Details, details, details. Yes, that’s why you’ll find me on one of my historical research trips shamelessly fondling fat iron door hinges, sniffing the fresh floor rushes in an Elizabethan kitchen, rubbing my cheek against a cold marble pillar in the sanctuary of Salisbury Cathedral, or groping my way through the cool, echoing underground caverns of Cheddar Gorge, where wheels of cheese are still aged on great wooden racks.

Yummy details that allow me to experience the height and volume of a castle courtyard or the oppressive closeness of the dank dungeon below. Details that help me put you, my readers, right into the scene with my characters.

I have loads of photos I could share with you, but I thought you might enjoy a few scrapbook pages of the research I collected in 2007 at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, UK — with my impressions, brochures, entrance tickets and the receipts I kept for the tax man.