick to making the adjustment?

A: I got a new horse, now I have two that I keep in Litchfield, and started horseback riding again. It was something I did until I went away to college. It is something I love to do. There is something about being middle aged and rediscovering the things that brought you joy... I started reading and showing my horse and that takes up a lot of time. My life now is very rewarding.

Q: You really are doing well, and that includes the new TV show. Were you surprised it was picked up for another season?

A: I had such a great time writing the books and the books were so well received, they launched at No. 1 on the best-seller list. It just felt right that they would go to The CW and be adapted. And it was a great combination when our executive producer, Amy Harris, who worked on “Sex and the City,” literally signed on the same day the TV pilot was a go.

Q: How is “Carrie Diaries” relevant to teens? I mean, Carrie was a teenager in the ’80s, no cellphones, no texting, no social media!

A: Teenagers today may have never seen “Sex and the City,” but being a teenager is always being a teenager. The high school drama, the relationships, the questioning, the testing. In the first season of “Carrie Diaries” Carrie and Maggie end their relationship over a guy, Sebastian, and the next season they are friends again. That is so real. We all know that story. Even though we are texting and tweeting and our modes of communication are different today, I think there is a story line teenagers today still identify with. And get a kick out of.

Q: Will your next book take Carrie into her 40s and 50s?

A: It’s too early to say. I know it will have something to do with a woman who is our age and has been shaken up by circumstances, a divorce, something. Maybe an empty nest syndrome. I know I am not the only person in that situation. I have noticed that at that age there seems to be a reinvention that women have to confront. They have to ask, “How do I want to live the next 30 or 40 years of my life?” I think I have had that confrontation.

Q: So are you swearing off love as part of the new phase of your life?

A: If someone came along in my life that would be great. You have to find someone who fits into your life and goals. That is important at this stage of life. I have made changes in mine and I am happy with my life now. When you are younger you feel like you have to find someone. At this stage, you don’t feel that way. It’s a happy life to be single and guilt-free.

Q: Once you told me your Connecticut home was a place you could unwind and find peace and quiet and just enjoy. Is it still that way?

A: I love it here.

Q: One last question. When was the last time you wore a pair of your Manolo Blahniks and what did they look like?

A: Actually a couple weekends ago for my birthday. They were black high heeled boots. I can still wear them but not every day.


Read Maryellen Fillo’s blog at www.courant.com/javablog, follow her on Twitter @maryellenfillo, on Facebook at Maryellen Fillo (Hartford Courant Java). Also you can watch her on FOXCT, Thursdays between 9 and 10 a.m., and listen to her on the Big D Morning show, “Mike and Kim In the Morning” on 102.9 DRC-FM and the Brad Davis Show at 1360 WDRC-AM on Friday mornings at 8:20 and 8:35 a.m.