Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teen Book Con 2012 Part 3

Reality Bites
Jesse Andrews, Elizabeth Eulberg, Lisa McMann, Ruta Sepetys, Siobhan Vivian
With Elizabeth Eulberg
Ruta, how did you research for this book?
Dead to YouBetween Shades of Gray Take a BowMe and Earl and the Dying GirlRS: This is what I didn't want to talk about. When we were coming up here, I told Jesse "I do not want to talk about the research." My book is set in World War II, but I wrote from the other side. Not with Hitler and everything, but those under Stalin. My father was on Stalin's execution list. I had to speak to survivors. It had been fifty years, but the pain was still so raw. I sat in a train car that was used to send people into Siberia for 12 hours. I went to Latvia, where they had this prison simulation experience. They wouldn't let me in at first, because I was American, but I offered to pay them. The prisoners, they were weak and starving. It was a way of terrorizing them. They needed a way to simulate this experience, this terror, so they beat us. I didn't think it would happen, but there I was, a stupid American with fistfuls of money, paying to sit in a prison for 24 hours. I was wearing a necklace. Yeah, who wears jewelry to a prison? A large man came up to me, yelled something in Russian (which I didn't understand, of course), and ripped off the necklace. Then he hit me across the face. They all started kicked and spitting at me. I was never more scared in my life.
The List[I wasn't able to get down everything Ruta said, but I typed up basically everything she told us. I just couldn't believe what she went through. It sounded so horrible.]

What was your favorite author growing up? Did they impact you later on in your writing?
LM: Road Dahl. I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
SV: I like spunky girls. Anne of Green Gables.
RS: I like books with death and kissing. *everybody laughs* Yeah, those two go hand in hand. Like Ethan Frome. "Let's crash into a tree and die together!" But I like kissing.
EE: I liked reading about things I could experience, which is why I write realistic fiction. Betsy Tacy, Cynthia Voigt.
JA: Road Dahl is like... the best writer ever. The Phantom Tollbooth.

Check out other Teen Book Con posts from this week!


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