Limitless Roads Cafe by Samantha Picaro

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

Limitless Roads Cafe is a Summer Young Adult Book

Kinsey Fontana relies on lists to navigate the world as an autistic teen. #Goals list: win her dream event planning internship (she knows it’s an ironic dream); master the art of masking; and gain Mom’s approval. Instead, she works at a café hiring teens with disabilities. Although she loves the café and discounted macchiatos, she dreams of more than planning open mic nights.

She has an opportunity to shine by throwing a fundraiser to save the café. The catch: allow her ex-best friend Melissa Castillo to be her assistant and pretend they are friends again so Melissa’s parents respect her.

To-do list: plan the fundraiser with zero fundraising experience; work with the intimidating hotel planner who rejected her for the internship; and use every masking technique to charm rather than repel people from sponsors to a boy band. Although she needs unhealthy amounts of caffeine to handle autistic burnout, Kinsey reconsiders her #Goals list and realizes self-doubt belongs down the drain like incorrect orders.

Writing has always been the best way for me to communicate as an autistic individual

Growing up, I struggled with identifying and expressing my thoughts and emotions. I always felt more comfortable with books than with people due to being autistic and having anxiety disorder. Reading helped me learn to identify my thoughts and feelings, and to think less in black-and-white. But I also realized there were few, if any, autistic or neurodivergent characters in books or characters with mental health conditions, which added to my internalized ableism. Once I began loving myself more and trying to work past that internalized ableism, I finally began writing autistic characters like me. Writing was and is the best way for me to share my views and feelings with people and the world. Writing gives me more control, and more preparation, than verbal communication can. I’m determined to introduce more autistic characters to shelves because I feel that representation helps people embrace and love who they are, especially if the characters are living their best lives and challenging stereotypes.

As a young adult summer book, the target audience is, of course, teens

However, many adults read Young Adult novels, too. I wrote Limitless Roads Cafe not only for adolescents but for anyone who loves this genre. This book will hopefully encourage readers of any age to pursue dreams no matter how the world views them and whatever obstacles are in their way. It’s always wonderful when adults rediscover their optimism and idealism, even if it’s not from reading a teen book.

My goals haven’t ended with this one book

You can expect more Young Adult books in the future. I plan to write at least one fantasy book someday. Limitless Roads Cafe will not have a sequel (sorry) but I will write many more stories with characters doing what we all do: chasing dreams and constantly finding themselves.

I’d love to support fellow indie authors whatever way I can. It could be as simple as sharing each other’s social media posts. Perhaps it would be an interview or a newsletter swap.

The ultimate goal of my writing is to benefit my readers, and not just by offering good stories. I hope each book sparks conversations and inspires readers to be true to themselves and never stop pursuing their goals.

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