Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interview with Ruta Sepetys and Giveaway!

Ruta Sepetys was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She wrote creepy stories as a child and told anyone who would listen that she was going to marry Roald Dahl. In addition to music and writing, Ruta enjoys teaching at the university, collecting eccentric art, and traveling with her dreamy husband. Ruta’s work has taken her to 41 countries on six continents. Her adventures have inspired dozens of stories and since she has intimate knowledge of heartbreak and teen angst, she decided to write books for young adults. Ruta’s degrees have nothing to do with literature, but do involve failed attempts at becoming an opera singer, an investment banker, and Roald Dahl’s wife.
1.Between Shades of Gray is the only young adult novel about what happened in USSR. These people had daily struggles and had to adapt. Knowing that this happened people, did it make Between Shades of Gray harder to write? Was there ever a time that you wanted to quit?
Emotionally, it pulled me through the wringer. Every day I was left pondering questions like “What does it take to bear the unbearable? And “Who survives this kind of thing?” I was left in awe of the people who managed to use suffering as a great teacher and somehow, while everyone around them was dying, their will to live burned like fire. Once I conducted the interviews I knew that quitting was not an option.
2. As someone with Lithuanian heritage, do you feel that your culture has changed from this event?
I have so much love for Lithuania and the people of the Baltics. Growing up with a name like Ruta Sepetys certainly emphasized my heritage. But although I wrote the book, it’s not really my story. The story belongs to the people of the Baltics. Much of Stalin’s terror has been dormant and I hope that we can bring the stories out of the dark in order to celebrate the heroes who have been nameless and faceless for over fifty years.
3. Since you books is a historical novel, what other points in history interest you?
Yes, I enjoy reading about the Westward Migration and The Great Depression.
4. What are some of your favorite young adult novels?
Oh, there’s so many! Here are a few:
“How I Live Now” by Meg Rosoff
“Dead Rules” by Randy Russell
“A Northern Light” by Jennifer Donnelly
“Charles and Emma” by Deborah Heiligman
“Wintergirls” by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just to say thank you for your fantastic blog and for all that you do to support writers and readers!
Thanks for having me, Sarah!
Below are my links:


  1. This novel sounds really deep. One that will stick with you for a long time. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  2. Not sure when this ends? Let me know so I can put it up on my blog!


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