The western mystery novel, as is all western jurisprudence, is predicated fundamentally on the notion that all life is valuable. I wonder sometimes if Hinduism were predominant in the west, would Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and Rex Stout have been either necessary or successful?
The Trish who inspired the novel? Yes, I met her. The Trish as envisioned in the novel? Never met her. The real life Trish? Pretty awesome, as she had been a schoolteacher for quite a number of years. The fictional Trish? Wishful thinking, I guess. I’m of an age and condition that the scenes are no longer possible, but desired, at some levels.
Mitch is a tribute to a bartender at the American Legion in which I spent part of my life as a child. Again, no physical resemblance, but the original holds a fond place in my memories.
I don’t know about any other writers, not having known any personally, but I like giving names to characters that allow the reader to get a notion of their physical attributes without using trite and hackneyed nomenclature. The only exception here is Tiny – which is an actual nickname anyway. He is truly diminutive, but proportional and not a dwarf or midget.
A couple of examples:
Andy (Andrew) in my mental view is someone who is stalwart without being oversized – A man who exemplifies the stable without being stolid.
Trish (Patricia – a thoroughly Latin name, from the noun roughly meaning upper class) has a connotation of elegance without frippery, of gaiety without frivolity.