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80. Suzanne Collins

Kids killing each other on a televised battle royale in a bleak, dystopian future is quite a leap for young-adult readers swooning over boy wizards and sparkling vampires. But in the hands of military-brat-cum-author Suzanne Collins, the heart-pounding Hunger Games trilogy—which she dreamed up while flipping through reality TV shows—has become a phenomenon, selling 8.2 million copies in the U.S. alone. She is adapting her books for the big screen; the first flick, starring Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, is due in 2012.