August 10th – Suzanne Collins

All the writing elements are the same. You need to tell a good story… You’ve got good characters… People think there’s some dramatic difference between writing ‘Little Bear’ and the ‘Hunger Games,’ and as a writer, for me, there isn’t.

Suzanne Collins

Author Suzanne Collins was born on August 10, 1962, in Connecticut. The daughter of an Air Force Officer, she spent her childhood moving around the Eastern United States. 

She attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham in high school, majoring in Theatre Arts, then attended the University of Indiana Bloomington for her undergraduate degree, completing her BA in 1985 with a double major in theatre and telecommunications. She attended New York University Tisch School of Fine Arts for her MFA in dramatic writing, which she completed in 1989. After this, she began writing for children’s television shows, including Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Little Bear, and Oswald for Nickelodeon, and was the head writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days. She also married Charles Pryor in 1991. 

Between 2003 and 2007 she wrote the five books in her Underland Chronicles and a rhyming picture book When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005). When the first book in her Underland Chronicles series was published Collins was 41 and had two children. 

The first book in her next series, The Hunger Games, was released in 2008. The remaining books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, were released in the years following. The trilogy became international best-sellers, and the first film blockbuster based on the novels was released in 2012.

In 2013 Collins released Year of the Jungle, an autobiographical picture book about the year her father left for Vietnam when she was six. 

A prequel to the successful Hunger Games series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released in 2020.

Her books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. 

A First edition set of The Hunger Games for sale by Quintessential Rare Books on Biblio.com

Lesson from Collins

Collins spent her life reading and studying writing. Her early years in screenwriting informed her novels with dramatic action and setting the scene in acts. Writing novels in her free time in a Lazy Boy next to her bed while her children played in her office led to an internationally best-selling series that has inspired children and adults through both the books and the films. Her fame and fortune came in her forties and fifties after a lot of hustle.

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