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John Warren Wells’ Page

June 21, 2013
JWW moves beyond Kindle

versatile_ladiesLaunching the 18 John Warren Wells books as Kindle Select titles has allowed me to give some away periodically, so that y’all can see if they’re your cup of tea (or 5-hour energy drink). But that left out all the Nooksters and ApplePickers and Kobo Hoboes among you, so over the next several months I’ll be making the books eVailable one by one at Barnes & Noble (for Nook) and Smashwords (for Apple, Kobo, Sony Reader).

First up is Versatile Ladies. Subtitled The Bisexual Option, its six subjects offer a good perspective on the topic. As with all the JWW titles, you can read it as psychosexual case histories or as tasteful erotica. Or both, come to think of it… Nook Smashwords

Next is The New Sexual Underground: Crossing the Last Boundaries. Nook Smashwords

As more titles make the move to Nook and Smashwords, I’ll add links on the list below.

May 3, 2013
A mystery solved!

Over the years, a few booksellers and collectors have tried to locate a Dell book listed as Their Own Thing—but no one has ever seen a copy, or heard tell of one offered for sale. My friend Lynn Munroe, paperbacker extraordinaire, reports a solution to the mystery:

Larry –

beyondgroupsexThe next Dell after THEIR OWN THING (Dell 8678) was announced in 1972 is Dell 0884, BEYOND GROUP SEX: The New Sexual Lifestyles.

On the first page inside the front cover, in large letters, we find: They all do / THEIR OWN THING!

And on the dedication page: for JILL EMERSON, who does her own thing with aplomb and who may do mine whenever she wants…

You suggested Dell never published THEIR OWN THING, but retitled it. This is it.

One more mystery solved,

Lynn

Well, now we know. I’m afraid I can’t offer you the mythical Their Own Thing, but you can snap up Beyond Group Sex for a mere $4.99. And really, how can you resist…now that you’ve seen the cover, and now that you know (cue Paul Harvey) The Rest Of The Story.

November 26, 2012
JWW back in ePrint!

Well, it’s taken the better part of a year, but the works of the legendary John Warren Wells are now all eVailable at Kindle. (For now, at least, they’re Kindle Exclusives. This means two things: (1) I have the option of giving away a particular title for a few days, as I did some months ago with Different Strokes. (2) if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have the option of exercising your once-a-month option and borrowing any of these titles free of charge.)

And who is John Warren Wells, and of what do these 17 books consist? JWW 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.

Are they any good? Ah but that’s your call to make, isn’t it?

BEYOND GROUP SEX Amazon Nook Smashwords
COME FLY WITH US Amazon Nook
sex&stewardessDIFFERENT STROKES or How I (Gulp!) Wrote, Directed, and Starred in an X-rated Movie Amazon Nook
DOING IT! Going Beyond the Sexual Revolution Amazon Nook
EROS & CAPRICORN: a Cross-Cultural Survey of Sexual Techniques Amazon
LOVE AT A TENDER AGE Amazon Nook
THE MALE HUSTLER: Seven Midnight Cowboys Tell Their Stories Amazon Nook
THE MRS. ROBINSON SYNDROME: Older Women and Younger Men Amazon Nook
THE NEW SEXUAL UNDERGROUND: Crossing the Last Boundaries Amazon Nook Smashwords
SEX AND THE STEWARDESS Amazon Nook Smashwords
THE SEX THERAPISTS: What They Can Do and How They Do It Amazon Nook
newsexualunderground2SEX WITHOUT STRINGS: A Handbook for Consenting Adults Amazon Nook
THE TABOO BREAKERS: Shock Troops of the Sexual Revolution Amazon Nook
3 IS NOT A CROWD Amazon Nook
TRICKS OF THE TRADE: A Hooker’s Handbook of Sexual Techniques Amazon Nook
VERSATILE LADIES: The Bisexual Option Amazon Nook Smashwords
WIDE OPEN: New Modes of Marriage Amazon Nook
THE WIFE-SWAP REPORT Amazon Nook

An EBOOK Afterword for DIFFERENT STROKES:

I can explain.
And I think I’d better.

