On the eve of the Out of the Easy launch, with Ruta Sepetys

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tomorrow my friend Ruta Sepetys will launch her second novel, a book rich with landscape, intrigue, color, and snap called Out of the Easy (Philomel). It's a book that transported me to steamy 1950s New Orleans during a steamy 2012 Philadelphia day. It's a book that people have been talking about for a year, a book that, in recent days, has been featured prominently in every major news journal (with a full-page Entertainment Weekly interview, to boot!). Set to embark on a ten-week tour, Ruta is also launching some pretty cool initiatives, one of which should be of great interest to my young writing friends.

This initiative is nationwide, a Philomel-sponsored scholarship contest that will award one high-school student with $5,000 toward the college of their choice; the participating school will also receive 25 Penguin books. Those interested will want to read Ruta's book and reflect as well on a certain Charles Dickens quote. For details, go here.

In the meantime, I encourage you to embrace Ruta, her stories, and her great big soul as she travels somewhere near you. Her extensive tour dates (which actually extend through the entire year and will take her around the world) can be found here.

Finally, here is Ruta herself, on the making of Out of the Easy.


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