I don't tend to-- consciously any way-- mine too much of real life into my novels. Obviously there's bits and pieces, some of it more overt than others. Well, there are two minor characters in Lady Henterman's Wardrobe who are, in fact, very real-life inspired, but I think I'm going to keep the details of that close to the chest for now. Have to save something for the memoirs.
Now, one thing I do like to do is draw inspiration from places I've been. A lot of how the city of Maradaine looks in my head comes from places like Mexico City (specifically Coyoacan), Montreal (specifically Old Town) and Boston. I don't know if I necessarily do a perfect job getting those inspirations across, but it's what I strive for.
In other news, I'm going to be at ArmadilloCon here in Austin from August 4th-6th. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. There might even be a shiny ARC of The Imposters of Aventil in it for you. More details on that to come.
Now back to the word mines. Plenty of work to do.