I love the anticipation that comes with starting a new book from my TBR (to be read) list. Finally, I’ve found a chunk of time over the holidays to snuggle up under blankets and dissolve into reading.

This year, I began my holiday reading with Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games published by Scholastic Inc.

Before turning to the first page, I usually read the back cover’s description and quotes. It’s like the outer edge puzzle pieces that I can lock together before slowly filling in more information as the story starts.

On the back of The Hunger Games, three names stand out in cat-eye golden font: Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, and John Green. All amazing authors.

Phrases from each of their quotes triggered a rush of recognition - what writers call le mot juste (the exact word!). Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly, said, “I couldn’t stop reading.” Should I admit to staying up until 5am reading it last night?

Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga, also found it alluring and suspenseful. She became “so obsessed with this book.” I’m surprised that I became obsessed with finding out what happened next and how Katniss would manage each problem.

I started out slow, reading the first few pages, but soon I clamped my hands on the book’s sides and refused to let go. Looking back, I find myself wincing at my complete disregard for sleep and daily life happening around me.

But The Hunger Games was a story that I needed to savor. Perusing my shelves of books, I can’t help but slide one finger fondly down the spines of my favorite books. Reading, for me, is like collecting stories.

As a writer, it’s important to learn from other writers. Suzanne Collins, I’d like to thank you for sharing your talent for plotlines and creating twists (“brilliantly plotted” as John Green said).

Perhaps I can apply that to my own writing and focus my attention on plotlines. What authors inspired you to improve your writing? What stands out to you most clearly from their theory of practice?


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