Bella who? These days it’s all about Katniss Everdeen, the tough-as-nails 16-year-old star of Suzanne Collins’ hugely popular post-apocalyptic series. When the first novel, The Hunger Games, blazed onto the scene in September 2008, it became an immediate best-seller. Stephenie Meyer wrote on her blog, “I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn’t have to stop reading,” and Stephen King reviewed it for EW, calling it “a violent, jarring speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense.” Catching Fire, the second book in the trilogy, was published to equal hubbub in September, prompting Lionsgate to snatch the series’ film rights—though the question of who will play Katniss is still up in the air. Now Scholastic has ordered a massive 1.2 million first printing of Mockingjay, which goes on sale Aug. 24. So it seemed like a pretty good time to give Collins our EW book quiz.
Entertainment Weekly: Which classic have you never read—but pretended you did?
Suzanne Collins: I sort of half read Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. It was assigned in 10th grade, and I just couldn’t get into it. About seven years later I rediscovered Hardy, and consumed four of his novels in a row. Katniss Everdeen owes her last name to Bathsheba Everdene, the lead character in Far From the Madding Crowd. The two are very different, but both struggle with knowing their hearts.
What book would you use to swat a fly?
I try to catch flies in cups and put them outside. After I wrote The Underland Chronicles…well, once you start naming cockroaches, you lose your edge.