“I remember being six years old and writing plays for my stuffed animals to act out to amuse my brothers,” the 46-year-old Roswell resident said.
He wooed his wife-to-be with love letters written the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. “I traveled all the time, and this was before texting and emailing. She’d get one nearly every day in a FedEx envelope. After 23 of them, she finally said ‘yes’ and we were married.”
The first story he ever had published, called “23 and ½ Love Letters,” was based on that written courtship. Over the years, as he pursued a career in IT project management, Weinstein produced several manuscripts and stories, including “Jake and the Tiger Flight,” a children’s adventure book for the nonprofit Tiger Flight Foundation.
It was his father-in-law Vernon McDonald’s memories of growing up in the 1930s that inspired his latest novel, “Hardscrabble Road.”
“It’s loosely based on his childhood. It was really fascinating to me how growing up in south Georgia during the Depression shaped him as a person,” Weinstein said.
The young protagonist of “Hardscrabble Road,” Bud MacLeod, has a hard upbringing. The plot assimilates elements of McDonald’s stories and experiences but is fleshed out by Weinstein with literary devices such as a love interest and a murder.
Award-winning author and Athens resident Terry Kay has expressed praise and admiration for the book.
“If George Weinstein’s ‘Hardscrabble Road’ fails to find readership, it will be one of the literary tragedies of 2012,” Kay wrote. “Rich in character from Bud’s parents and siblings to his half-Japanese friend, ‘Hardscrabble Road’ does what fine literature has always done; it reveals the tragedy and tender hope of humanity.”
After taking an early buyout from his technology firm, Weinstein was free to do nothing but write for a year and has more books waiting in the hopper. For many years he has been a member, and both president and vice president, of the Atlanta Writers’ Club. Now the owner of an education consulting company, he has just begun the promotional journey for “Hardscrabble Road,” published by Deeds Publishing and available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and some local bookstores.
McDonald died before the book was published, but Weinstein said his wife Katherine has been very supportive of the way so much of her father’s life was woven into the story.
“His family were sharecroppers, just the poorest of the poor. His parents really had no interest in raising children, so all he and his brothers had was each other,” Weinstein said. Weinstein will have a booksigning Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Chandlery, 950 Canton Street, Roswell.
He also will be at Greenwood’s, 1087 Green Street, on Sunday, Roswell, on Dec. 2 from noon to 4 p.m.