|Suzanne Collins is the author of the blockbuster series The Hunger Games, which has topped both hardcover and paperback bestseller lists and which has garnered a huge fan following of both children and adults. Because her father was in the military, Suzanne and her family moved frequently during her childhood. When she was six, he was sent by the Air Force to serve in Vietnam. He also taught military history at West Point and was determined to educate his own children about world events and the horrors of war--themes Collins would later revisit in her books. They lived for a time in Brussels, and she remembers how her father--aware that she liked a large field of poppies that grew outside of the family's home--connected it to the World War I-era poem "In Flanders Field," which honors soldiers buried in a similar field. Collins believes that it is important for young people to understand the ramifications of violence at an early age. "If we wait too long [to teach them], what kind of expectation can we have?" she has said. "We think we're sheltering them, but what we're doing is putting them at a disadvantage." After earning a master's degree in dramatic writing from New York University, she began her professional career by penning scripts for children's television shows, including CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL. Her first young-adult series, The Underland Chronicles, focuses on a boy who must navigate a fantastical land hidden beneath the streets of New York City. While those books won her many fans, her next effort, The Hunger Games, brought her a new level of fame. Collins has explained how she got the idea for the series, about a dystopia in which young people are chosen to fight to the death once a year for the entertainment of an audience: "I was channel surfing between reality TV programming and actual war coverage when [the] story came to me," she has said. "One night I'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 to blur in this very unsettling way, and I thought of this story." Collins oversaw the screenplay for the 2012 film version of the first book in the trilogy, which earned more than $150 million the first weekend of its release. While the media frenzy surrounding her books has been compared to that generated by the HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT series, Collins prefers to stay out of the spotlight--living with her actor husband and children and giving few interviews.