Miska ["MISH-ka"] the Coachman is described twice -- once upon his meeting with Morrolan, and another time in Brokedown Palace. The first time he is described as having long curly black hair, a narrow face, deep-set eyes, a small mouth, and a small moustache and beard. The second time, years later, he is described as having an extravagant moustache and a hat, set at a rakish angle, with a feather in it.
In other words, he is described as looking like author Steven Brust first in his 30's as depicted in his earlier book covers, and later perhaps as depicted in more recent times. Since Miska is a teller of tales and a namer of names, as well as a lover of pálinka, this seems pretty appropriate.
The character of The Coachman also appears in the non-Dragaera work, The Gypsy, by Brust and Megan Lindholm. While never referred to as "Miska" explicitly, as we see in the Dragaera novels, the basic aspects of the character remain unchanged.
This is also entirely appropriate, given The Coachman's rôle in this work, as a ferryman between worlds, which would seem to describe Brust's own rôle as well.
Brust confirms this metaphor in a 2008 interview with Robert Tilendis:
- The coachman is a character -- an archetype, actually -- that shows up in several of your books. Tell us a little bit (or a lot, if you like) about the coachman.
- SKZB:To me, the coachman is a lovely metaphor for the writer. He's me, if you will -- taking the reader for a journey that may or may not end where the reader wants it to, but will certainly be going through unexpected places.
It should also be noted that "Miska" was the name of Steven Brust's dog (more fully, Miska der Wunderhund, German for "… the Wonder Dog"). Steve had Miska from 1986 (or so) until March 2004.