Credit: The CW

When we think of our teenage years, it’s not all flirting in the hallways and secret longing glances. Nope, for every hot new kid who knows our names, a la Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) on The Carrie Diaries, there’s at least three Donna LaDonnas — rivals sent to ruin our lives. But when author Candace Bushnell came up with the concept of the book (which is now the CW show), she used a lot of her own life as inspiration.

Wetpaint Entertainment met up with the novelist-turned-Executive Producer on the eve of the show’s premiere, and she had a lot to say about how this whole thing happened. In terms of reflections between her own life and Carrie’s, Candace tells us “I definitely had my [gay best friend] Walt. I was very insecure about boys. Carrie in the show has one sister, but I actually had two younger sisters, and my father never wanted us to date. And I had all those same questions she has. I knew that I wanted to move to New York, and be a writer. I come from a small town.”

Like Carrie, who’s from a small Connecticut town, Candace grew up in the New York neighbor. She’s from Glastonbury, “a little farther from New York City than Carrie lives in the show.” And, just like the spunky blonde teen, she had big dreams to move to NYC and be a writer.

“In [my book] The Carrie Diaries, I was asking, ‘Is it okay to grow into the person you want to be, and is it okay to leave your small town behind? What does that look like, and how will that feel?’” That seems to be the main premise behind most of what we’ll learn about Carrie this season, as she navigates her first love and first friends in the city. One thing’s for sure — we can look forward to plenty of voiceover reflections as the young heroine makes her way into the woman she will become.

Reporting by Jim Colucci