Let me begin by telling you, Gentle Reader, that the book you just read, the script and production diary of the 1970s film Different Strokes, is nothing but a pack of lies. No such film was ever produced, and all the engaging characters, the acts they perform and the sparkling conversations they conduct, are wholly fictitious, the products of the fertile if warped imagination of one person.
Uh, that would be me.
I could leave it at that, but in this instance there’s a story that goes with it, and it’s arguably as good as the one you just read. Maybe better.

In the early 70s I was living with my three daughters and my then-wife in a Revolutionary-era farmhouse on fourteen rolling acres in New Jersey, just across the river from New Hope, Pennsylvania. I had a pied-a-terre in New York as well; I came to town once a week to play cards, see friends, and get into trouble, and spent longer stretches at the apartment when I had a book to write.
A founding member of our weekly poker game, and a friend since college, was Jim Fenton. He’d gone the corporate route, and worked for years for either American Can or Continental Can; later he moved to Pepsico, spent most of his time in the Far East, and stayed there after he left Pepsi’s employ. (I’ve tried without success to track him; Google’s no help, throwing up endless references to a prominent English poet with the same name. If anyone reads this and knows how to reach Antioch’s Jim Fenton, please let me know.)
This was around the time when films like Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones were appearing in theaters all over America. The flickering black-and-white images of Elks Club smokers were going mainstream, with good production values and big audiences. And Jim reported that a guy he knew, a businessman kind of a guy, wanted to make a porn film with a real script and a good cast and wide distribution. They guy, whom I’ll call Vincent Riordan, had already hooked up with a director, whom I’ll call Claude Borgward, and the next thing they needed was a writer. Would I be interested?
I met with Riordan and Borgward, and we worked out some sort of a deal. If I remember correctly (and I don’t see why I should) I was to get $1000 for writing the script, plus “points” in the production; if it made money, I’d make money.
Jim would get points, too, in return for raising money for the production. I have no idea what its putative budget may have been, but I know Jim was selling shares for $1000 apiece, and several people at Dell wanted in.
Yes, that would be Dell Books. My publishers.

Here’s how that happened. While I wasn’t going to be getting much actual cash for my efforts, and while I didn’t have a lot of faith that my points were going to make me rich, I saw an opportunity for some subsidiary income. As John Warren Wells, the name I intended to use on the script, I had published several books with Dell, including The Wife-Swap Report, Wide Open: The New Marriage, Three is not a Crowd, Sex Without Strings, and Beyond Group Sex. So why not sell Dell on the idea of publishing the script, along with a production diary from the film, interviews with the leading actors, and a few still from the film itself, carefully chosen to slip past the censors?
I sat down with Bill Grose, my editor at Dell, and pitched the proposal. He loved it, and brought in Peggy Roth, and before I knew it they’d both expressed eagerness not only to publish the book but to invest in the production. I know Bill and Peggy both bought shares, and I believe there were a couple of other investors at Dell as well. I gave all the checks to Jim Fenton, and he tucked them into an escrow account.
And my agent made my deal with Dell. We signed a contract, and I was to get an advance of $7500 for writing the book. (Plus royalties, to go with my points in the film. Right.)

I had a couple of meetings with the two principals. I didn’t really get to know Tony O’Rourke, who struck me as rather a slick character, but saw more of Claude Borgward, who in fact played a couple of times in our weekly poker game. On the first such occasion, he volunteered to host the game, and we played at a long refectory table in his Upper West Side apartment, in a room lined with bookcases. He had a pet margay, a small wildcat rather like an ocelot, and the creature hung out on the bookshelves and prowled around gazing balefully down upon the table.
This was unsettling, and made no less so by the room’s all-pervasive pong. One’s nostrils left one in no doubt that one was in the presence of a wild denizen of the jungle. So that was the last time we had the game at Claude’s place. But the next week we played at somebody else’s apartment, and Claude came, and we realized we’d been remiss in assessing blame for the stench. It wasn’t the margay that ponged. It was Claude.
Never mind. Somehow, at home or in the city, I got a screenplay written, and I believe it was pretty much the version you just read.
Then came the most singular experience of all. The casting session.

