Hi Ruta!!! I am a HUGE fan of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray! I love how you give famous events a new perspective, and I feel like I'm really learning as well when I read your books! How do you get inspiration for all of your different characters? They always seem so real, and though I have never been through what they are going through, they are always relatable! Thank you!!
I'm so happy that you loved the books. 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 and emotional experience.