A Goodreads user
A Goodreads user asked Ruta Sepetys:

I've read Salt to the Sea and Between the Shades of Gray, and I loved both books. Regarding both of them, what was your inspiration for the characters of the books? How did you go about researching both books?

Ruta Sepetys Hello and thanks for your questions!

The inspiration for characters generally arises while I'm researching. I'll come upon a story or even just a small detail that will inspire a character and bring them to life for me. Many of the characters also come to life while I'm interviewing people who experienced the event. I try to interview as many people as possible while researching a book. I then weave their stories together into one character. That way, I'm representing a larger human experience. Creating characters is my favorite part of the writing process. Thanks for asking! :)
Ruta Sepetys
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