“In her short story The Train, Cendrine weaves a compelling narrative that quickly draws you in, making you care about her characters both naturally and organically, the emotional connection makes them very real to behold. Just like the journey itself, you find yourself getting caught up and travelling alongside with them, indulging in the intrigue that surrounds the protagonist; and before you know it, you have found yourself in a position of admiration and sympathy for the protagonist with all that she has been through.
Cendrine makes the writing process seem effortless but it is her engaging dialogue and sharp observations that drive the story to its compelling conclusion and ultimate redemption for those involved. I enjoyed this tale and its immersion immensely, this story showcases Cendrine’s emotional growth and storytelling abilities with quiet confidence and a careful undercurrent of understated panache.” – David Ellis, Author of See A Dream Within: Found “Poe”try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe
“The Train is a hauntingly sweet story with undertones of love, forgiveness, and loss. Rarely does a short story use characters and setting to evoke emotions so masterfully. I highly recommend Cendrine Marrouat’s The Train. Her pointed, poignant storytelling conveys an emotional story that will stick with you long after you finish reading.”- Katrina Moody, Writer & Editor at KatrinaMoody.com
“The writing was simple, but powerful. As soon as I started reading, I was drawn in. It didn’t take long to read, but it was a thriller, and I found myself comparing it to Murder on the Orient Express and The Lady Vanishes. There was suspense, and a good story that made an impression.” – Kelly Marie Purdy
“Thomas, we’ve already discussed this. No.”
“Maggie, give me another chance. I’ll do anything.”
It was my second conversation over the phone with my future ex-husband this morning.
“Ma’am, board the train, please. It’s about to leave!” The station attendant’s sharp tone brought me back to my current surroundings.
“Gotta go, Thomas.”
“Gonna miss my train because of you! I’ll call you later!”
I ran to the train with my half-opened backpack. The ticket collector’s hand met my arm at the bottom of the stairs and quickly lifted me up.
“Thank you,” I said, as the train started.
“My pleasure. One of those days, huh?”
“I’m afraid so.” I smiled.
“Where are you going?”
“At least that’s the right train.”
I nodded and entered the wagon to my left. It was empty. I picked a spot near a window and collapsed in my seat with a loud sigh. Outside, the leaves were in full autumn mode.
Hello, my name is Cendrine Marrouat (“san-drEEn mar-wah”). I am a poet, photographer, fiction writer, and the co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms and A Warm Cup of Cozy. I have authored and co-authored more than 40 books, including A Particle of You: Love Poetry (2022), Tree Reflections (2022), In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories & Flashku (2022), After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine (2021), Songs in Our Paths: Haiku & Photography (2020-2021), Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography (2021), Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku (2020), Walks: A Collection of Haiku (2019-2020), and In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play (2018).
My work has appeared in many publications, including Synkroniciti Magazine, On Landscape, Real Creative Magazine, Spillwords, Sweet Deluge, Life Pixel, Still Waters Run Deep (Lovely Silks Publishing, 2016), and eight cuts. I am the creator of the Sixku, Flashku, Sepigram, and Reminigram; as well as the co-creator of the Kindku, Pareiku, Vardhaku, and Hemingku.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
For many years, I had wanted to write a complex short story that encompasses several generations. I also wanted the setting to be in a fictional town in France, my birth country.
The only things I did not have were the names of the characters and their purpose. When I sat down to create the outline for The Train, Maggie was still a secondary character and the third-person POV seemed inescapable.
Everything changed during the first draft. There was something logical, albeit powerful about telling this story in the first person.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
How challenging it was! As soon as I started writing, I realized that I had a unique concept that needed to be taken to its conclusion. But it took me many drafts to get it right. When I showed the manuscript to my beta readers, they only had great things to say. The more readers share their feedback with me, the happier I am that I released the book.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Usually, one character comes to me before the others. The rest of the cast and their actions kind of fall into place as I write the first and second drafts.
There has been one exception to that rule: In the Silence of Words, which is a play I wrote in 2007. Before outlining the story, I knew exactly how many characters there would be, the roles they were supposed to play, and how most scenes would unfold.
Describe your writing style.
I am a minimalist; I write in a haiku-like fashion. I rely on dialogues and the unsaid to deliver stories with uplifting and/or inspirational conclusions / lessons.
I visualize all my scenes, speak every bit of dialogue out loud, move with my characters, and feel all their emotions.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I believe that fiction should not just entertain. It should also convey important messages or lessons to the reader. (The same goes for non-fiction.)
Unfortunately, it is something that we do not see enough in modern indie fiction. I try to focus on topics that people might be uncomfortable to discuss, so I can change the status quo one story at a time—and in my own way.
As the great Toni Morrison said: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”