Author gets free publicity from SNL!

dolphins_045PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Writer Malcolm J. Brenner got a pleasant surprise on a recent Monday morning when he read a web site that plugged Wet Goddess, his epic human-dolphin love story. The story was picked up by Brenner’s routine Google Alerts search.

On November 13, The Inquisitor published a review of an edgy Saturday Night Live skit featuring Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant as a pair of female scientists trying to train a dolphin to communicate. When the dolphin hits adolescence, they find the only way to keep him on task is to masturbate him. Host Tiffany Haddish plays a colleague who finds the whole thing nasty. The skit manages to be funny, cheesy and satirical at the same time.

It’s based on the actual relationship between a kindergarten teacher, Margaret Howe Lovatt, and Peter, a male bottlenose dolphin kept in a unique living arrangement at the Communications Research Institute on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the early 1960’s. Lilly described the unusual situation, which was intended to teach Peter how to speak English, in his 1967 book The Mind of the Dolphin.

During six weeks of living with Peter in a flooded room day in and day out, Lovatt found him demanding she masturbate him before their lessons would continue. Eager to continue the research, and unable to rationalize any objections to Peter’s advances, Howe complied. Lilly used parts of her notes in his book.

The Inquisitor also referenced a 2014 article in The Mirror, a British tabloid newspaper, which interviewed Brenner about his dolphin experience by phone. That article, in turn, linked to an earlier story about Lovatt and Peter.

Asked whether the exposure had any effect on sales of his novel, Brenner said “I’m not sure, but I sold four copies over the weekend, which is unusual. The first sale came in from the next time zone west of me at about 11:30 p.m. my time, so I don’t know whether SNL would have been on there. But I’ll take any publicity I can get!  Thanks, guys, the check is in the mail!”

Brenner recently had to completely re-do the layout for his dolphin novel before having the next order printed.  “I’ve written two other books since Wet Goddess was published in 2010, and I wanted to add a couple of pages at the end of the book to let readers know about my other work, which is equally radical.

“Because Microsoft had changed its Word document creation software between 2010 and now, the original .doc file had paragraph spacing errors when I opened it in an up-to-date version that uses the .docx filename. I ended up having to completely reformat the book, adding two new photos to take up some blank space,” Brenner continued.

Ever the perfectionist, Brenner had no sooner gotten the books back from the printer than he found another minor typo in them. “That’s the beauty of short-run printing,” he explained. “You may not be able to afford an editor or a proofreader, but any goofs you make can be corrected in the next print run.”

Wet Goddess has sold about 1,400 copies in 18 countries and been translated into Russian, Brenner said. His other books are 2014’s Growing Up in the Orgone Box: Secrets of a Reichian Childhood, a memoir, and a 2016 science fiction novel, Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair.

 

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“Mel-Khyor” published as audio book

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PUNTA GORDA, Florida – Author Malcolm J. Brenner’s latest novel, Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair, is now available as an audio book on iTunes, Amazon and Audible.  The release marks the first dip into audio book production for Brenner and Eyes Open Media, his publishing company.

“Like most of my ventures, this was a do-it-yourself project,” Brenner said. “I chose to read Mel-Khyor because at just 210 pages the book is short and fast-paced.”

The audio was recorded with Brenner reading into an Optimus unidirectional mike while seated at his desktop computer in his living room. He recorded mostly at night to avoid ambient sounds outside, and even unplugged the refrigerator to avoid any trace of background noise.

“It took about two weeks to record the entire book,” Brenner said. He then spent a couple of months editing the recording to remove hesitations, fluffs and glitches. The process was interrupted by major surgery in April to repair abdominal hernias; Brenner was in the hospital for a week.

When editing was completed, Joe Seul stepped in. Brenner met him through the services of publicist and networker Tamara Patzer. “Joe took a raw recording, equalized it, optimized it and added a touch of reverb, which gives it depth and a slightly mysterious quality,” Brenner said. “All and all, he did a wonderful job with the book.” The completed recording runs a little over four hours.

Brenner was a novice at production, and it took him three tries to get the book accepted by ACX, the audio book distribution arm of Amazon.com. “The book was rejected for a minor background noise in one chapter and chapters that didn’t conform to the ordering format that ACX requires,” Brenner said. “Once I knew what they were, they were relatively easy to fix.”

Now that the audio book is available, Brenner is watching the results. “This is an experiment,” he said. “Even though the trade paperback copy of Wet Goddess outsells the ebook by about 10 to one, I know there are some people out there who prefer to read a book on their Kindle or listen to it during drive time. Making an audio book out of Mel-Khyor is an attempt to satisfy their desires.”

The author of Wet Goddess and Growing Up in the Orgone Box said he has no intentions at present to produce either of those works as audiobooks. “They’re both too long,” was his only comment.

