Suzanne Collins was born into a military family, the youngest of four on August 11, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut. The job demands of her father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force who had seen active duty in Vietnam, caused the family to constantly move around the eastern United States before finally settling down in Alabama where Suzanne attended high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Collins attended Indiana University where she graduated with a double major of drama and telecommunications before earning her M.F.A. (Masters of Fine Arts) in dramatic writing from New York University shortly after.
Focusing mostly on acting between the ages of 12 and 20, it was then when Collin’s realized that she not only wanted to speak the words, but create them as well. Her passion quickly grew from that moment. Collins’ professional career began in 1991 as a writer for popular Nickelodeon shows Clarissa Explains it All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Little Bear, and Oswald before more recently being involved with shows such as Clifford’s Puppy Days and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Her venture into children’s novels started after constant encouragement by author and illustrator James Proimos with whom she worked with during her time on the show, Generation O!.
The idea for her first story series, the critically acclaimed Underland Chronicles, came to Collins as she pondered Alice in Wonderland and thought one was much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole. Published by Scholastic Press between 2003 and 2007, the Underland Chronicles is a five-story series following the adventures of an eleven year old boy named Gregor and his time in the fictional world of Underland.
In 2008, Collins published the first story in her next book series, the Hunger Games, which follows the story of 16 year old Katniss Everdeen as she attempts to survive the Hunger Games, a government enforced battle which pairs twenty-four teenagers in a battle to the death. Collins has said that the inspiration for the Hunger Games was a combination of the Greek myth, Theseus and the Minotaur, and time spent channel flicking between reality television and coverage of the Iraq war. The adjacent sequels in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire and Mockingjay were released in 2009 and 2010.
Movie rights for the Hunger Games were purchased by North American entertainment corporation Lions Gate, who will release a film adaptation of the book on March 23, 2012 starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. Suzanne Collins currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, actor Cap Pryor, two children, and two feral cats that previously wandered their backyard. Much to her success with the Hunger Games, Collins was named as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010. As of March 16, 2012, Suzanne Collins became Amazon Kindle’s best-selling author of all-time.