Author releases “Wet Goddess” outtakes

PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA – In a daring literary experiment, Malcolm J. Brenner, author of the human-dolphin love story Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover, has resumed publishing deleted chapters from the original first draft of the controversial 2010 novel.

“This material was originally first published several years ago on my personal blog at http://wetgoddess.net,” Brenner said. Tight finances forced  him to discontinue the web page.

“With the recent claim that some scientists have taught a killer whale, or orca, to imitate a few words in English, it occurred to me that this deleted material, with a brief introduction, could be recycled of its own accord,” Brenner said. “I wrote it in 1978, and it is essentially unchanged from my original drafts. I think it is prophetic and wonderfully ironic, given what we now know about how killer whales live in the wild, versus how they survive in even the best artificial conditions.”

The four consecutive chapters will be published one at a time, starting today, on Brenner’s writing web page: https://www.facebook.com/MJBrennerwriter/

“Wet Goddess” has sold about 1,450 copies in 18 countries, and has been translated into Russian. It is available as a 341-page photo-illustrated trade paperback from Amazon. com, and as an ebook from Smashwords.com.

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Author gets alumni write-up

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Author Malcolm J. Brenner and his books got a brief write-up in Nimbus, the quarterly magazine of the New College Alumnae/i Association, #81, Fall 2017. The photo, which Brenner submitted, shows him with one of the residents of the Dolphin Research Center in 2005.

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.

 

“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.