Famed for The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins became an internationally bestselling author when the first book featuring 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen was published in 2008, but her writing career was already well established.
Collins was born in 1962 in Connecticut and studied theatre and dramatic writing at university before taking a position as a writer for Nickelodeon shows including Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and Clifford’s Puppy Days. It was after meeting the author James Proimos that she first began to consider writing books rather than TV scripts and, struck by the notion that the children she knew would be more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole – and find something very different to a tea party – the idea for Gregor the Overlander started to take shape.
That story turned into a five-part fantasy series, The Underland Chronicles, which was published between 2003 and 2007 and became a bestseller – but it was the phenomenal success of The Hunger Games that truly made her name and earned her a place on Time magazine’s list of the most influential people of 2010. The story of Katniss’ struggle to survive the brutality of life under the dictatorial President Snow and a televised fight to the death, then her transformation into a symbol of rebellion, was an instant hit. The trilogy was adapted into four films – each one hugely successful at the box office – and the release in 2020 of a prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, further explored the books’ themes of friendship and oppression.
Despite being one of the world’s bestselling authors, Collins herself remains an enigmatic figure, rarely giving interviews and absent from social media – keen, perhaps, to avoid the public scrutiny experienced by her most well-known protagonist.