Given that Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess are both set in the modern world one of the questions I'm asked pretty frequently (apart from 'what car do you drive'?) is why all the Arthurian names and the SanGreal references?
Well, here's my answer.
1. I wanted the story to have a mythic, legendary atmosphere, even if it was
set in 'today's world'. For this reason (and others) I wanted the Templars
to have unusual names, hence they're all named after the King Arthur and teh
Knights of the Round Table. What I like is the conceit, in my world you can
have someone called Arthur SanGreal (or Gwaine, or Balin) and no-one
notices. It's all part of building a slightly 'heigthened state'. SanGreal
is taken from Holy Grail which is one of the main Templar myths, so
particularly suited. You know you're in the story and the story is taking
you to a different place. For the same reason the weather in most stories
and the location are actual mood enhances. Ever wondered why it's always
raining and overcast in funerals? That's why. It's also why no-one realises
Clark Kent is Superman, the glasses is a sort of shorthand to suspension of
2. Billi's French background gives her and her father and additional 'alien'
quality. The SanGreals have been warriors for a long, long time. They fought
for Napoleon and this is something I might develop one day, the earlier
3. Plus it's cool.
Hope that makes sense.