Book Giveaway & Author Interview: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Welcome to Debut Author Ruta Sepetys!


Born and raised in Michigan, Ruta Sepetys is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. The nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps in 1941 and did not reappear until 1990. As this is a story seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin’s cleansing of the Baltic region.
Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee. Between Shades of Gray is her first novel.

You have to go check out the bio page on Ruta’s site! 

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Oh, I love this question. Since it’s dinner we should mix it up a bit. The fab five would be Roald Dahl, Kay Thompson, Theodore Roosevelt, Beryl Markham, and Chet Baker. Yes, they’re all dead, but let’s pretend they’re not. Roald Dahl was a pilot so he could fly the group of us to Tanzania where we’d meet up with Beryl Markham for dinner in a lodge on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. Kay Thompson would bring Laphroaig in a thermos and tease Theodore Roosevelt about skinny-dipping in the Potomac. Chet Baker wouldn’t say a word, he’d just sit on a chair in the corner playing things like “The Thrill is Gone” and “Motel.” The table on the edge of the crater might look something like this:

What is one book everyone should read?
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coffee. I love coffee ice cream!

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
My favorite thing to eat for breakfast would be brownies, but somehow I always end up with oatmeal.

One food you would never eat?
Uni. I had a bad lobe of uni once and it still haunts me. Bad, bad uni!

Pet Peeves?
Bad uni. See, it’s still haunting me.

Skittles or M&Ms?
Absolutely M & Ms. Fistfuls, bowls, buckets of them!

Favorite Cartoon?
The Oblongs.

What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie?
“North & South” by Elizabeth Gaskell. The BBC made it into a mini-series. If you liked “Pride and Prejudice” you will flip for “North & South.” I am such a silly N & S fan, it’s embarrassing. If there are any other fans out there, let us unite and swoon!

What do you do when you are in-between books?
I always have several ideas going. But if I’m not writing I’m researching.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
I would jump into Meg Rosoff’s book “How I Live Now” and ask Daisy and Edmond to pick me up at the airport.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I adored “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton. Yikes, what does that say about my teenage years?

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
The song “Supposed to Be Beautiful” by Michael Logen

What is your guilty pleasure?
Reading magazines. It’s a huge treat for me to sit down and read a magazine! I just never have the time.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Screaming and whooping it up with my family. The celebration is still going on!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys:
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Thanks to Ruta I have an ARC of Between Shades of Gray for giveaway. A bookmark and keychain will be included.

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of Between Shades of Gray + bookmark & keychain
Open to US only
Ends 2/28/11