The internets are all atwitter about the release of "Mockingjay," the third and final installment in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. While I have yet to read any of the books (still waiting for my blasted Kindle...) I can't help but get excited at the anticipation surrounding the release.
And I wonder why that is...
What makes some books/trilogies/septologies into obsessions? What drives people to dress up as fictional characters or speak in made up languages?
Yes, the story has to be good/marketable and the writing has to be engaging, but for every Harry Potter there seem to be a dozen or more Artemis Fowl's and Charlie Bone's. There are scores of fantasy books and series that will never be turned into a multiple-Oscar winning trilogy like "Lord of the Rings." And "Twilight" copies still abound, without a fraction of the attention. Even the "Hunger Games Trilogy" doesn't seem to catch fire (pardon the pun) as easily as others.
I ask this question without being able to provide an answer. If I knew the secret, you'd better believe I'd be writing the next billion-dollar franchise instead of a blog post! I think it all comes down to hard work. Sure there is the necessary requirement of talent and a healthy bit of luck never hurts anyone. But persistence and tenacity must pay off in the long run, even if you never achieve over a million books in one printing.
I'll admit, I'm still obsessed with "Harry Potter." It was the reason I started writing (and I confess, the first book I ever wrote was a direct rip-off!). But I adore the series not only for the story, but for JK Rowling's story of her life. I just watched her the interview during the time that she was finishing up "The Deathly Hallows." It's inspiring, emotional and uplifting and I can't express how much I enjoy watching it.
And speaking of obsession, with the final Harry Potter movie coming up this fall (and...next summer?) I've decided to re-read the entire septology. It's as brilliant as ever and I can watch Rowling's progress and confidence grow as a writer with each installment. It's my life's ambition to write something as good as that series, not necessarily as well received, financially successful or as cult-inducing mind you, but just a work that in my mind is "as good as."
When that day arrives, I'll be sure to let you know!