“We think we’ve found our leading lady,” Riordan told me. (Or maybe it was Borgward.) “She’s made a batch of films, and we think she’s really good. So we’d like to know what you think.”
“What I think?”
“There’s going to be a private screening of a rough cut of her latest movie. It hasn’t been released yet, but you can go to the screening. And you’ll meet her, and you’ll see her work, and we’d like to know what you think.”
They showed the film at a small midtown screening room, and of course I attended, along with maybe two dozen other people. I sat on one side of a young woman named Andrea True, who was in fact the film’s star, and on her other side was a friend of hers, a guy in the business in one capacity or another.
The word surreal gets bandied about a good deal, but I’d be hard put to find a better use for it. I was sitting next to this attractive young woman while we both watched her perform sexually on a huge screen with every imaginable partner short of barnyard animals. And throughout it all she supplied a running commentary, delivered to the friend on her other side: “Oh, that came out better than I thought it would…I never thought he’d wind up using that shot…it’s awful the way the camera shows every blemish…”
Afterward the three of us went out for a bite. I seem to remember that we went to Wienerwald, but that seems too good to be true. I remember that she drank apple juice, and talked about Stanislavski and the Method.
The next day one of them called me, Borgward or Riordan. Well? What did I think? Very personable young lady, I allowed. Attractive, pleasant. Yeah, yeah, but what did I think of her as an actress?
“Well, that’s hard to say,” I said. “It depends on elements I have no way of knowing.
Huh?
“Let me put it this way,” I said. “If she doesn’t enjoy performing fellatio, then she’s the best actress since Sarah Bernhardt.”

Somewhere along the line, everything seemed to stall out.
I don’t know what went wrong, and didn’t spend enough time with Borgward or Riordan to watch the wheels coming off, but it became evident after a while that nothing much was happening, and Jim Fenton smelled a rat. It was time to turn over the escrow account to Riordan, and he didn’t think this was a good idea; instead, he returned everybody’s investment in full.
This was fairly remarkable. Nobody I knew, and certainly none of the folks at Dell, had broken open the kid’s piggy bank in order to buy a share in Different Strokes, nor had they expected much of a return, if any, on their investment. While they’d hoped to attend a premiere and know that they’d played a small part in everything they saw up there on the screen, the fact that they got their money back was more than enough to make them happy.
I remember sitting in Bill Grose’s office. He’d just received his refund, and agreed that we all owed thanks to Jim Fenton, for his watchdog role. But he’d rather looked forward to the movie.
“No more than I,” I said. “And what really hurts is that it scuttles our book deal.”
“Yes,” he said. “I’d so looked forward to publishing that book.”
And our eyes met, and I wouldn’t be surprised if little light bulks formed in the air above our heads.
“You know,” one of us said, “just because there’s not going to be a movie—”
“Doesn’t necessarily mean there can’t be a book,” said the other.
“Of course we’ll have to forget about the stills. If there’s no movie, there won’t be stills.”
“No.”
“Or photos of the actors.”
“Or that. Of course that makes the book less expensive to produce.”
“There’s that. And the production diary doesn’t have to be limited by what really happened. It can be a much better story if it isn’t tied down by facts.”

And so I finished the book. Did I make any changes in the screenplay? I have no idea, but my guess is that I used it exactly as I’d written it. Then, of course, I had to write the production diary, but that was easy enough. It was fiction, and I’d been writing fiction for years. I liked fiction. You weren’t tied down by facts.
By the time the book came out, sometime in 1974, I had separated from my wife and moved to another apartment in New York, on West 58th Street. I don’t recall the book’s having any impact on my life or anybody else’s. It didn’t sell enough copies to go into a second printing, and by then I had less interest in John Warren Wells. I’d decided to stop writing books under that name, and pretty much forgot about that whole aspect of my career. And probably hoped the rest of the world would be equally forgetful.

Late last year I had occasion to remember Andrea True when her obituary appeared in the newspaper in the New York Times. Sometime in 1975, a curious set of circumstances led her into a singing career, and she had several hit records under the same name she’s used as a porn star. (Her birth name was Andrea Marie Truden.) Her story’s interesting enough to commend to your attention, but too long to recount here; the Wikipedia article is well worth a look.
She was 68 and living in New York when she died of heart failure in November of 2011.

August 8, 2012.
Five Stars for JWW!

