Message From The Author

Author's Message

Killer Reality

A warrior fights to the death. Doesn't sound like the plot of a YA with a girl protagonist, does it? That's because you haven't read Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games yet. It's out from Scholastic this month.

Collins creates a bleak futuristic society where her main character, Katniss,
is involved in an annual comptetition designed by the government to keep
citizens in line. Showcasing her amazing survival skills, Katniss is an underdog to root for.

"It's difficult to put kids in violent situations," says Collins about creating the plot. "But if you can't commit to the idea, it's probably better to work on another type of story."

The idea came from lofty roots; it began as an offshoot of a Greek myth. "As punishment for past deeds, Athens periodically had to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete, where they were thrown into the Labyrinth and devoured by the monstrous Minotaur," says the author.

"Even as a kid, I could appreciate how ruthless this was," she says of the concept. " 'Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.' "

Collins' classical influences, coupled with reality television, the war in Iraq and her dad's military background, fused together
to become The Hunger Games, which is the first in a series. The second book will be out in the fall of '09.

-- Elissa Petruzzi

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