Name: Ken Kiser
Give us a brief synopsis of your story: The year is 1914. Cambridge professor Felix J. Mallory is being escorted by an elite British military unit into the highlands of Kamerun. There, he will validate rumors of a possible living specimen of the Mesozoic era. In short, they are hunting a dinosaur. Complicating matters is the presence of German soldiers on the eve of impending war, and the slight problem that the locals do not believe in dinosaurs. “A Lion in Kamerun” will challenge your understanding of what it means to be a hero in a heartfelt tale of courage, brotherly love, and ultimate sacrifice.
Is being a writer ‘what you do’ or ‘what you are’? Writing is something that has always been with me. The pursuit of capturing the human experience through well-crafted narrative is a path to not only discovering new stories, but also a path to better understanding ourselves and the world around us. Like playing a fine instrument, writing is what I do. I define my writing, it does not define me. I am the brush, not the paint.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? My approach to building a story, is more akin to an engineer than it is to that of an artist. I find great satisfaction in the process of construction. Words become sentences, become pages, become dreams. There is beauty in the intricate design of a good story. So, I would call myself a “Plotter” even though I rarely work from an outline.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Quite frankly… I’ve always hoped that I can someday be Old. While simply looking forward to the day that I’m old might sound mundane, I’ve always looked at life as a journey that leads to a point of age, wisdom, and contentment. Life must be approached with care. It must be lived with exquisite attention to fulfilling every moment as if you are hoarding treasure. Many people are collectors of various things. I am a collector of memories, experiences, and insight.
Name: Felix James Malory II
Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a tenured professor of Biology for the esteemed University of Cambridge. While most of my work is accomplished from my office or my classroom, the constant hunger for discovery will often set me into the wilds and on a path to adventure.
How do others see you? Oh, I’m afraid that much of the world does not share my passion or enthusiasm for the origins and development of this wonderful thing we call life. I tend to find myself sequestered away in quiet ruminations with other academics at the occasional gatherings that I am dumbfoundedly invited to.
Are you brave? While I have been known to fiercely defend the scientific method and the undeniable truths of all that we have learned, I would be remiss to call myself ‘brave’ if it were to involve anything that even remotely resembles danger. I’ll leave the profession of bravery to those who are more adept with a command over their own safety.
How do you define a hero? This was once an easy question. However, my views were forever changed after the events I’ve chronicled in my trip to Kamerun. Lest I spoil that tale, let it suffice to say that I witnessed true heroism from an unexpected source.
Ken Kiser grew up in the swamps of Louisiana where an adventuresome spirit and an active imagination carried him far. Ten years in the USAF and traveling the world, led him to Korea and the woman he would marry. Over thirty years and two children later, they still walk hand-in-hand . Along the way, he found himself in the career of Surveillance protection. Now, a lifetime later, he is the Director of Surveillance Operations for a luxury Las Vegas resort.