Updated: Sep 13
Tom acts as Sam's foil in many different ways: while Sam is talkative, over the top, obsessed with the theatre, and isn't sure what he really wants to do with his life despite being in law school, Tom is calm, collected, and focused on academics as well as athletics.
Watch the following video from our podcast, "Nuts and Bolts of Writing," to learn more about Tom:
Tom and his brother Herman are of mixed Aleut, Russian, and English descent. His father, Fred, is 3/4 Aleut, and 1/4 Russian, while his mother, Charlotte, is of English descent.
The Melbournes' Russian ancestor, Innokenti Vladimirovich Mayakov (which was later anglicized to "Melbourne"), was a fur trader who settled in the Aleutian Islands and married into the Aleutian culture.
Tom's Aleut name, given to him by his father, is Hakuugii, "being above the seashore." His brother Herman's Aleut name is Ataqan, or "one."
The Melbournes hail from a small town in Alaska, Unalaska, the biggest city in the Aleutian Islands.