Tammy: I did indeed take Mithros from Persian mythology, and had forgotten that Alexander the Great’s capital city, now in ruins, was called “Persepolis” until after ALANNA was published. (But I did know it in my subconscious still, obviously.) I quite deliberately named most of the early Eastern and Southern Lands from world history, including Carthak/Carthage, Scanra/Scandinavia, Galla/Gaul (France/Spain). (I’ve gotten better at hiding my tracks since then!) Yamani is just my rearrangement of Yamato, the original name for Japan, which actually means “land of the gods.” I did not know “Himalaya” means “the roof of the world” until after LIONESS RAMPANT–that was one of those Twilight Zone moments. I not only knew there was a Shang dynasty in imperial China, but “shang” means “strong” in one or other of the Chinese dialects.