Collins's career began in 1991 as a writer for children's television shows. She worked on several television shows for Nickelodeon, including Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Little Bear, and Oswald. She was also the head writer for Scholastic Entertainment's Clifford's Puppy Days. She received a Writers Guild of America nomination in animation for co-writing the critically acclaimed Christmas special, Santa, Baby!
After meeting children's author James Proimos while working on the Kids' WB show Generation O!, Collins was inspired to write children's books herself. Her inspiration for Gregor the Overlander, the first book of The New York Times best selling series The Underland Chronicles, came from Alice in Wonderland, when she was thinking about how one was more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole, and would find something other than a tea party. Between 2003 and 2007 she wrote the five books of the Underland Chronicles: Gregor the Overlander, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, Gregor and the Marks of Secret, and Gregor and the Code of Claw. During that time, Collins also wrote a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005).
In September 2008 Scholastic Press released the The Hunger Games, the first book of a new trilogy by Collins. The Hunger Games was partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Another inspiration was her father's career in the Air Force, which allowed her to better understand poverty, starvation, and the effects of war. This was followed by the novel's sequel, Catching Fire, in September 2009. The third book of the trilogy, Mockingjay, came out on August 24, 2010. In just 14 months, 1.5 million copies of the first two Hunger Games books have been printed in North America alone. The Hunger Games has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for more than 60 weeks in a row. Collins was named one of Time magazine's most influential people of 2010.
Suzanne Collins is the daughter of an Air Force officer. Collins now lives in Connecticut with her husband, their two children, and 2 adopted feral kittens. She earned her M.F.A. from New York University in Dramatic Writing.
Lions Gate Entertainment has acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which will be produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force production company. Collins will adapt the novel for film herself.