John Warren WellsJWW is another self of Lawrence Block, and one who flourished in the early 1970s. His books are non-fiction studies in the field of human sexual behavior, comprised in large measure of case histories. Because our Mr. Wells engaged in considerable correspondence and in-person interviews with shock troops and camp followers of the Sexual Revolution, the books can claim a good deal of authenticity; because he brings the imagination and literary resourcefulness of a fiction writer to the task, the work can also be classed as fiction in sheep’s clothing.
Around the time 1963 was turning into 1964, I was living in a suburb of Buffalo and trying mightily to make ends meet. I’d done nothing but write for a living ever since I dropped out of college in 1959, and in the interim had acquired a wife and fathered two daughters.
I was represented by Scott Meredith, at whose agency I’d worked a few years earlier as an editor. I’d learned a lot there, but had evidently not learned certain lessons about human relations, and I managed to let things reach the point where the agency dropped me as a client. Nor had I learned that there are times when prudence makes it advisable to eat crow, and I consequently passed up an opportunity to get back in the fold.
Until then I’d been writing a book a month for my primary market, Nightstand Books. It turned out to be a closed shop for Scott Meredith clients, and that meant the immediate cessation of the greater portion of my income. I’d already demonstrated that I wasn’t terribly bright, but I proved to be resourceful, and developed enough other markets for myself to keep food on the table.
During this time, John Warren Wells was born…