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Autumn Cornwell

Autumn is the author of Carpe Diem (Feiwel & Friends/Holtzbrinck, Fall 2007)


headshot_acornwell.jpgSquat toilets, profuse sweating, bamboo huts, jumbo centipedes, ear nibbling — these are just some of the delights Autumn has encountered in her global travels. Not to mention the can’t-believe-it’s-true Laotian jungle adventure which inspired Carpe Diem. (You’ll just have to read the book!)

A travel junkie, Autumn has explored twenty-two countries and counting. She’s spent the last couple summers working with refugees and orphans in Burma, Thailand, and Laos. Southeast Asia remains close to her heart since her days as a missionary kid in New Papua — where she ate her weight in guavas and mingled with reformed headhunters and cannibals. Which was nothing compared to navigating the intrepid jungles of the TV & Film Industry, where she spent most of her career. (Not including her stint as a tour guide at Hearst Castle).

After spending the rest of her childhood in Washington State, Autumn moved to Southern California for college and refused to leave. She lives in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, with her husband JC, who works in visual effects at Imageworks. With his assistance, she’s produced her biggest project to date: son Dexter, born August 2006 — who thankfully doesn’t require much editing.

Book: Carpe Diem
carpe_diem.jpg“I’ve got my entire life planned out for the next ten years — including my PhD and Pulitzer Prize,” claims overachiever VASSAR SPORE (16), daughter of overachiever parents, who in true overachiever fashion named her after an elite women’s college. Vassar expects her sophomore summer to include AP and AAP (Advanced Advanced Placement) classes to propel her to a 5.3 GPA and Ivy League fame. Surprise! Enter long lost bohemian GRANDMA GERD (60s) who sends her plans into a tailspin: she blackmails Vassar’s parents into forcing their only child backpack with her through Southeast Asia.

Vassar freaks out – her entire academic career is at stake! She can’t believe her parents are insisting she go and that they refuse to reveal the Big Secret. But, being a Spore, Vassar soon transforms the negative into a positive by turning the trip into an extra credit novel for her AAP English class.

Vassar tries to immerse herself in her novel. But what starts out as research turns into a series of misadventures from Malaysia to Cambodia to the remote jungles of Laos. She sweats, falls in love, hones her outdoor survival skills — and uncovers a family secret that turns her whole world upside-down.

Vassar Spore can plan on one thing: she’ll never be the same again.


“A witty coming-of-age adventure.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS

Carpe Diem