The New York Times has a new interview with Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins! In the interview Suzanne talks about the impact the Hunger Games has had, how proud she is of the novels, and the upcoming movie -
Collins, a 48-year-old mother of two, spent much of her adult life writing for children’s television, dreaming up plot lines for shows like “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” a Nick Jr. cartoon aimed at preschoolers. But in the “Hunger Games” trilogy, she revealed an outsize imagination for suffering and brutality. The books juxtapose the futuristic fantasy of a gleaming, high-tech capital and early-industrial life in the 12 half-starved districts it controls. In a ritual known as the Reaping, two adolescents from each of these oppressed districts are selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games, an annual televised match in which children battle one another and mutated beasts to the death, like Roman gladiators in a glitzy reality-TV contest. The trilogy’s heroine, Katniss, 16 years old when the series begins, has the tough-girl angst of an S.E. Hinton teenager and is too focused on survival to spend much time on familiar Y.A. preoccupations like cliques and crushes. On the very first page, she stares at the family’s pet cat, recalling, matter-of-factly, her aborted attempt to “drown him in a bucket.” By the last book, she is leading a revolution.
You could predict that adolescents — who keep slasher films in business — would find the “Hunger Games” trilogy mesmerizing. More surprising is how many adults, bookstore owners report, buy the books for themselves or to read with their children. Collins has said that the premise for “The Hunger Games” came to her one evening when she was channel-surfing and flipped from a reality-television competition to footage from the war in Iraq. An overt critique of violence, the series makes warfare deeply personal, forcing readers to contemplate their own roles as desensitized voyeurs.
Read more after the break!
By the time “Mockingjay” appeared, “The Hunger Games” had become part of a kind of publishing holy trinity, taking its place alongside J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter ” series and Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight.” When “Mockingjay” was released at midnight, some bookstores kept their doors open for those readers who could not wait until the break of day to discover the fate of their favorite characters. As soon as the hype of the last book died down, speculation about the film version of “The Hunger Games” (slated for release next March) began to build. The casting of Katniss — whom The Atlantic called “the most important female character in recent pop culture history”— inspired a frenzy of online commentary. Last month, when Lionsgate announced that Jennifer Lawrence (of “Winter’s Bone”) would play Katniss, so many opinionated fans lighted up the blogosphere with objections (too old! too blond!) that the film’s director, Gary Ross, gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly assuring them that Collins was herself committed to the choice.
What Collins thinks matters a great deal to her fans, although they rarely hear from her directly. Collins has always been a media-shy figure, given to few public pronouncements, most of them carefully packaged. Her indictment of the media in “The Hunger Games” — the camera is the enemy, celebrity an empty, even dangerous contrivance — is reflected in her desire to keep fame at arm’s length. Collins’s readings and appearances are usually off-limits to television cameras, and she declines almost any interaction that involves capturing her on videotape. She has a surprisingly modest, low-tech personal Web site and has never been known to post on Twitter (which even Judy Blume does these days). She did, however, agree to a rare interview at the offices of her publisher, Scholastic, where she feels most comfortable.
Collins is also researching another young-adult series (typically cautious, she would not say more). As for the change in her own family’s fortunes, she said that she has been slow to feel it, because of how payments are structured in publishing. For now, she seems intent on doing as much as she can to avoid becoming someone who would be, God forbid, recognized on the street. “I’m not a very fancy person,” she said. “I’ve been a writer a long time, and right now ‘The Hunger Games’ is getting a lot of focus. It’ll pass. The focus will be on something else. It’ll shift. It always does. And that seems just fine.”
Another young-adult series?! Exciting!
I love the artwork attached to the article by artist Ryan Graber! It truly does capture the essence of the Hunger Games series, while including the outline of the author!
You can read the rest of the interview here!