Evan Handler by Mark Seliger/Showtime Evan Handler by Mark Seliger/Showtime

The ladies loved him as Charlotte's unlikely knight in shining armor, Harry Goldenblatt on Sex and the City, and more recently as secretary-spanking literary agent Charlie Runkle on Californication. TVGuide.com sat down and talked to Evan Handler about what's to come for the Runkles this season on Californication, as well as his incredible second book about his life after recovering from leukemia. - Erin Fox

TVGuide.com: First off, tell us about the cover design for the book and how it was conceived.
Evan Handler:
The top photo was taken by my brother when we lived in the East Village in New York, in Washington Square Park after one of our many afternoon strolls after being out late Friday and Saturday nights. He just found a place between those four women. I gave the picture to head of Riverhead when we decided to do the book together, thinking that it would make a good book cover. He said, "OK, it's a funny photo," but never heard anything about it again. When it came time to do the cover, he asked to see the photo again, and I told him it might be funny to do exactly what we wound up doing which was taking a photo me in the same spot but with young girls instead of older women.

TVGuide.com: You're pretty candid in the book about relationships with friends and girlfriends that were strained for one reason or another. Have you gotten any feedback from them about being featured in the book?
Well, one of the things I like about the book is that it reexamines a lot of those things from a different perspective and points out many of my own feelings about stories I've described and how those feelings have changed [over time]. I haven't gotten feedback from other people, except my wife read it. So, I've gotten her feedback. Oh, well the piece about the Australian woman was shown to her and she was a bit startled but not terribly offended. It also lead to some discussions between us about the dying days of that relationship, and how her experience of it was so much different than mine.

TVGuide.com: You had a harrowing battle with Leukemia which you chronicled in your first book. The new book is about figuring out life, work, love and happiness after the storm, so to speak. Do people come up to you and tell you their survival stories and what is your response?
I don't have any blanket response I find myself better equipped to say things publically, like in speeches or writing, rather than one on one. I can't offer what people want to hear in the spur of moment. I feel like what I have to offer is just my example of being and letting it be known what that took. So that's what I do because I feel that is the most effective thing that I can do.

TVGuide.com: So, later in the book, we meet the woman who became your wife. Tell me about her and how she changed your life.
My wife Eliza is a biochemist from Bologna, Italy who I met in the New York area. There's a chapter in the book called, "How Did You Two Meet?" But, yeah, she has profoundly changed my life the whole book turns and swings on that fact. All the angst and wonderings of expecting too much [out of a mate] were suddenly wiped away. The best thing I could do in my life was stall and delay because someone showed up who was a great fit. Suddenly all of those issues about settling and accepting went out the window and all things in my life that I would have categorized as regret were suddenly transformed into savvy choices.

TVGuide.com: Tell me about your time on Californication. I read that you love working with David because of the freedom you have to ad lib on the show.
Yes, working with David and having that freedom to sort of ad lib on the show is great. Californication is great. It's been really really joyous and a very easy-going experience. [The other] night we were actually shooting at the Hollywood Bowl and I just went there to sorta hang out, because you don't get to enter an empty Hollywood Bowl that often. It was really fun standing on the stage. It's just been great! The atmosphere is great, the material has been challenging and weird, and the people are all operating on a high level and easily so it's been an ideal job.

TVGuide.com: What are you favorite parts about playing Charlie Runkle?
I think it's really the material it's really funny how a seemingly high-powered guy can still be so unsure of himself in personal and sexual dealings, and how vulnerable that makes him. What I really think is Tom's (Kapinos, the creator) point is the intrigue of a marriage where there is so much going on between the partners but also outside the marriage and two people who continually accept each other back despite transgressions that we are lead to believe would be deal breakers. This season gets kinda crazier.