suzanne collins’ interview | author of the classic hunger games trilogy

Exclusive interview with hunger games author suzanne collins.currently best-selling author on kindlestore.

suzanne collins

Q: You weave action, adventure, mythology, sci-fi, romance, and philosophy throughout The Hunger Games . What influenced the creation of The Hunger Games ?

A: A significant influence would have to be the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The myth tells how in punishment for past deeds, Athens periodically had to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete, where they were thrown in the Labyrinth and devoured by the monstrous Minotaur.
Even as a kid, I could appreciate how ruthless this was. Crete was sending a very clear message: “Mess with us and we’ll do something worse than kill you. We’ll kill your children.” And the thing is, it was allowed; the parents sat by powerless to stop it. Theseus, who was the son of the king, volunteered to go. I guess in her own way, Katniss is a futuristic Theseus.
In keeping with the classical roots, I send my tributes into an updated version of the Roman gladiator games, which entails a ruthless government forcing people to fight to the death as popular entertainment. The world of Panem, particularly the Capitol, is loaded with Roman references. Panem itself comes from the expression “Panem et Circenses” which translates into “Bread and Circuses.”
The audiences for both the Roman games and reality TV are almost characters in themselves. They can respond with great enthusiasm or play a role in your elimination.
I was channel surfing between reality TV programming and actual war coverage when Katniss’s story came to me. One nightI’m sitting there flipping around and on one channel there’s a group of young people competing for, I don’t know, money maybe? And on the next, there’s a group of young people fighting an actual war. And I was tired, and the lines began toblur in this very unsettling way, and I thought of this story.

Q: The Hunger Games is an annual televised event in which one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts is forced to participate in a fight-to-the-death on live TV. What do you think the appeal of realitytelevision is—to both kids and adults?

A: Well, they’re often set up as games and, like sporting events, there’s an interest in seeing who wins. The contestants are usually unknown, which makes them relatable. Sometimes they have very talented people performing.
Then there’s the voyeuristic thrill—watching people being humiliated, or brought to tears, or suffering physically—which I find very disturbing. There’s also the potential for desensitizing the audience, so that when they see real tragedy playing out on, say, the news, it doesn’t have the impact it should.

Q: The book’s premise is very brutal, yet is handled so tastefully. Was this a difficult balance to achieve?

A: Yes, the death scenes are always hard to write. It’s difficult to put kids in violent situations—Gregor is in a war, Katniss is in a gladiator game. Characters will die. It’s not fun to write, but I think if you can’t commit to really doing the idea, it’s probably better to work on another type of story .
Given that, you have to remember who you’re trying to reach with the book. I try and think of how I would tell a particularly difficult event to my own children. Exactly what details they need to know to really understand it, and what would be gratuitous.

Q: The Hunger Games tackles issues like severe poverty, starvation, oppression, and the effects of war among others. What drew you to such serious subject matter?

A: That was probably my dad’s influence. He was career Air Force, a military specialist,a historian, and a doctor of political science.When I was a kid, he was gone for a year inViet Nam. It was very important to him that we understood about certain aspects of life. So, it wasn’t enough to visit a battlefield, we needed to know why the battle occurred, how it played out, and the consequences. Fortunately, he had a gift for presenting history as a fascinating story. He also seemed to have a good sense of exactly how much a child could handle, which is quite a bit.

Q: In The Hunger Games , Katniss and Gale have an extensive knowledge of hunting, foraging, wildlife, and survival techniques. What kinds of research did you do, if any?

A: Some things I knew from listening to my dad talking about his childhood. He grew up during the Depression. For his family, hunting was not a sport but a way to put meat on the table. He also knew a certain amount about edible plants. He’d go into the woods and gather all these wildmushrooms and bring them home and sauté them. My mom wouldn’t let any of usgo near them! But he’d eat them up and they never harmed him, so I guess he knewwhich ones were safe, because wild mushrooms can be very deadly.
I also read a big stack of wilderness survivalguidebooks. And here’s what I learned: you’ve got to be really good to survive out there for more than a few days.

Q: You have written for television for young children and for middle-grade readers (the New York Times bestselling series The Underland Chronicles). Why did you decide to write for an older audience and how was the experience different?

A: I think the nature of the story dictated the age of the audience from the beginning. Both The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games have a lot of violence. But in The Underland Chronicles, even though human characters die, a lot of the conflict takes place between different fantastical species. Giant rats and bats and things. You can skew a little younger that way. Whereas in The Hunger Games , there’s no fantasy element, it’s futuristic sci-fi and the violence is not only human onhuman, it’s kid on kid. And I think that automatically moves you into an older age range.
I find there isn’t a great deal of difference technically in how you approach a story, no matter what age it’s for. I started out as a playwright for adult audiences. When television work came along, it was primarily for children. But whatever age you’re writing for, the same rules of plot, character, and theme apply. You just set upa world and try to remain true to it. If it’s filled with cuddly animated animals, chances are no one’s going to die. If it’s filled with giant flesh-and-blood rats with agrudge, there’s going to be violence.

