|Salt to the Sea win the 2017 Golden Kite Award for YA|
Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea are all New York Times bestsellers and are currently in development for film and television. Ruta is an SCBWI success story and two-time recipient of the Golden Kite Award.
Ruta tells us that while "Salt to the Sea" is her third published novel, it's not the third book she's written. She relates the very funny story about her first book written, the one she wrote when she was nine years old – and the whole conference room is laughing at how that first book of hers was banned. And how that experience "stole my courage" and she didn't write again for over 20 years.
12 years ago she came to this conference with a Middle Grade mystery, got a critique, and it didn't go well. And Ruta was devastated. And she went to a session with Steven Malk, and he spoke about career guidance, and he said, "creative people have a lot of options… and I like to work with an author and help them find the right road."
Steven became her agent, and helped her choose the road to take, and that's what set her on this path.
And Ruta says to us all,
"Our very best work, it's up the road. It's in front of us."