With the 10th anniversary editions of The Hunger Games soon to be released, the New York Times has released an excerpt of some of the exclusive Q&A that will be included with the new set. She talks about how when the three main characters were conceived and why.
DL: Another key piece of The Hunger Games is the voice and perspective that Katniss brings to it. Some novelists start with a character and then find a story through that character, but with The Hunger Games I believe you had the idea for the story first, and then Katniss stepped into it. Where did she come from?
David Levithan with Suzanne Collins
SC: Katniss appeared almost immediately after I had the idea, standing by the bed with that bow and arrow. I’d spent a lot of time during The Underland Chronicles weighing the attributes of different weapons. I used archers very sparingly because they required light and the Underland has little natural illumination. But a bow and arrow can be handmade, shot from a distance, and weaponized when the story transitions into warfare. She was a born archer. Her name came later, while I was researching survival training and specifically edible plants. In one of my books, I found the arrowhead plant, and the more I read about it, the more it seemed to reflect her. Its Latin name has the same roots as Sagittarius, the archer. The edible tuber roots she could gather, the arrowhead-shaped leaves were her defense, and the little white blossoms kept it in the tradition of flower names, like Rue and Primrose. I looked at the list of alternative names for it. Swamp Potato. Duck Potato. Katniss easily won the day. As to her voice, I hadn’t intended to write in first person. I thought the book would be in the third person like The Underland Chronicles. Then I sat down to work and the first page poured out in first person, like she was saying, “Step aside, this is my story to tell.” So I let her.
Read the full Q&A excerpt here.
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway of the new set! It’s gorgeous!