|Full Name||Suzanne Collins|
|Birthday||August 10, 1962|
|Born||Hartford, Connecticut, United States|
|Alma mater||Indiana University, New York University|
|Notable works||The Underland Chronicles, The Hunger Games|
|Net worth||$80 million|
Suzanne Collins is an American author and TV writer, best known for "The Underland Chronicles" and "The Hunger Games" series. Her blockbuster young adult fiction novels have won legions of devoted fans around the world.
Early Life and Influences
Born in 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut, Suzanne grew up as the youngest of four children. Her father was an Air Force officer who served in the Vietnam War and later became a professor of political science. This background provided strong inspiration for the themes of war, conflict and authoritarian rule that Collins would later explore in her fiction.
As a child, Collins demonstrated a vivid imagination and passion for books. After graduating from Alabama School of Fine Arts, she double majored in theater and telecommunications at Indiana University. She earned a master‘s degree in dramatic writing from New York University.
Launching Her Career in TV
After graduating, Collins worked on Nickelodeon shows like Clarissa Explains It All writing for several children‘s television programs. She gained experience developing plots, characters, and dialogue for younger audiences during her tenure at Nickelodeon and Scholastic Entertainment. Collins won several Awards for her teleplay writing.
It was during this time that Collins published her first book When Charlie McButton Lost Power, in 2005, illustrated by Mike Lester.
The Underland Chronicles
Collins gained renown as an author with the five-book fantasy series The Underland Chronicles about a boy named Gregor who discovers an underground world beneath New York City.
"I wanted to create a fantasy world that felt realistic enough that readers could relate to it, while also being strange and fascinating," Collins said.
With its cast of giant intelligent bats, rats, spiders, and cockroaches, The Underland Chronicles received high praise and marked Collins‘ talent for crafting riveting adventures.
The Hunger Games: A Global Phenomenon
But it was The Hunger Games trilogy that propelled Collins to worldwide fame. The three books – The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010) – became a global sensation, appealing strongly to young adult readers through its themes of authoritarian rule, war, survival, sacrifice, and the ethics of entertainment violence.
Set in the dystopian nation of Panem, The Hunger Games centered on 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen selected via lottery system to battle other teens to the death on live television. All three books were featured on the New York Times bestseller list for over 260 weeks. The series has sold over 100 million copies and been translated into over 50 languages.
Writing Style and Themes
Collins‘ novels combine mythic, science fiction, and classical themes about oppression, war, and survival. Her writing style utilizes spare prose and unravels through the viewpoint of a child or teen protagonist.
"I write about war. For adolescents. These will be marketed as children‘s books," Collins said. "I don‘t write about adolescence. I write about war, for adolescents to read. That‘s an important distinction."
Collins often places her protagonists in perilous scenarios where they must navigate difficult moral choices. But through their resilience and compassion, they inspire readers to find hope and courage even amidst the bleakest circumstances.
Collins continues to write for young audiences, while also supporting literacy initiatives. Her recent works include a Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) about the early days of President Snow and Year of the Reaper (2021) co-written with author James Proimos. She also runs The Collins-Rockefeller Foundation which aids children‘s literacy and welfare.
With her vivid stories and characters, Suzanne Collins has entranced millions of readers across the world. Her Hunger Games novels have become contemporary classics and cemented her reputation as one of the foremost young adult fiction writers of our time.