August 10, 1962
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
One of the most influential authors of young adult novels in the 21st century, Suzanne Collins was renowned as the writer behind both The Hunger Games Trilogy and The Underland Chronicles. Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1962, Collins' family moved frequently in order to accommodate her father's career in the military. She would eventually earn her bachelor's in theater and telecommunications from Indiana University, and later went on to earn an MFA in dramatic writing from the Tisch School for the Arts. Collins was already interested in writing at this time, but she sought an outlet for her talents on the screen rather than the page, becoming a staff writer on the tween series "Clarissa Explains it All" (Nickelodeon, 1991-94). She would go on to write for "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo" (Nickelodeon, 1996-99) and "Generation O!" (Kids' WB, 2000-01). It was around this time that Collins landed upon the idea for her first book while reflecting on the classic novel Alice in Wonderland. Collins thought that modern readers would have a greater chance of falling through a manhole than into a rabbit's hole, and soon she began creating the subterranean world of the Underland series. By 2007, the series was wildly successful with five installments, but Collins' creative drive was still active. After taking inspiration from Greek mythology, reality TV, and just-war theory, she came up with the complex world of the Hunger Games series, publishing the entire trilogy between 2008 and 2010. The books' compelling characters and dark social subtext made them a monumental hit, and in 2012 Collins was tapped to adapt the first book into a screenplay. The resulting movie, "The Hunger Games" (2012), was a smash hit, and Collins would help adapt the rest of the series into a total of four blockbuster hit films. In 2013, Collins drew on her childhood experience to publish Year of the Jungle, a picture book about a young girl coping with her father leaving to fight in the Vietnam War.