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Author’s Ebooks On Sale

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PUNTA GORDA, Florida – If you’ve wanted to read something by Malcolm J. Brenner, now would be a great time to do so! Both Brenner’s ebooks Wet Goddess and Growing Up in the Orgone Box are on sale March 5-11 through Smashwords at savings of up to 50% off the regular $6.99 price.

“Wet Goddess” is a 1970’s-era novel about a hippie college student who’s falling in love with a captive bottlenose dolphin. It’s available at 25% off, or $5.24. Discount code: RAE 25

“Orgone Box” is Brenner’s memoir of being raised in a family that followed Wilhelm Reich’s “orgone therapy” beliefs and the trauma wrought on him when his Reichian psychiatrist turned out to be a sadistic pedophile. It’s available at 50% off, or $3.50. Discount code: RAE 50

“I’m trying to encourage sales of my work as ebooks,” Brenner said. “Right now, trade paperback copies of my writings are outselling the ebooks five to one, and I’d like to know why, especially since ebooks are supposed to be the ‘in thing.'”

Brenner is waiting to hear from Audible whether his third book, the science-fiction novel Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair, has been accepted for distribution. It’s his first attempt to market an audio book.

As part of the 2017 Punta Gorda Literary Fair, Brenner will speak on “Writing the Offbeat Work” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at the Punta Gorda campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, 117 Herald Court in beautiful downtown Punta Gorda. Admission is free. Brenner will be at the Punta Gorda bookseller’s street fair to autograph copies of his work on Saturday, March 11.

“Mel-Khyor” gets first pro review

Writing in The Florida Weekly, book reviewer Phil Jason has given Malcolm J. Brenner’s new novel Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair a big thumbs-up.

“Mr. Brenner creates an interstellar relationship that is at once eerie, intellectually stimulating, humorous and romantic,” Jason wrote in the January 19-25 issue. “His eye for real and imagined detail draws us into his largely improbable scenes.”

Those improbable scenes revolve mostly around Susie Louise McGonagle, a woman trying to find her way through three relationships: her 1980’s marriage to an abusive first husband, her 1990’s marriage to an investigative reporter, and the haunting memories of a provocative alien encounter that preceded them both.

The fireworks start when Susie accidentally lets that encounter slip her lips to her reporter husband, who then becomes consumed with trying to prove whether her recollections are real or not. Weaving in and out of Susie’s story are the escapades of a team of government agents sent to find the elusive alien and his crashed, self-aware spaceship.

“Getting a review in The Weekly is a big deal,” Brenner said. “I’ve been writing and publishing my own books since 2010, and this is my first professional review.  I’m delighted that Mr. Jason liked Mel-Khyor and had so many good things to say about it.”

Mel-Khyor is available from Amazon as a trade paperback. Brenner hopes to have an audio book out soon, read by himself.

 

 

Read “Mel-Khyor” first chapter, free!

Fans of science-fiction and UFO’s can now read the first chapter of Malcolm J. Brenner’s newest novel, “Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair,” for free.

The book is available on Amazon.com and will soon be available as an ebook from Smashwords.

“Wet Goddess” author talks writing, working, life…

Link to an audio interview with Malcolm J. Brenner conducted by Tamara Patzer with Business Innovators Radio Network.  Length: 28:41.  Brenner talks about the influences on, and audience for, his latest novel, the science-fiction romance Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair, and why it took him 37 years to complete his autobiographical first novel, Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover.

“Dexter” author interviews Brenner for new TV show by Critical Content producers

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(L to R, Jeff Lindsay, Matt Duff, Jeff Parker (producers) and Malcolm J. Brenner.

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Visitors to this city’s Ponce de Leon Park might have gotten an earful while they were wandering the mangrove boardwalks today. They might have heard Jeff Lindsay, the author of the bestselling “Dexter” series of suspense novels, interviewing Malcolm J. Brenner, who wrote and published his own novel, “Wet Goddess,” based on his 1971 love affair with a female dolphin.

Filming the conversation were camera operator Jeff Parker and director Matt Duff, both with Luau Studios, a small Los Angeles-based production company working on a reality TV show about strange and unusual people from Florida, the state Brenner and Lindsay both call home.

Co-producers Parker and Duff hope to sell the idea for the series to Critical Content, a new production company that has produced such hits as “Ice Lake Rebels,” “Late Night Chef Fight,” “Sex with Sunny Megatron” and “Catfish: The TV Show.”

Later, they were in Cape Coral, Lindsay’s home town, trying to film the man who danced on top of a police car last year, making Brenner one of only three subjects in the Luau Studios’ demo reel for this project.  Duff couldn’t say when the reality show might get the green light, but he hoped it would be soon.

Brenner was also filmed by British TV personality Tim Shaw in June for a similar production from TV4, but hasn’t heard any word on it yet.