Hollywood’s four biggest YA franchise properties of the last few years are, of course, The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey, Divergent and the over-and-done-with Twilight. All are trilogies in book and (presumably in the case of Divergent and Fifty Shades) movie form. Their authors, respectively, are Suzanne Collins, EL James, Veronica Roth and Stephenie Meyer. What do these women have in common? Not age — Collins and James are 51, Meyer is 40, Roth is 25. Their trilogies are, of course, romantic fantasies (dystopian, urban, fantastical) about young women who possess or command great power. The guys in these novels are, of course, intensely devoted to and in love with the heroines — The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen, Fifty Shades‘ Anastasia Steele, Divergent‘s Beatrice Prior and Twilight‘s Bella Swan. What else do the authors have in common? A German exhibition guy I was speaking to at Cinemacon said they’re all kind of…uhm, plus-sized. But that’s not apparently true in the case of Collins and Roth. They’re not Angelina Jolie but c’mon…writers are never as attractive as movie stars. This is partly, I’m sure, what led them to write these books. All fiction writers are creators of alternate worlds that they very much prefer to the real one.
(l.) Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy author EL James (a.k.a. Erica Leonard); (r.) Hunger Games trilogy author Suzanne Collins.
(l.) Twilight series author Stephanie Meyer; (r.) Divergent trilogy author Veronica Roth.