Next month, we will be releasing the 3rd edition of Stacy Padula’s very first book, Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person. Below is its Preface.
I was thirteen years old when I wrote the first draft of The Right Person. After being assigned a project on peer pressure in my eighth-grade health class, I decided to write this book, shocking my teacher when I handed in a ninety-page “essay.”
At that moment, I had no idea that the Montgomery Lake High characters would remain a part of my life for years to come. What I did know, however, was that there was a need for realistic teen books—books that depict the social struggles of adolescence, books that aren’t afraid to address drug abuse, sex, and moral convictions, books that would help prepare kids for the social battleground that is high school. I had searched high and low for books like that, and no matter how many I read, nothing prepared me for what I faced as a teenager. So, I kept writing until I had completed the first drafts of three of the Montgomery Lake High books before graduating high school.
After college, I stumbled upon my drafts of The Right Person, When Darkness Tries to Hide, and The Forces Within. Deciding the books could possibly help kids socially prepare for high school, I completed the series and sought a literary agent. From 2010-2014, the first editions of all five Montgomery Lake High books were published. When Barnes & Noble chose me as a featured author for its Teen Book Festival in 2016, I was in awe that the stories I wrote as a teenager were being embraced by strangers and sold in a mainstream bookstore.
This version you are now reading is the third edition of The Right Person. Minor updates have been made over the years, but the heart of the story has remained the same. As the author of thirteen books and the founder of a publishing company, it is tempting to edit this book to include my professional writer’s voice, but the power of this novel rests in that it was written by someone right in the midst of adolescence. Its teenage writing style is something it cannot lose without losing its intended purpose.
Stacy A. Padula