The Story Beyond the Story

Contact us about The Outside Groove.

On the surface (so to speak), The Outside Groove is a novel about short-track auto racing. As the novel’s readers know, however, the track that forms the story’s main setting — Demon’s Run Raceway — is just a detour on a longer journey for the book’s heroine, Casey LaPlante. It’s an important detour, a transformational detour, that leads her to a place where her family name is legend — but where she’s a thousand miles from away fitting in. At first. The content on this page introduces you to some of the actual places and people that helped create Casey’s fictional world.

Be sure to meet the transmedia collaborators who contributed their creative talents to sharing the story beyond the story of The Outside Groove.

"The Outside Groove" — a ripping NASCore song from Lucio Menegon (a.k.a. Reverend Screaming Fingers) now available as an iTunes download

"Short Track Short Cut" — a mobile phone video collage.

Post your own video to Here are the rules.

"Circular Logic" — an essay (with audio)

The Transmedia Collaborators

Cael Barkman, played “Running Casey” in The Outside Groove book trailer. Her superb acting skills are displayed subtly on screen, but as part of the crew, she was instrumental in telling the story. She’s a real pro.

Tom Curley, Darla Hartt, and the cast and crew at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont, opened up the gates to the pits and helped The Outside Groove come to life in ways that would have been impossible without access to people in the short-track racing community who know what they’re doing — and are willing to share their passion for the sport. For a fuller acknowledgment of Thunder Road racers and crew who contributed to The Outside Groove, see the e-book or hardcover editions.

Ross Gracia and Zachary Jewell, students in the Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Media program at Champlain College, helped sketch out The Outside Groove book trailer’s story-in-pictures of a young runner who decides to try her hand at auto racing.

Walter Lorraine, editor emeritus at Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, edited each of Erik Esckilsen’s three novels for young adults.

Lucio Menegon, guitarist — guitARTist — and master sonic mischief-maker, provided the original song “The Outside Groove” for The Outside Groove book trailer. His guitar work also scores the audio essay “Circular Logic.” More about Lucio Menegon.

Wendy Schmalz, literary agent and so much more, has collaborated with Erik Esckilsen for more than a decade, resulting in three published novels for young adults.

Adam Walker, filmmaker, shot and edited the footage for The Outside Groove book trailer. More about Adam Walker.