When will you meet your Waterloo?

Diane Report: Home from Georgia; STILL writing!!!!!!
It turns out the last chapter is harder to rewrite than it was (or seemed) when I stayed up all night writing the first version. I’m really close to having the book done but I want to take a few more days to go through it once more and polish it.
See? These struggles don’t end once you are published, except having a deadline, even if you miss it, does make a person put butt-in-chair.

When I was packing for Georgia, I searched everywhere for my copy of Howarth’s Waterloo: Day of Battle, but I couldn’t find it. I especially wanted this book because it uses first hand accounts.

I grabbed a couple of other Waterloo books from my shelf and hoped they would do. My book ends at Waterloo. At least this version does. After revisions, who knows? I didn’t need information about the battle, but rather what it would have been like for someone in Brussels before and after the battle.

The Waterloo Campaign by Albert A. Nofi, part of the Great Campaigns series of books, proved helpful in many ways. This treasure does explain the battle in terms I can almost understand, but it also has sidebar vignettes and explanations, biographies of the important players and information about such things as musketry, supplying the troops, and, very helpful to me, the weather.

Even when it didn’t help me in my story, it proved very diverting just to read.

I even had my husband stop at a Borders along the way to see if they had Lady De Lancey’s book, which I think I have, but by the time I thought of it, we were on the road.

Desperation breeds creativity, I’m convinced. In the hotel I did a search on Google Books and found this treasure: Waterloo Days; the Narrative of an Englishwoman Resident at Waterloo in June, 1815 by Charlotte A. Eaton.

This book was written by a Englishwoman who, in the company of a brother and sister, arrived in Brussels on June 15, 1815. She wrote a memoir, describing the trip, the city, the events of the days right before and after the battle. She and her brother and sister fled to Antwerp on June 17, like many of the English did, but my characters didn’t so I had to use my imagination a little, but otherwise she gave a very vivid account of the uncertainty felt by the people who knew the battle was in progress, but did not know anything else. She even visited the battlefield several days afterward.

I highly recommend looking up this little book and reading it and saving it or bookmarking it. It was truly a gift from the Universe for me, just when I needed it most.

That’s how I met my Waterloo (book).

What books have you discovered in that wonderful, accidental, just-in-time way?

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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