Then there are other ideas that filter in - ideas that can be used in any story of any genre.
Yesterday I received a catalog from Venus (http://www.venus.com/). I like to look at the pictures :) and as I was going through it, I realized that some of the models reminded me of characters in my books, The Tempest Murders and The White Devil of Dublin.
I started paying attention to their clothing and the light bulb came on. Looking at these photographs gave me ideas for how particular characters could dress. Their choices say a lot about their unique personalities - quirky or sedate, bright or subdued, temptress or reserved... In some of the pictures, the models were fingering their hair, leaning forward as if listening, shielding their faces with large hats... The ideas are endless for helping to set the scene.