Suzanne Collins

American Television Writer and Author

Suzanne Collins is an American author and screenwriter best known for the hugely popular “The Hunger Games” trilogy.

Born on August 10th, 1962, Suzanne Collins paved the way for young adult literature with ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The New York Times’ bestselling series ‘The Underland Chronicles’.

Life Facts

  • Suzanne Collins was born in Hartford, Connecticut, to Lieutenant Colonel Michael John Collins and Jane Brady Collins.
  • She has three older siblings named Kathryn, Andrew, and Joan.
  • Collins majored in Theatre Arts at the Alabama School of Fine arts in Birmingham, which she graduated from in 1980.
  • Collins completed her Bachelor’s in Theatre and Telecommunications from Indiana University in 1985.
  • She began her career as a writer for children’s television shows in 1991.

Interesting Facts

  • Collins frequently moved because of her father’s time in the Air Force. She spent a good deal of time in both Indiana and Belgium.
  • Collins received an M.F.A in 1989 in Dramatic Writing from New York University.
  • She gained immense popularity with the release of ‘The Hunger Games’ in September 2008.
  • Collins was the head writer for the animated children’s show by PBS, ‘Clifford’s Puppy Days’.
  • She wrote for several shows on Nickelodeon in the 1990s.

Famous Books by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy – ‘The Hunger Gamestrilogy consists of ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Catching Fire‘, and ‘Mockingjay, published in 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively. The trilogy focuses on Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who was thrown into the Hunger Games to subsequently become the leader of the rebellion against the oppressive Capitol.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and ‘Snakes is a prequel and a spin-off of ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy. It was published in 2020 by Scholastic and details the early life of President Coriolanus Snow. Snow is assigned as a mentor to the tribute from District 12 during the 10th Hunger Games. He is determined to bring glory to the house of Snow once again, as he unwittingly begins to develop feelings for his tribute, Lucy Gray.

The Underland Chronicles – ‘The Underland Chronicles’ is a series of 5 epic fantasy novels written by Suzanne Collins and published between 2003 and 2007. These are children’s books that revolve around a boy named Gregor, who undergoes various adventures in the Underland, a subterranean world located under the city of New York.

When Charlie McButton Lost Power – Charlie McButton is a young boy who is obsessed with playing computer games – to the point where he is not interested in toys of any other kind. However, he runs into trouble when a thunderstorm kills the electricity in his house, and he is no longer able to play his games. He needs batteries, but the only batteries he finds are powering his little sister’s talking doll. This is when Charlie McButton has to make a decision – whether to take the batteries and cause his sister to have a meltdown or learn to have fun without his computer.

Year of The Jungle – Published in 2013, ‘Year of the Jungle’ is an autobiographical picture book that revolves around a young girl named Suzy whose father goes off to war in Vietnam. Suzy struggles to come to terms with her father’s absence and tries to comprehend what war entails for her family. She begins to feel more distant from him as time passes, even though her father promptly sends postcards for occasions and holidays. Suzy is ultimately convinced that she will no longer recognize her father anymore. Accompanied by charming illustrations by James Proimos, ‘Year of the Jungle’ details what it feels like to be separated from a parent.

Early Life

Born on August 10, 1962, in Hartford, Connecticut, Suzanne Collins spent most of her time in the eastern United States. Her father, Lieutenant Colonel Michael John Collins, was a US Air force officer who served in the Korean war and the Vietnam war. As a result, Collins spent a good deal of time away from her father – something which shaped herself and her writing career in later years. She is the youngest of four children, her siblings being Kathryn, Andrew and Joan.

Because of her father, war formed a great part of Collins’ early life. She has remarked about her father:

I believe he felt a great responsibility and urgency about educating his children about war,” Collins says. “He would take us frequently to places like battlefields and war monuments. It would start back with whatever had precipitated the war and moved up through the battlefield you were standing in and through that and after that. It was a very comprehensive tour guide experience. So throughout our lives we basically heard about war.

Literary Career

Suzanne Collins began writing for children’s television shows in 1991. She worked on Nickelodeon, writing for several shows, including ‘Oswald’, ‘The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo’, ‘Clarissa Explains it All’, and ‘Little Bear’. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Christmas special, ‘Santa, Baby!’ for which she was nominated for the Writers Guild of America. She also worked with Scholastic Entertainment as the head writer for the popular children’s show ‘Clifford Puppy Days’.

Collins began writing novels in the early 2000s. Her first successful venture was ‘The Underland Chronicles’, the first of which was published in 2003. The titles of the Underland Chronicles include ‘Gregor the Overlander’, ‘Gregor, and the Prophecy Bane’, ‘Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods’, ‘Gregor and the Marks of Secret’, and ‘Gregor and the Code of Claw’. Collins got the idea for ‘The Underland Chronicles’ when she was working on the Kids’ WB show, ‘Wonderland’, and met children’s author James Proimos, who later collaborated with her on the book ‘Year of the Jungle’. James Proimos also hired Collins as the head writer for the WB children’s program, ‘Generation O!’, and encouraged her to try her hand at writing novels.

Collins wrote a rhyming picture book in 2005 called ‘When Charlie McButton Lost Power’, which was illustrated by Mike Lester. In September 2008 came her real success in the form of ‘The Hunger Games’, which was an instant hit across the globe. ‘The Hunger Games’ was soon followed by two sequels, ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay, both of which joined the first book on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks in a row. She also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of ‘The Hunger Games’, which was released by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2012.

In 2020, a spinoff and prequel to ‘The Hunger Games’ was released by Collins called ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’. Collins has also published two other books called ‘Year of the Jungle’ (2013), an autobiographical picture book that talks about the absence of a father from a young girl’s life due to war, as well as ‘Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11′ (1999). She has received several honors and accolades, including the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Services to the Literary Community in 2016, which was the first time an author of young adult fiction received such an honor. Her books have made the NY Public Library for Reading and Sharing as well as An American Library Association’s Top 10 Best Books for Young Adult Selection.

Personal Life

Suzanne Collins has been married to Charles “Cap” Pryor since 1992. The couple has two children named Charlie and Isabel. Collins and Pryor have been separated since 2015.

Literary Influences

Suzanne Collins is greatly influenced by Greek and Roman mythology.

Literature by Suzanne Collins

Explore literature by Suzanne Collins below, created by the team at Book Analysis.