momlogic: What an action-packed season of "Real Housewives!" How was shooting this season different from the others?
LuAnn de Lesseps: I've learned that it is always better to take the high road. It is easier because I've gotten more used to the camera. It was more fun shooting this season because I have my old friend Sonya on the show. It's nice to have her be a part of our group. She's a lot of fun.
ml: In an interview on Hamptons.com, you mentioned that your "Countessness" is sometimes exaggerated a little bit by editing. How much of the show is really you?
LDL: It is really me on the show, but my life is distilled down to a one-hour episode, which makes everything seem much more dramatic. Things can be taken out of context. For example, I start the show by saying, "I don't feel guilty for being privileged; I feel lucky." They edited out the "lucky" part.
ml: It seems like each scene on the show this season features some sort of altercation between the "Housewives." Was the vibe as stressful as it seems on TV?
LDL: I grew up in a large family with six brothers and sisters, so I know what stress is. It is important to know when to walk out of the room. Saying less is more.
ml: As an expert on class and etiquette, how do you maintain your composure during these kinds of situations?
LDL: Like I say in my book, "Class with the Countess," class is about making others feel comfortable and knowing that most rude questions and comments are undeserving of an answer.
ml: How would you advise another woman to do the same?
LDL: Think before you speak. Take a deep breath. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
ml: How do you balance work and family?
LDL: I think you can balance work and family if you are well-organized. My children are proud of me, and it's important for them to see me happy and successful.
ml: What's your biggest challenge in balancing work and family?
LDL: Having enough time for everyone!
ml: What advice would you offer -- as a mom to our mom readers -- on how to handle a divorce with respect to children?
LDL: Keep it amicable. Children need to see that you can be loving parents regardless of your differences.
ml: You seem so happy in your new relationship! What advice would you give a newly single mom just getting her feet wet in the dating pool?
LDL: Happiness comes from within, and men are attracted to happy women. Don't dwell on the past -- and have a positive attitude about the future.
ml: We admire your loyalty to Jill this season. How do your friendships keep you sane as a mom?
LDL: I'm very lucky, because I have a lot of close girlfriends who I can talk to about anything and are very supportive. Being a mom is challenging. Girlfriends are better and cheaper than therapists!