Author Interview & Giveaway-- Ruta Sepetys

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Today I get to feature the AWESOME author, Ruta Sepetys. Her book Between Shades of Gray (NOT to be confused with a certain book that is sweeping the nation in awful) brought me to tears. I loved it so much. Today I have a really short interview with her. She's answering my favorite question to ask historical fiction authors, and she's telling us about her new book! Enjoy!

We all know that history is an important subject. "Learn from the past," and all that good stuff. But what I want to know, is why do you think historical fiction is important? How does it compare to just historical textbooks or nonfiction? And why did you choose to write your story as fiction instead of nonfiction?

Sometimes history can be a bit dry. But through characters and fictional stories, statistics become human. We cheer and cry for people we've never met. Suddenly, their history matters. That's the power of books and the power of historical fiction. As we read a historical novel, we're not only enjoying a story, we're learning about a piece of history. And sometimes, wrapping fictional characters around historical events allows writers to present the history to a larger audience.

Tell us about Out of the Easy in comparison to Between Shades of Gray. How is it similar/different? Did it require as much research? Is it meant for the same audience, etc.

Yes, Out of the Easy required just as much research, but the setting of post-war America vs. Siberia was of course very different. When writing Between Shades of Gray, I wasn't able to physically explore Siberia and had to interview those who were in exile to get the details. For Out of the Easy, I spent quite a bit of time exploring New Orleans and the French Quarter on my own. Although the settings are extremely different, both books have themes of hope, courage and love, and will hopefully appeal to both young adults and adults.

!!Giveaway Time!!

You can win a SIGNED copy of Between Shades of Gray! Today's giveaway is hosted by Kami's Library Thoughts. Head on over to win. This giveaway is open TO US ONLY.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012


  1. I'm in the middle of Between Shades of Gray right now and I'm loving it. I'm less than halfway through and I've already bawled my eyes out. And I have a feeling that's just the start.

    I definitely agree about historical fiction, mostly because I can't stand history books. I've learned more from a handful of historical fiction novels than from most of my big fat textbooks. I'm looking forward to reading anything she writes. Wonderful interview!

  2. I've heard a lot about Between Shades of Gray (DEFINITELY not to be confused with another piece of horror) and so I'm looking forward to the giveaway =)

  3. I have this on my hold list at the library. Historical Fiction to me is much easier to read than non-fiction. I appreciate the factual history with the fictional story and characters interwoven into the time. For me it is not so tedious to get through that way. I like the history, but it can be hard to get into reading in documentary format.

  4. This is such an amazing book. one of my 2012 top reads.

  5. I absolutely loved BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, and I can't wait to read OUT OF THE EASY (such great titles, both!).

  6. I've been so nervous to read this, because I just know it's going to make me cry. I guess I need to suck it up.

  7. I love historical fiction! I'll have to check these enticing books out!

  8. I can't wait to read Out of the Easy! The cover art is lovely :D

  9. I do agree with what you said about history tending to be a bit dry, which is why I tend to avoid reading non-fiction. I have noticed though, that after reading a lot of historical novels, especially when they tend to concentrate in an era, I pick up tid bits of social life and sometimes of historical figures, and just hope that the author knew their stuff!


  10. I have heard only good things about Between Shades of Gray. I have been dying to read and have just never gotten a chance to read it. I will also check out Out of the Easy!


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