Leslie asked Ruta Sepetys:

Good morning! History and historical fiction are two of my favorite genres. I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Between Shades of Gray". This was actually new information to me. I am looking forward to reading your other books. How did you become interested in World War II? Do you have a personal connection to it? I enjoy reading about WWII as my Dad and his 3 brothers served overseas at the same time.

Ruta Sepetys Hi Leslie!

Like you, I'm interested in WWII because my father was affected and involved. My father fled from Lithuania as a young boy and some of his extended family was deported to Siberia. That inspired "Between Shades of Gray." My father himself was a displaced refugee for nine years and that partially inspired "Salt to the Sea."

I hope you have preserved the stories of your dad and his brothers. I bet they are fascinating!
Ruta Sepetys

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