Ruta Sepetys hasn’t always been an author featured on the New York Times best-seller list. Sepetys spent a majority of her career in the music business working with artist to help them uncover their story. However,it was one artist who asked what was her story that sparked her journey to becoming an author.
For ten years, Sepetys has been writing with a writing group that meets in Nashville. A group that will read her writings before her publisher but it is there where she realized she needed to tell her story. Her father was born in Lithunia and became a refugee living in refugee camps before arriving to the US. A portion of her father’s family was sent to Siberia. Sepetys describes herself as a “hunter of hidden history,” going on to say “I’m drawn to stories of strength through struggle.”
In her latest book, Salt to the Sea it tells of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German ocean liner that was attacked by a Soviet sub on Jan 30, 1945, killing 9,343 people—most of them war refugees, about 5,000 of them children. A cruise ship with a capacity of 1,900 was filled with 10,582 people looking to escape during WWII Nazi aggression. Salt to the Sea releases today, is a story about four young passengers on the Wilhelm Gustloff: an overeager Nazi manning the ship; a Lithuanian nurse doing her part but haunted by her past; a Polish girl concealing her nationality and the source of her pregnancy; and a Prussian carrying something Hitler wants.
Plans are in progress for the making of a movie based off Septys previous book Between Shades of Gray. Mr. Robot breakout Martin Wallstrom will star opposite Bel Powley in Ashes in the Snow, a World War II drama based on the best-seller Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie, to be directed by Marius Markevicius, is a coming-of-age tale of 16-year-old Lina Vilkas (Powley) who is deported to Siberia amid Stalin’s reign of terror in the Baltic region during WWII. An aspiring artist, she secretly documents her harrowing journey with her drawings.
Wallstrom is the movie’s male lead, playing a Soviet officer taunted for being Ukrainian, who befriends the young girl and her mother. He is a face of kindness in an otherwise cold environment.
Markevicius is producing with Jonathan Schwartz of Super Crispy Entertainment and Zilvinas Naujokas of Tauras Films.
Wallstrom is a Swedish actor who broke out with his turn as a scheming exec on USA’s acclaimed hit show, Mr. Robot. He is repped by UTA, Principato Young, Gang Tyre and Agent Firman in Sweden.
Watch the video to learn more about the story of Between Shades of Gray. Sepetys is on the Board of Advisors for the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University and is also a director of the Make a Noise Foundation, a national non-profit that raises money for music education. Sepetys published her first novel in 2011.
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