Writing has always been a hobby for George McNeish, but he was 61 years old when he decided he wanted to be an author. Having just completed his first book, “The Alternative,” he has several others in the works.
George was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and has lived in various communities in Ontario all his life. He Currently resides in London, Ontario with his wife, Delta.
His interest in multiculturalism and spirituality led him to study aboriginal spirituality many years ago and 19th century African-American slavery in more recent times. His views on world peace and a sense of universal spirituality are the greatest influences on his writing.
During his younger years his writing was limited to short prose and poetry. “The Alternative” was his first novel and the first time he had written anything longer than a few pages. Being economically challenged, he painstakingly pursued the task of rewriting and editing his own work with some help from a friend.
His study of psychology has helped with developing fictional characters that are believable. If McNeish was told a few characteristics of a person he was usually able to predict future behaviour. Translating this into the world of fiction, he got into the heads of slave holders, slaves, abolitionists and other characters to figure out how they would react in the fictional setting he placed them in. “The Alternative” is full of surprises as the characters took on lives of their own and, many times, surprised the author with their reactions.
George McNeish wrote “The Alternative” while volunteering for the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project in London, Ontario, Canada. By researching the lives of fugitive slaves and abolitionists that were connected with the Fugitive Slave Chapel in London, McNeish learned directly from key players the conditions of slavery that the fugitives were escaping from. Thus the evils of slavery are brought to light as the lead characters desperately search for a way to end this horrendous system.
Many more books are in the making. McNeish is working on a family history, the history of the Fugitive Slave Chapel, the history of the Baha’i Faith in London, and stories of fugitive slaves in London. He expects to write much more, on subjects such as World Peace, Cooperative Society and Spirituality, in the future.