QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR WHERE THE CORN GROWS TALLEST
1. Where the Corn Grows Tallest is not a continuation of your Roman-based Realm of Time series is it?
No, this novel is based in Iowa primarily during the fall of 1970. It is a story of mystery
and murder in a small town. The Roman books are historical fiction and take place at the
end of the fourth century in the Roman Empire. Different times, places, and genres.
2. Why did you change genres?
I thought about writing another Roman-based book—a sequel to the sequel, if you
will—but I changed my mind. Several people told me they like murder/mysteries, so I
thought I would give that genre a try. I liked the challenge of changing genres.
3. Is Where the Corn Grows Tallest based on a specific event?
The initial idea for the book is based on an actual event. In the 1930s in Glidden, Iowa, a
distant relative disappeared and was never seen again. It was quite a mystery, and that
was the inspiration for the book. Other than that, the book is fiction.
4. Are your characters based on people you have known?
I try never to model characters after people I have known or know. I let my imagination create the characters. I must say, though, that a couple of people I experienced in my past inspired certain characters in this book.
5. The war in Vietnam plays a notable part in Where the Corn Grows Tallest. Why?
I started college at the University of Iowa in 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War. In
response to the war, there were the Kent State shootings, and riots/protests at the
University of Iowa and other universities. I attended classes that were taught by vets
and several students were vets, and I developed empathy for them and what they went
through. It was a different time to be a soldier compared to today.
6. Is writing a murder/mystery different than writing a historical fiction book?
Yes. Both types of books posed different challenges. For the Roman books, I did
extensive research, but I didn’t want to get drawn into the trivia of everyday life during
that time. I was more interested in the big picture. I did less research for Where the Corn
Grows Tallest (I lived during this time). With the Roman books, specific date and time
references were not generally important; however, timing for a murder mystery is
critical. The story is like a puzzle. Clues are presented, but you don’t want to disclose too
much—you want to keep the reader guessing about the outcome.
7. Did you use AI to help you write the book?
No, not at all. In my opinion, using AI is kind of a lazy approach to writing. Maybe I’m old
fashioned, but I like to create my characters, the scenes they are in, and the action and
dialog that take place. Typing in an idea and some words and letting AI take it from
there is not how I write. But that is up to the individual writer.
8. Are you going to write any more books?
I don’t know. I have debated writing a sequel to the sequel of the Roman books. My
question is, would anyone read it? Historical fiction is not as widely read as
murder/mystery. And I’m not getting any younger. For me, it takes about three years
from start to finish for a book. I may do more short stories. We’ll see.
9. One reviewer noted that your Roman books were “labors of love.” Do you feel that way?
Absolutely. I do not write to make money. And I realize that today, relatively few
authors make a substantial income from their books. That’s not my intent. I write to
create stories with my imagination and develop that story to the best of my ability.
10. Are the finishing details in the preparation of a book or short story important to you?
Again, absolutely. If you put your heart and soul into a book and there are typos, parts
that don’t make sense, or other errors, people will think much less of the book. I am not
the greatest proofreader or editor, so I’ve been fortunate to have talented people help
me with the details. For Where the Corn Grows Tallest, I did 21 drafts! I truly try and
have the finished books/stories be my best.
11. Are you going to market Where the Corn Grows Tallest?
I’m not a good marketer/salesperson. In fact, it is my least favorite part of writing. I have
a website and a web master that will be used to promote the book (and the Roman
books). I also will advertise on a few websites and in a few publications. An issue for me,
an indie author, is that it is expensive to prepare a book, and to spend a lot of additional
money on marketing is tough. I must say that I will have my book release for Where the
Corn Grows Tallest at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on Thursday, November 2 at
12. Final thoughts?
Yes. It’s never too late to try something new. Enjoy life and read a book along the way!
-SCOTT DOUGLAS PRILL
scott prill author blog