MOUNT VERNON — For some novelists the setting may be the most difficult element to add to one’s story, but for Patti Rudin Albaugh the setting of her first novel was something she had experienced first hand.
In her first novel, Albaugh introduces readers to Miss Margaret Landings in “The Ups and Downs of Miss Margaret Landings.” Set in 1955, it is the story of a young woman who “returns to Ohio and quickly discovers that hiding her past is impossible in a ‘small town entwined life.’”
Albaugh’s grandfather was the founder of Rudin’s Department Store, located in Albaugh’s hometown of Mount Vernon.
“While the characters and plot are purely fictional, I drew upon my experiences growing up in a retail family. I was fascinated by the concept of closing and opening elevator doors — hiding or revealing secrets and truth,” Albaugh said.
“I spent many hours in the store as a child shopping with my mother and as a teenager working in gift wrap or the elevator. Wondering what happens behind elevator doors or in the stockrooms fueled my imagination.”
When asked what the biggest challenge in writing her novel was, Albaugh stated that she had to resist the urge to explain.
“I came from a background of academic and non-fiction writing where explanation is necessary. I had to learn how to show emotion so the reader could experience it and not be told about it,” said Albaugh.
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