Andrew asked Ruta Sepetys:

What encourages you to search so deep for forgotten and obscure historical events? I loved Salt to the Sea, and it was a very surprising event, I had never even heard so much as a whisper about it. What inspires you to write these untold stories?

Ruta Sepetys Hello Andrew!

Thanks for your question.

I am drawn to hidden history and stories of strength through struggle, so I look for topics that contain those elements. "Salt to the Sea" and "Between Shades of Gray" both contain themes of hope, courage, love, loss and the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

Writing historical fiction is like being a detective. I love discovering secrets, hidden facts, and hidden heroes. Sometimes history can be perceived as boring. But through characters and story, historical statistics become human and suddenly we care for people we've never met, we can find their country on a map, and then - the history matters. Through historical fiction we can give voice those who will never have a chance to tell their story. That inspires me!
Ruta Sepetys

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