Skip to main content

Character Profile - Alwin van Buren

Behind the character:
Name: Alwin van Buren
Age: 29
Hair: Dark blond
Eyes: Gray
Occupation: Airship captain and owner of Van Buren Airfreighting

If Van Buren could be played by any Hollywood actor, it would be Chris Hemsworth. From the second I laid eyes on him, I thought, holy crap, that is Van Buren in the flesh.

Van Buren's name comes from: It's Dutch, in case you couldn't guess. Buren is a city in the Netherlands. Translated it means "neighbors". I have to be honest here and admit I didn't put a lot of thought in his name the first go-round. Basically what happened was in The Treasure Hunter's Lady, I didn't want to call the airship captain "captain" all the time, so he wound up with a name. I didn't do a whole lot of research on his name because I didn't think it would matter. Until he started telling me he wanted his own book. I'm used to his name now, I really like it, in fact and typing Van Buren many times in an MS helps with the word count *wink, wink*.

Alwin, by the way, in Dutch is pronounced Ahl-win. He's not an Alvin. There are no chipmunks.

I've also had many people say to me "shouldn't that be Alwin Van Buren?" In fact, no, it isn't. But because it's a proper name, it gets capitalized when used alone. In America, anyway. Although I did consider changing it to Vanburen during edits of The Treasure Hunter's Lady. In the end, I stuck by the original spelling.

Using the Mary Sue Litmus Test, Van Buren scored a 37. Well, it could be worse. He might have magical powers and scored a 70. I dread giving the test to the characters of the novel that follows The Sky Pirate's Wife. Eep.

Van Buren's background: I actually made a chart detailing Van Buren's family tree. I'm writing a novella about his mother and I wound up with this whole thing about his parents and their parents. It was too much information really. Van Buren was raised by his single mother after his father committed suicide. Hans was addicted to gambling and felt he'd let his family down. Tragic, right? Well, somewhere in his youth, Van Buren fell in love with the idea of airships because of his mother's friend, Fenton Marlowe. So in order to fuel her son's dream, his mother worked very hard in one of the steel factories in Philadelphia. She nearly died in an accident there that left her horribly scarred, but she wouldn't let him give up on the dream of owning his own company. And so it was.

For all his flaws (let us count the ways: stubborn, arrogant, set in his ways), Van Buren is really Sophie's knight in shining armor.

In an interview I was asked what song describes the book. I came up with two songs, one for each of the characters. You can read about Sophie's in yesterday's post, but even in the first draft of the book, I always knew Van Buren's song was What Do You Got by Bon Jovi. At the beginning of the book, Van Buren has everything he wants, but when his world comes crashing down he comes up with a solution to regain it. It doesn't take him long to realize he doesn't have anything without Sophie, but he'd give it all up to know she's safe.

Don't forget about The Sky Pirate's Wife Release Party on September 17. You can join by clicking the image in the upper left with the cover on it! And I'll be hosting a Twitter chat at 2 pm CST with the hashtag #SPWife that day as well! I have some nifty items to give away.


  1. Great character profile! Can't wait for the next book. :)

  2. I really love reading a bit more in depth about the character's here. Still loving The Treasure Hunter's Lady, and now, I can't wait for The Sky Pirate's Wife. Congrats on the upcoming release, Allison!


Post a Comment