Caseen Gaines is an author, director, educator, and popular culture historian.
His third book, We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy, was published in 2015 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the popular film franchise through Plume (Penguin Random House), and has received praise from Back to the Future co-writer and co-producer Bob Gale, as well as New York Times bestselling authors Ernest Cline (Ready Player One), Brian Jones (Jim Henson: A Biography), and Michael Davis (Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street).
His first book, Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon, received the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal winner in the Popular Culture / Leisure category. Playhouse, and it's follow up, A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, has received positive reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and journalists from The Village Voice, In Touch Weekly, VH1, and The TV Guide Network.
Gaines holds degrees in Journalism and Media Studies, English, and American Studies from Rutgers University and American Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, where he focused on popular culture and contemporary media. He received departmental high honors for his senior thesis exploring race relations in the original Planet of the Apes film series.
Outside of bookstores, Gaines can most frequently be seen in the classroom, where he teaches high school English, and working for Hackensack Theatre Company, the non-profit he cofounded in New Jersey, where he lives.