Page One Podcast

Ep. 19: Deanna Rayburn: KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE

Episode Summary

In Episode 19, we interview bestselling and two-time Edgar award winning author Deana Raybourn about taking the huge risk to write her first contemporary novel, KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE—which became an instant New York Times Bestseller after being published by Penguin Random House this fall. Having written 23 works of historical fiction, Deanna’s courageous foray into contemporary fiction is no less perilous than the journey her four female assassins take in her latest book. In this high energy and deeply honest conversation, Raybourn recounts her struggle with finding the voice of the narrator until it dawns on her, thanks to her husband’s suggestion, to use her ‘Twitter voice.’ From that moment, Raybourn’s contemporary voice was identified and immediately grabbed the page as it will grab you, too. It’s rare to find a writer who shares as much joy for overcoming obstacles during the process as she does for the characters she creates. Deanna Raybourn has lived the hero’s journey in writing this book and the risk she took generously rewarded her in the most beautiful, intangible ways, “Writing about these four dynamic women has been an absolute joy. I’ve never had the chance to explore a set of friendships the way I have in this book, and I found myself thinking of all the incredible women I have known throughout my life—long-lost relatives, colleagues, friends, and even the occasional frenemy! The one thread that connects them all is strength.” If you love badassery, you will love Raybourn and her highly entertaining contemporary novel.

Episode Notes

Page One, produced and hosted by author Holly Lynn Payne, celebrates the craft that goes into writing the first sentence, first paragraph and first page of your favorite books. The first page is often the most rewritten page of any book because it has to work so hard to do so much—hook the reader. We interview master storytellers on the struggles and stories behind the first page of their books.

About the guest author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation Texan with a degree in English and history from UTSA. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including the Edgar, RT Reviewers’ Choice, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, and the Last Laugh. She launched a Victorian mystery series featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter Veronica Speedwell in 2015. This Edgar-nominated series is ongoing. Her first contemporary thriller, KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE, chronicles the adventures of four female assassins who must band together against the organization that would rather see them dead than let them retire.

About the host:

Holly Lynn Payne is an award-winning novelist and writing coach, and the former CEO and founder of Booxby, a startup built to help authors succeed. She is the author of four historical fiction novels, and her debut novel, The Virgin's Knot, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book. Her books have been published in eleven countries and translated into nine languages. She recently finished her first YA crossover novel inspired by her nephew with Down syndrome and her love of Shel Silverstein's poetry. She lives in Marin County with her daughter and enjoys mountain biking, surfing and hiking with her dog. To learn more about her books and private writing coaching services, please visit

If you have a first page you’d like to submit to the Page One Podcast, please do so here.

As an author and writing coach, I know that the first page of any book has to work so hard to do so much—hook the reader. So I thought to ask your favorite master storytellers how they do their magic to hook YOU. 

After the first few episodes, it occurred to me that maybe someone listening might be curious how their first page sits with an audience, so I’m opening up Page One to any writer who wants to submit the first page of a book they’re currently writing. 

If your page is chosen, you’ll be invited onto the show to read it and get live feedback from one of Page One’s master storytellers. Page One exists to inspire, celebrate and promote the work of both well-known and unknown creative talent.  

You can listen to Page One on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher and all your favorite podcast players. 

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