Dean Skinner, Findaway's Chief Creative & Marketing Officer, reflects on 20Books Vegas.

As I’m sitting to write this post at Gate 53 at McCarran International Airport, I’m recalling the advice from Michael La Ronn’s inspirational session this morning; “If you acknowledge your fear and combat it, you take its power away.” Incredible. So I’m writing a blog post that will be read by authors. Which I am not. Terrifying. Great! Fear acknowledged. Check. Thank you Michael!

“If you acknowledge your fear and combat it, you take its power away.” —Michael La Ronn

This was my first 20Books. When I was asked to recap my experience, I initially went for the obvious... the eclectic look of the audience, the room, the speakers, how I heard the phrase “shit ton” at least three times during the opening remarks (true… I counted). But then thought, “No… there’s something bigger here.”

Maybe it’s because I’m a closet nerd, but when I look out into this crowd of colorful dyed hair, incredible tattoos, Hawaiian shirts, and yes, even a kilt, I think Stan Lee himself couldn’t have concocted a better band of outcasts.

It wouldn't surprise me if at any moment the guy with the incredible dreadlocks jumped on a table and pulled out two katana swords from his backpack (yeah I know… physically impossible) while the woman with streaks of red in her jet black hair began to levitate into the air while her pupils pulsed glowing white and lightning shot out of her open arms (cue thunder SFX).

Told you I was a closet nerd.

Yep… superheroes. These folks have the look of a bunch of superheroes called together to fight evil, save the planet, and inspire others. Superheroes… they most definitely are.

It’s more than just appearances. Authors truly do have a super power. You can feel it and I believe they know it. They know they harness something that many people want but seldom can do. They have the power to create. The power to write stories that change lives. As Michael La Ronn put it, “When I write books, I’m not only changing my life. I’m changing my readers' lives too.”

Wow. Seriously…WOW!!

Authors truly do have a super power... They have the power to create. The power to write stories that change lives.

Please forgive me if I offended anybody here, especially this talented group of people. I am not making fun. I envy you. I wish I was one of you. I came to share information about audiobooks, but left absorbing more inspiration than I ever expected. Maybe I should start hoping for a radioactive bug or toxic spill to give me this incredible super power. Or maybe I should do what you did. Just start writing. Writing and believing. Believing in yourself. Your story. Your dream.

Again… wow is all I can say!

Thank you for showing me the fire in your eyes. Thank you for giving me the spark, the idea, the dream that if you can do it, maybe I can too. Maybe…

P.S. Please buy a book written by Brandon Barr. Please. The fight he’s battling is much greater than I believe most of us, even as superheroes, could endure. My heart goes out to him and his family. Up, up and away, Brandon. Up, up and away.


Dean Skinner
Dean Skinner

Chief Creative & Marketing Officer, Findaway