Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Suzanne Collins was raised a military brat with her two older sisters and an older brother. Their father, a career airman in the United States Air Force, moved the family frequently within the United States and Europe. The military played a leading role in the family’s history as well. Collins’ grandfather had served in World War I, her uncle served in World War II, and the year Collins turned six, her father left to serve his own tour in the Vietnam War. War, consequently, was a part of life for Collins, something very real and not just an abstract idea. As a child viewing footage of the war zone in Vietnam on the news, she recognized that her father was there fighting. Though her father returned after a year, Collins’s connection to war didn’t end. In addition to being a soldier, Collins’s father was also a military historian and a doctor of political science. That knowledge and experiences serving in the Air Force and fighting in Vietnam had a profound influence on his relationships with his children, and he made sure they learned what they could about war. While other girls’ fathers were telling them fairy tales, Collins’s father educated her about military history. When the family was moved to Brussels, Belgium, for instance, her father explained the region’s violent history; they took tours of the country’s historic battlefields.
Collins attended Indiana University, where she met the man who would later become her husband, Cap Pryor. At 25, she began an M.F.A. program at New York University, specializing in playwriting. About a year following graduation, she landed her first television-writing job on the show “Hi Honey, I’m Home!” She subsequently worked on the writing staff of several shows, including the Emmy-nominated “Clarissa Explains It All.” She had two children with Pryor, and ultimately decided to leave New York for Connecticut. It was there that Collins began work on her first series of books for children, “The Underland Chronicles.” The series was another success for Collins, landing on The New York Times best-sellers list. Collins was 41 when the first book, GregorTheOverlander, was published.
One night, Collins was watching television, flipping back and forth between coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a reality-TV show. That’s when Collins had the idea that would ultimately turn into her most celebrated work, The Hunger Games. The trilogy would become a tremendous commercial and critical success and, in March 2012, The Hunger Games movie enjoyed the most notable opening opening weekends in history. Now available in fifty languages, the books have become a genuine worldwide phenomenon.