BRUNSWICK, Maine — From her initial look at the first draft of “The Hunger Games,” Brunswick book editor Kate Egan knew the novel was extraordinary.
“It was truly amazing from the beginning,” Egan said.
But she never knew that author Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy would get this big — becoming an international bestseller and a highly anticipated film.
The New York Times reports that 23.5 million copies of books from “The Hunger Games” trilogy are in circulation in the U.S.; at least 25 foreign editions have been published; and Fandango.com, the online movie ticketing service, reported that first-day sales for “The Hunger Games” eclipsed all previous records.
“No book I’d worked on had become a movie before,” Egan said. “But I certainly saw the potential.”
On Sunday, Egan will travel to Los Angeles in preparation for the movie’s Monday night premiere.
While Egan’s own book about the making of the movie also tops category-specific bestseller lists, she said the premiere will still hold surprises for her.
“I’ve seen so many photos and know what all of the actors look like and all of the costumes and the makeup,” Egan said. “I read the script and know that like the back of my hand, but seeing it come to life with actors and dialogue and the music — I’m excited about that experience.”
The book, first published in 2008, tells the tale of a future America where one teenage boy and one teenage girl are sent every year to participate in a fight to the death on live television. The match is called “The Hunger Games.”
Egan said she has been working with Collins since the author’s first book.
Her own book, “The Hunger Games: Official Movie Illustrated Companion,” details the process Collins went through to find a team that would show the “best vision for the movie” from early screenplay development to the actual shooting of the film.
Now, Egan said, she is working on a new project with Collins that she said is “completely different.”
Egan is also nearing completion of a children’s book of her own — her first original work for children — titled “Kate and Nate Are Running Late,” illustrated by Dan Yacciarino.
The story focuses on a family “scrambling to get their things together to get out of the house,” Egan said.
As for the future of “The Hunger Games” film franchise, Egan said, they’ve not yet started production on the second movie, but she has heard talk of splitting the last book in the series into two separate films.
“I have no idea if that will really happen,” Egan said.
Looking back on the trilogy first published by Scholastic in 2008, Egan said the book’s success is “probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“I’ve been intensely involved with it from the beginning and to see it become a sensation is pretty amazing,” Egan said.
The film will be released to cinemas on March 23.
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