Tammy: I base characters on people I know–the Lord Provost in LIONESS RAMPANT on my father, Alanna on my younger sister Kim, the Shang Wildcat on my stepmother, Thayet on my best female friend, Kyprioth on my friend Bruce Coville, Evin Larse on my husband, Sandry and Kel on fans.
Other characters I base on actors, the characters they play, or performers–Beka on the young Jodie Foster, Lady Sabine and Duchess Winnamine both on Sigourney Weaver, Tunstall on French actor Jean Reno, Daine on Trini Alvarada (Meg in the Susan Sarandon Little Women), Taybur Sibigat on Bobby Goren in Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Numair on Jeff Goldblum, Rosto on Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ozorne on Ozzy Osborne, Goodwin on a tough Russian cop from the Bruce Willis The Jackal played by Diane Venora.
Other characters come from photographs I have that strike a chord with me: Sarai and Dove, Ochobu and Junai (Ulasim was based on professional wrestler Eddie Guererro).
SOURCE: [Random Buzzers – Fall 2011 Chat with Tamora Pierce]
Tammy: …I believe, that I based Alanna on my younger sister, the hero paramedic. Well, I also based the Lord Provost on my dad, the Korean War vet–thus the similarity in wolfish grins between my lord and Alanna in the Hall of Crowns. And the Shang Wildcat is based on my stepmother, who has been known to say, “Some kids need more raisin’ than others.”