9 YA Authors Share How 'The Hunger Games' Inspired Them

A three finger salute to Suzanne Collins, on her birthday.

By Valerie Tejeda

With millions of books sold worldwide and blockbuster movies to boot, it’s hard to deny how much Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" has impacted this generation of readers -- and also writers. So in honor of Suzanne Collins' birthday -- which is today, August 10 -- nine YA authors shared how “The Hunger Games” has inspired them.

Rae Carson, “The Girl of Fire and Thorns” and “Walk on Earth a Stranger”


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"Although it was written for teens, 'The Hunger Games' is fearless in its portrayal of the consequences of war. It inspired me to honor the sacrifices of friends and family who are war veterans by unflinchingly exploring the effects of violence in my own writing."

Kiersten White, “Illusions of Fate”



"I still remember scoffing at why anyone would write in first person present tense. Then I read 'The Hunger Games,' and the immediacy of the action -- as well as the all-important intimacy of being in a difficult narrator's head -- was a masterclass in using point of view to the most powerful effect!"

Lindsay Cummings, “The Murder Complex” series


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" 'The Hunger Games' showed me that bravery is key, and defying the odds is possible. I knew after reading them that I wanted to defy the odds and get published at 18 -- and I have Suzanne Collins to thank for being my inspiration to publication!"

Romina Russell, “Zodiac


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" 'The Hunger Games' introduced a heroine whose transformation transformed her world. Reading the books, I was captivated by how Suzanne Collins was able to create a character who's so intricately tied to the world around her. I love that Katniss doesn’t really belong to herself, and that powerful connection between character and setting is something I very much aspire to achieve in my own series, 'Zodiac.' "

Lauren Oliver, “Delirium” and “Panic”


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"This may sound morbid, but Suzanne Collins really amazed me by her unsentimental commitment to killing off beloved characters with impunity. I've tried to do the same ever since!"

Who: Brittany Geragotelis, “Life’s a Witch” series


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" 'The Hunger Games' was one of the first times I realized as an author, that it was okay to make people people uncomfortable with my writing. A good book should make you think, feel, see the world differently or even reaffirm your existing beliefs. It should make you outraged or passionate or hopeful. So, by making readers feel anger, sadness, nausea, disgust, shock—whatever you were feeling while reading the 'The Hunger Games' —- was actually incredibly thoughtful on Suzanne's part. Because those feelings create a change in us. Make us evolve and hopefully become better people as a result."

T. Michael Martin, “The End Games”


"More than anything, I adore Suzanne Collins's ability to meld big ideas with big action. In the field of engaging both the heart and the mind, she is hard to beat."

Michelle Krys, “Hexed” and “Charmed”


"Katniss inspired me to write strong female characters who don’t succumb to stereotype. She isn’t a stony, unfeeling, action figure. She’s tough, but she’s also vulnerable and confused, compassionate and humble. She proves that complicated women who experience a vast spectrum of emotions can be leaders of a revolution too."

Stephanie Diaz, “Extraction” series


" 'The Hunger Games' was a huge inspiration for me as both an author and a young adult. Not only did it remind me of my love for war stories and science fiction and encourage me to dip my toes into writing one of my own (which became the Extraction trilogy), but the badass character of Katniss Everdeen also inspired me to be more brave as a college student struggling to find my way in publishing and the real world."

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