February 24, 2015
Author: Cynthia Holden Davis
We got to chat with Cynthia Holden-Davis about her latest short story that’s titled “The 4:15 Train” – the story will be available through eFiction Magazine on March 1st, 2015. Be on the lookout.
1) GSH: Congratulations on your publication! How old were you when you knew you wanted to be published? And how’d it feel?
CH-D: Thank you! While I remember writing all sorts of little stories when I was a kid, it wasn’t until after I finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” that I knew I wanted to be an author. I was 14 at the time.
2) GSH: Prior to writing for yourself, who were some writers you’ve admired?
CH-D: J.R.R. Tolkien definitely. Christopher Paolini inspired me because he was so young. Also Eoin Colfer, Ursula Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Lawhead, to name a few.
3) GSH: Literature, like art is evidently subjective, but what’s the one thing you’d like readers to take away from this short story?
CH-D: Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we want it to, so it’s important to make the best of the time we have.
4) GSH: What inspired the title “The 4:15 Train”?
CH-D: Throughout the story, 4:15 is marked as a significant time for Parker. That’s the time he’d have to be on the train to make it to his town’s social events. It’s the time he first sees Madelyn. Everyday when 4:15 arrives, it seems his life changes. Since the story is centered around him missing the 4:15 train, it seemed like a proper title.
5) GSH: How long did writing this story take and did your vision change from what you’d originally planned?
CH-D: “The 4:15 Train” took me about a day to rough draft and a day to edit. Working with editors to get it ready for publication has taken about five days. They had wonderful suggestions to tighten up the story. My vision for the story was clear from the day I got the idea and I never strayed from it.
6) GSH: Is the story completely fiction or were some elements inspired by something that actually occurred? And if so, can you tell us which parts?
CH-D: This story is completely fiction. Though you never know. Something similar has probably happened in real life, but I wasn’t inspired by any specific event.
7) GSH: What inspired the twist at the end? There were some hints in the beginning that the story wasn’t going to be a generic boy meets girl scenario, but that ending certainly wasn’t expected.
CH-D: Well, when I was brainstorming for ideas, a friend of mine said “You should write about a boy who falls in love with a girl at a fountain.” And I said, “I can do that, but it’ll be a Cynthia story.” I don’t typically write romance. In fact, my friends and family know me for having a darker imagination. It wouldn’t have felt right to me to have a clean ending.
8) GSH: What was your favorite part of the story and why?
CH-D: I loved writing the final scene between Parker and Madelyn. You really get into their heads and see them take the next step in their individual plans.
9) GSH: Do you plan on writing more stories with a similar plot or do you have a few other favorite genres you’d like to play with?
CH-D: I do have a few other short stories written that I hope to get published, and they all have that darker element. My favorite genre to write is actually fantasy, it’s kind of like my home. I’m currently working on a full-length fantasy novel.