Q: Was The Hunger Games always planned as a trilogy?

A: Not necessarily. But once I’d thought through to the end of the first book, I realized that there was no way that the story was concluded. Katniss does something that would never go unpunished in her world. There would definitely be repercussions. And so the question of whether or not to continue with a series was answered for me.

Q: How do you typically spend your workday? Do you have a routine as you write?

A: I grab some cereal and sit down to work as soon as possible. The more distractions Ihave to deal with before I actually begin writing, the harder focusing on the story becomes. Then I work until I’m tapped out, usually sometime in the early afternoon. If I actually write three to five hours, that’s a productive day. Some days all I do is stare at the wall. That can be productive, too, if you’re working out character and plot problems. The rest of the time, I walk around with the story slipping in and out of my thoughts.

Q: What were some of your favorite novels when you were a teen?
A: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers
Nineteen Eighty Four, by George Orwell
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
Boris by Jaapter Haar
Germinal, by Emile Zola
Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury

Q: What do you hope readers will come away with when they read this book?

A: Questions about how elements of the book might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they mightdo about them.

Adopted from Suzanne Collins website .

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Best reviewed ebooks and recommended titles this season

In this blog post,we are going to feature some of the best titles for you to enjoy this wonderfull easter season from major ebook retailers.we are specifically featuring titles from amazon and smashwords
Ebooks are increasingly becoming popular due to the dramatic emerging of self published authors.Alot of talented authors but dubbed as indie authors have published great titles without help of traditional authors by the help of epublishing companies which are basically online base. see blog archive for major self publishing and epub or electronic publishing companies . Am listing ten major recommended titles which are top rated and best reviewed on smashwords and amazon’s kindlestore you can sample a portion of the book to read before a full purchase of the complete edition.always authors have provided you with a privillegde to read atleast 20% for free!
Now among the best reviewed and top rated titles.Am listing five titles from amazon and four titles from smashwords.

  • smaswords titles
  • Demons in my marriage bed

  • How to get any man do anything
  • amazon titles

  • Hunger games
  • Harry Porter
  • Shades of Grey
  • you can get all at purchase ebooks nice reading.

    Also you may join a network of readers and authors on facebook at readers-authors’desk
    Follow me @dickson_mug

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    The graffiti tool for expression by destitutes

    you must have realized the murals sprayed in public walls of any project and ghettos impoverished zones.
    what is graffiti? Wikipedia describes graffiti as “the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings.”. but what is the meaning of graffiti in our community. literally,graffiti is the third cultural pillar in Hip hop culture. Hip hop culture.graffiti art has been further popularized by Hip hop and underground campaigns is making a step into this theme to understand the good things that graffiti art has contributed in the modern world of freedom campaigns and expression. The theme of graffiti has been constantly criticized by the media as a very bad practice which enhances gang affiliation. yes graffiti is very common in place associated with gangs, crime, gambling among others. solve-crime-end-poverty(1).jpg
    but has any one ever taken time to think why this is how its done? i was walking in my neighbour hood and i realised that the spirit of graffiti art had begun to crop up its only seen on old building and its strange that the only words most dipicted are showing phsycological torture and emotional break down. These poor destitutes find no one to talk to insetad they try to aior there feelings out to the public. they spray out what they really feel oppressed about . is it righrt to talk to the wall?… may be it is,in case they speak louder… Public walls can really be a centre of focus to must people in the area.
    generally, its considered illeagal to spray or paint graffiti murals to public buildings because it seen as a vandalisng manner.Graffiti art so is mainly done by the homelss youths and teenagers who walk up to thse project walls in the middle of the night and try to express there innre most emotions emotions to whicht the other people wake up to read.
    Graffiti really deserves a place in our communities not because it its related to gangs or considered to be a vandalism theme but because it has the potential to impact and positively change our communities. i was impressed when i saw a graffiti mural sprayed in red paint saying,”fuck mob justice,” well it may be commonly portrayed in a ghetto language but it speaks to the world! we must be concerned about our brothers who are living life on the other side of the world. We have to have a heart for our sisters who got pregnant while in school and now hang on these walls late nite and there no one to listen. When we cycle through most notorious projects and read such thoughts of the inner person, we shall know what the people really want from us, we shall understand what the cause of these hate that we see breeding crime is.we shall be able to re-unite with our lost tribes in the world if we adopt to one one form of expression and that leaves no one out.
    with this blog post , i advocate for a freedom of expression campaign and would like to support and promote the use of graffiti art in the projects and any where its necessary. Thank you Hip hop for graffiti! If you have any feedbacks join my community page on facebook about articles,blogs and books,join here and follow me on twitter @dickson_mug Thanks for dropping by!