The Agency Games

Let’s Talk Hunger Games

Why do we love The Hunger Games? Why do we crave to read stories in which children, even as young as 12, are pitted against one another in an arena and forced to kill each other on live television? Do we truly fear this reality in our own lives?

Or rather, is it all about control? Do we read these stories and embrace how every individual character from the main protagonist Katniss Everdeen to little “Eddie” of the District 8 bombing desire control in their lives? In a society where our words are monitored, our actions judged, and even our thoughts persecuted, is it any wonder that what we desire is the ability to control our actions and what determines those actions? Indeed, what else are we searching for so eagerly than agency itself.

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Being the main character, Katniss finds agency in multi-faceted ways. She must first overcome the restrictions placed on her body by reclaiming her physicality. Her agency then flourishes when she focus on morality and care of others. However, when trauma strikes, her agency is shattered and only vocalization of the pain can restore her ability to know and control her actions.

Readers around the world find strength in Katniss’ brokenness. Similarly, readers find a multitude of other examples of how to attain, reclaim, loose, battle for, and strive after agency through other characters such as Peeta, Gale, Cinna, Haymitch, Prim, Beetee, Mags, Joanna, and many others.

In the comments below, let me know, what determines your agency? What character do you relate to the most?

Check them all out in Agency in the Hunger Games!

You can win your own free copy (but you only have three more days to participate in the Giveaway!)

Hope to see you all at the Launch Party for the costume contest, Hunger Games trivia, and Giveaway!

The Agency Games

Hunger Games Prequel: The Cover Art Controversy

Set to be released to the public on May 19, 2020, fans around the world can already pre-order The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Scholastic describes the book in this manner, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.”

The Songbird

Amazon’s description however is a bit more telling:

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s read that again. President Snow is the story’s PROTAGONIST?! Well, we’ve got to give it to Collins for coming out with the unexpected. While I had hoped to read a bit more on Mags, I can’t say that I am not eagerly awaiting my copy (which I obviously am).

Now the real controversy concerning this Collins’ prequel is not its protagonist or plot line, but rather its cover art and title!

The Songbird

Some have gone so far as to refer to the bird as the exorcist bird (referencing the twist in its neck I believe). What do I think?

I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. It feels a lot busier than Collins’ other books’ cover art.

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I think the simplistic look has worked really well for Collins’ in the past.

However, that being said, I love trying to analyze the symbols currently present on the new title. We clearly have the familiar bird image, but this bird looks different from the Mockingjay. Could it possibly be a Jabberjay (an ancestor of the Mockingjays)? There’s the golden circle that looks to be covered in thrones, could that be a reference to the Victors of the Games? And lastly, there is of course the snake, which must be a clear reference to President Snow, right? I guess we will all find out in May!

What about you? Have you’re-ordered your copy yet? Do you love or hate the cover art? Let me know in the comments below!

The Agency Games

5 Days Until Book Launch & Giveaway!

Hello Bloggers, Hunger Games enthusiasts, and fellow tributes!

I have been hard at work these past couple of weeks, working alongside the publishers, planning the Book Launch, and working on Giveaways. So here’s what I got:

On February 23rd, I will be hosting my in-person Book Launch Party! There will be a costume contest, games, book signing, movie viewing and so much more. However, please do not think that I have forgotten about this wonderful blogging community!

On February 23rd, please join me for my online Book Launch Party on Instagram @KaylaAnnAuthor.

Instagram Book Launch.pdf

Through my Instagram page, I will be hosting an additional costume contest (send in your best picture of you favorite character to be featured in my story), trivia questions, and going LIVE with the winner of the online Book Giveaway (click here for more info on how you can win a free copy of “Agency in the Hunger Games)!

A special thank you and shout out to @Fictionista for being the first person to read and review my book on Amazon!

The countdown begins today! So practice your Mockingjay whistle, assemble your best costume, and brush up on your Hunger Games trivia knowledge!

Only five more days until the Book Launch! I hope to see you all there!

 

The Agency Games

The Manuscript Came In! Merry Christmas to Me!

As you probably read in my title, the official manuscript proofs for Agency in the Hunger Games came in last week and I could not be more excited! The manuscript proofs show me exactly what my book should look like in print. They are my last opportunity to read through the pages once again and double check for any typos or errors.

In addition to double checking for correctness, I am asked to create an Index for my book which sounds pretty straight forward, but I know will still take me quite some time. McFarland Publishing company has requested that I slowly, carefully, and meticulously double check through my book for errors and create this index, and return it by January 10th!

