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Character Profiles - Sophie van Buren

Behind the character:
Name: Sophia "Sophie" (Barnes) van Buren
Age: 22
Eyes: Green
Hair: Blonde
Occupation: Socialite and heiress to Barnes Shipping

If Sophie could be played by any Hollywood actress, I'd chose Kate Bosworth. I've said in the past that she'd make a great Romy Farrington as well, but I always did lean more toward her as a Sophie.

Photo by Marinka van Holten
Sophie's name comes from: Okay, it's probably one of the most overdone names in fiction, but every time I give a character a name (or he or she tells me this is my name), I can't change it. It just doesn't feel right. I tried to change her name, honest. It didn't work. In Greek, Sophia means "wisdom". It's a ver ypopular name now and was popular in the mid-1700s. As evidenced by a ton of Regency romances with heroine named Sophie.

Using the Mary Sue Litmus Test, Sophie scored a 33. She's a border-line Sue. Apparently she needs some work, but she's well on her way to being a lovely, original character. Maybe if she wasn't an orphan and an heiress . . . oops, too late.

Sophie's background: Her father, Captain Johnathon Barnes, started a very successful airshipping company. In the book we learn he died when she was pretty young and her mother never recovered from the loss. Fortunately her godfather takes over the company. He tends to shelter her from men (for her own good, of course), so she never expects someone like Van Buren to come into her life.

One thing you have to know about Sophie is that she gets her way when it comes to Van Buren. Like when she refused to surrender a kitten that had somehow wandered onto the airship.

Somewhere behind a pile of wooden boxes, a poor, frightened cat just wanted to find some peace. She glanced at Van Buren, who had the attention of the panting crewmen. No one noticed as she approached the crates.
Here, kitty. Here, kitty-kitty,” she murmured.
A little squeak came from behind a long rectangle box.
Come out, kitty cat. Let's get you on the ground again.”
Spider-web fine whiskers appeared, followed by a tiny pink nose. Two big green eyes set in an orange tabby face peered up at Sophie. She reached down and was rewarded with a soft head butting against her palm. The cat was no more than a young kitten. It purred, almost as loud as the Chariot's engine. She picked it up and hugged it to her chest.
Sophie, what are you doing?” Van Buren's face was stony. “Thompson, dispose of the creature.”
Creature. Like it was a rat or a slug. The crewman who answered for all of them a moment ago stepped forward. Sophie turned away from him.
Look at her, Alwin. She's so loveable. And she's just a baby.” She tore her gaze away from the kitten to look at her husband.

In an interview I was asked if there was a certain song that described the book. I have two actually, one that reminded me of Sophie and one of Van Buren, but you'll have to read the interview or the separate blog posts to get both. Sophie's song is A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. She was waiting for her knight in shining armor to come along. While he wasn't exactly what she expected, I think the end result was better than she actually hoped for.


  1. Really looking forward to reading this one. We only got a hint of Van Buren in THL and I'm looking forward to finding out more about him.

    1. I'm itching to get it out there. Next week can't come fast enough!

  2. I loved this scene! It really showed early on that S is the one in charge, LOL. Poor V.B. He just doesn't know it yet.

    1. Sophie was definitely a fun character to write! Annoying VB was one of her favorite pastimes.

  3. Ha, that was a great excerpt. Loved it. :)


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