Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Musings on MOCKINGJAY and Writing

Today, MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins is out.  It's one of those bittersweet moments - we tear open the cover, rip through the pages, eager to meet up with Katniss and everyone again BUT our fingers start to hover when we realize we only have a few pages left - only a few pages left of a story so strong and heart-wrenching and full of complex characters they might as well be sitting next to you.  (And I don't care whose "team" you're on, who wouldn't want Peeta OR Gale hanging around?)

What is it like to be the person who writes books that create such a stir?  I'm not talking about the financial or the fame aspect.  I mean, what's it like to be Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling and know that children and adults are practically salivating for your words, your story?  (Or is it really Katniss's story?  Harry's?)  To know that you have sent children back to books, that you have stirred the (perhaps) stagnant imaginations of adults?  I suppose all writers do something similar, in their own way, but on a smaller scale.

When Suzanne Collins sat down to write THE HUNGER GAMES did she know what it was going to do?  Did she suspect?  Did a little voice inside her whisper "yes" or did she just sit down to tell a story, hoping it would connect with readers, never knowing it would "catch fire" the way it did?

Maybe you never know.  Maybe it's all just an act of faith - we send our words out in the world and hope they take hold, take root, grow and flourish.  They won't all make it - and most won't make it on the grand scale of some of our favorite authors - but I believe some will, some do. 

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