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Inky Awards Shortlist: Interview with Ruta Sepetys

Sep 17,2017
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Interview questions for Ruta Sepetys, proudly provided by 15-year-old Inky Awards judge, Josh.

File 38511 

Hi Josh! Thanks so much for these questions – Ruta

Q: What is your book about?

A: Salt to the Sea is set during World War II and tells the story of four teenagers who board the doomed ship, Wilhelm Gustloff. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the single largest maritime disaster in history, dwarfing both the Titanic and the Lusitania combined, but it’s a story that has remained hidden.

Q: Could you describe your experience researching the facts for this book?

A: I spent three years researching the novel and traveled to six different countries tracking down stories. I met with historians, survivors, family members of victims, and deep sea divers who explored the sunken ship. I love the research process as much as the writing. It’s during the research that the story begins to take shape.

Q: Do you think most people would crack under the pressure of the mission Florian was tasked with?

A: I certainly would. I interviewed many adults who were teenagers during the war and their stories were terrifying. Many teens were separated from their families and left to battle the beast of war on their own. Their courage and fortitude amazed me and helped me to create the characters in the novel.

Q: Of the many powerful quotes in your book, what would be your favourite?

A: I think my favourite quote is a proverb recited by the character of the shoe poet: “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

Q: If you won the Silver Inky Award you would…

A: Scream so loud and long that I would surely shatter every glass in my home.


Voting closes today at 5:30p.m. Vote in the Inkys here. 

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