If you don’t hear from me (less than you do now), please know that I am here. I will simply be working diligently on my manuscript. Once I turn this manuscript back in, that will be my final submission for this book. After that, it is fully in the hands of the publishers and the next time I see my book, it will be a finished and polished copy that I can hold in my hands.

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Thank you for joining me over the past two years on this wonderful journey!

I cannot believe it is reaching its completion.

The Agency Games

Title, Book Blurb, and Cover Art Release for “The Agency Games”

On January 18, 2018, I shared with you all my dream, goal, and journey of writing, editing, finishing, and publishing “The Agency Games.”

Well, nearly two years later I am proud to share with you my official and finalized title, book blurb, and cover art:

 

“Agency in The Hunger Games

Desire, Intent, and Action in the Novels”

For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency is not only the physical battle of controlling one’s own body, but includes responding to a multitude of internal and external influences such as morality, trauma, power, and hope, while maintaining a sense of self.
This book offers an opportunity to explore personal agency through in-depth examinations of the individual lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and other residents of Panem, and through the analysis of other themes such as the overabundance of bodily imagery, the social expectations within the capitol, and the problematic parental figures of the series. By looking directly at individual agency and how it is gained, exercised, lost, and reclaimed, 21st-century readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set down by Collins’ characters, who establish over and over again that human agency is ultimately always attainable.

The Hunger Games

 

Is this book something you might be interested in? Click the link and be sure to drop a comment: Agency in the Hunger Games – SIGN UP!

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©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

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The Agency Games

Who is Peeta Mellark?

For today’s Hunger Games Friday, we are going to be discussing one of Panem’s favorite celebrities. That’s right, Peeta Mellark!

Loved in both the districts and the Capitol, Peeta knows just how to present himself to his best advantage, often changing his “identity” based on how others view him. Throughout the trilogy he cycles through different personas such as the boy with the bread, tribute, Victor, lover, hijacked Mutt, and maybe at the end, he becomes Peeta again. With such a variety of identifiers, some readers are left asking the question–

Who is Peeta Mellark, really?

 

 

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The Boy with the Bread?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The tribute?

 

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The Victor?

 

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Lover?
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Hijacked Mutt?

The way in which Peeta allows him identity to seemingly evolve throughout the narrative has interesting effects on the discussion of agency which is normally based on a strong sense of solid identity.

With so many different roles, it may be hard to discern who Peeta Mellark truly is. In Chapter 5 of my book “The Agency Games” I will demonstrate the exact core of Peeta’s identity and how that directly effects and strengthens his ability to know and exercise agency.

Of the above identifiers, which do you think best describes Peeta Mellark? 

The Agency Games

The Agency Games (Peer Review: ROUND TWO)

Alright guys, I did it. I successfully took the comments, compliments, and critiques from my two peer review readers and over the past four weeks, I have edited, revised, dissected, pulled apart, set-on-fire, re-arranged and re-written parts my manuscript.

I won’t lie, that was rough!

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The most recent draft has nearly 4,000 words more than the previous draft which I believe to be a good representation of the amount of scholarship, development, and clarification I have added along the way.  Beyond addressing any grammatical issues, I focused on developing and clarifying my overall argument as well as the individual arguments for each chapter. Also, due to reviewer request, I worked on inserting more outside scholarship to help substantiate my interpretations of The Hunger Games trilogy.

As hard as it was to read those criticisms, I am grateful for them, because I honestly believe that my book is better for it. I sent out my latest draft yesterday evening and am hoping to hear back from the publishers within a week to let me know that they have received it. After that, it will be another 6 to 8 weeks before I hear back from my third reader. Meanwhile, I’ll just be over here like . . .

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I am praying that this reader will have a more favorable response to my improved draft! I would greatly appreciate your prayers as well in this matter as I now have to force myself to not focus on what they may say about my book. I am plagued by anxieties and self-doubts, but I will choose to focus instead on the positive. In the effort to stay optimistic, I wanted to share one of the kinder things one of my readers had to say about my book:

This text takes a different approach [to the series], considering the role of agency in the text . . . Unlike previous scholarship, the writer suggests that these novels can help readers identify opportunities for agency (empowerment) in their own chaotic contexts.

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If only one person in the whole world enjoys my book, that is enough. I am so grateful for this opportunity to pursue my dream and I am so encouraged by each and every one of you! Thank you to everyone for your support and your understanding these past few weeks as I have taken multiple Tuesdays “off” from blogging. While life is still crazy, I hope to become more actively involved in this awesome community!

If you are interested in receiving updates for when this book becomes available, be sure to leave a comment on the post: The Agency Games – Sign me Up!