Friday, August 5, 2011

I've been hungering for 'The Hunger Games'

I think most people have multiple personalities, and no, I don’t mean that we’re all crazy lunatics running around talking to ourselves all the time. At least, I hope we’re not all crazy lunatics. I’m talking about the way we all act around different people. For example, a mom might act differently around her kids than she does her co-workers, and so on.

I have an inside joke with certain friends that I have a secret identity. Most people know me as a mild-mannered reporter who’s a strictly by-the book kinda gal. I’ve only told a few people that I also write fiction (or that I’m a soon-to-be published romance author) on the side.

My professional by-the-book persona and my imaginative throw-the-book-out-the-window inner child rarely collide, but when they do, well, even I have to admit it’s kind of funny.

Today was one of those days. Let me explain a little:

Like any good writer, I try to read a lot to see what other people are doing, and about three years ago, I started reading the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer. It had been a long time since I’d read a young adult novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Okay, so I became a little bit obsessed with it. Some of my online Twilight buddies had recommended I read “The Mortal Instruments,” series, the “Harry Potter” books, "The Vampire Academy" series, “The Hunger Games” series, and a book called “Matched.”

I finally got around to reading “The Hunger Games” because it sounded most interesting at the time, and wow! Blown away. And again, maybe a lil bit obsessed with it too.

So, can you imagine how excited I was to learn the movie version of the first “Hunger Games” book would film in my neck of the woods this summer? Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it! I was probably one of the first in line to apply to be an extra. The cast is extraordinary, too. Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson — and that’s only naming a few. Heck, I even applied to be a production assistant since I have some experience in my favor.

Did I get called to be an extra? Heck no! Did I get called to be a production assistant? Of course not.

When I heard that the book’s author, Suzanne Collins, would also be on set every day, you’d better believe I almost started hyperventilating. As excited as I was about the cast, I really want to meet the author — cause I’m weird like that, I guess.

So my reporter persona actually tried to swing an interview with her, but it was a total no-go. With the security surrounding that movie set, you’d think President Obama was in town or something. Geez. My other persona considered stalking the set, but well, I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well with the dozens of security officers on watch.

Now, the funny thing is, three of the people I told to apply to be extras (none of whom had a clue what the books were about) all got called to be extras. All three of them! Where’s the justice in that?

By the way, one of my friends called me from the set today. He’s filming District 11 scenes with the actors playing Rue and Thresh. So jealous!

So after getting the phone call today from my friend who was on the set of “The Hunger Games,” my other persona started to pout inside. Why? Why? Why? It wasn’t fair! Why couldn't I be an extra?!? Wahhhhhh!

My day-job editor was nice enough to let me do a story on the topic of this trend of adults reading young adult novels, and I’m just starting to discover that I am not the only one out there. Oh no, there are legions of us.

So today I kicked into work gear on that story. And had a thought. Wouldn’t it be cool to talk to another YA author — a bestselling one, maybe? — and get his or her input into this topic too?

Lucky me, I snagged a phone interview with one and everything, which reinforces my belief that authors in general are really cool down-to-earth people.

I just hope I can keep my imaginative throw-the-book-out-the-window inner child under control when my work persona interviews this author (who wrote one of the books I mentioned above, and no, it’s not Stephenie Meyer). As an author myself — even if the genres are totally different — I’ll probably want to pull up a chair and start talking, author to author, but that would be highly unprofessional of me as a reporter.

Still, these are the days that remind me I sometimes do enjoy my day job.

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