Ruta Sepetys is more than just an author — she’s history’s answer to CSI

“I love historical research,” she says. “It’s like being a detective. I get to interview people and hunt down details and turnover lots of rocks … when you start hunting down these secret rabbit holes and searching for stories, sometimes the universe responds and stories come hunting for you.”

Sepetys’ new book Salt to the Sea, our MashableReads book club pick for February, is a historical fiction YA novel centered on the greatest maritime disaster in history — a story that has gone largely untold until now. During World War II, the Wilhelm Gustloff was tasked with transporting refugees to safety but was torpedoed by the Soviets, killing all but 900 of its more than 9,000 passengers Read more…

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How one weird coincidence led to this novel on the worst maritime disaster in history