Even as the free offer of Different Strokes begins running on Kindle, the book got its first review, and it’s too delicious to waste its sweetness on the desert air:

5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious post-modern critique of the porn business August 8, 2012
By White Room

“When I was compiling CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, my survey of the 20th century world of sex, DIFFERENT STROKES was one of my texts. Having no idea it was a witty parody of how adult films were made, I accepted it as an even-handed account of such a production, and its multitudinous pleasures and disasters. The inclusion of a long interview with the female star just added to its sense of authenticity.Who was to know that this was an ingenious exercise in literary sleight of hand by one of the masters of the game, Lawrence Block? I’d long admired his Matt Scudder stories and been amused by the adventures of bookselling burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, but DIFFERENT STROKES completely blind-sided me. Like the skilful conman that he is, Block played on all my expectations to lead me totally astray. What a pleasure to see this rare book back in print – or at least in Kindle. I recommend it unreservedly as an example of the redoubtable Block as his most puckishly deconstructive. Ladies and gentleman, a masterpiece!”

July 28, 2012
More JWW books on Kindle:

As of this evening, Eros & Capricorn and 3 is Not a Crowd have been ePublished for Kindle.

July 27, 2012
DIFFERENT STROKES goes live for Kindle!

DIFFERENT STROKES: How I (Gulp!) Wrote, Directed, and Starred in an X-rated Movie, is now up and available for Kindle. It contains the full text of the 1974 Dell paperback, plus an afterword written this year exclusively for the eBook.

July 10, 2012

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.

I’d already dipped a toe in the murky waters of sex-oriented nonfiction.  In 1961, I wrote a string of books for Monarch as Benjamin Morse, M.D. (In case you were wondering, there’s nothing illegal about adopting a medical pen name, so long as one doesn’t usurp the privileges of a bonafide physician; as I neither diagnosed nor prescribed, I was in the clear.)

“Benjamin Morse,” you’ll be pleased to know, was allegedly the pen name of a Chicago-based psychiatrist, Morton A. Benjamin by name. (Br. Benjamin did not exist.) Morse wrote books with titles like The Lesbian, The Male Homosexual, Sexual Behavior of the American College Girl, The Sexual Deviate, The Sexually Promiscuous Female, and, God help us all, A Modern Marriage Manual.

(I became another doctor, and used a different typewriter, to turn out Sexual Surrender in Women.  A woman named Marie Robinson had achieved some success with a book called The Power of Sexual Surrender, and Monarch’s enterprising editor, one Charles Heckelmann, wanted to knock it off. “Brown’s okay, I guess, but he’s no Ben Morse,” was Heckelmann’s reaction to the manuscript I turned in. So we put Wally Brown out to pasture.)

I’m not sure whether Lancer Books published any of the Benjamin Morse books. It seems to me they all wound up at Monarch. But Lancer was one place I turned to when I needed to find new markets, and the editor there, Larry T. Shaw, was a fellow I knew from my days in Greenwich Village. (Larry edited Infinity Science Fiction, if I remember correctly; his then-wife, Lee Hoffman, published a fanzine in the folk music field, and there was one memorable night when she and Dave Van Ronk and I sat up drinking the night away and composing a large portion of the eventual contents of The Bosses’ Song Book (subtitle: “Songs to Stifle the Flames of Discontent”).

But that’s another story, for another time.

I called Larry, and I explained that I was the longtime ghostwriter for Benjamin Morse, and wondered if the good doctor might have a future at Lancer. The idea we came up with was for a book on different sexual practices and techniques, and Larry saw it as more journalistic than medical in nature. Perhaps I might want to leave Morse out of it, and slap a pen name of my own on the book?

That sounded fine to me.

“And maybe we could throw Morse a couple of bucks for an introduction,” he suggested. I told him I could just about guarantee Morse would go along with that.

The book I wrote was Eros and Capricorn: A Cross-cultural Survey of Sexual Techniques and Attitudes. I don’t know how I picked the title, and I’m not altogether sure what the subtitle means, but it launched John Warren Wells, and before he was done he’d produced upwards of twenty books.
Most of JWW’s output consisted of putative case histories illustrating one aspect or another of the book’s theme. As I’d started in the business writing paperback erotica, it wasn’t that great a departure to conjure up fiction in the guise of fact. Non-fiction has the great advantage of not needing to make dramatic sense, and what was more important in a Wells case history was that it seem real.

And it was always the illusion of reality that I sought. I took it for granted that readers would be in search of sexual stimulation as well as information, but I consciously chose realism over the sly tricks of the eroticist.

Over time, the damnedest thing happened. The books gradually evolved, becoming less and less fictional.

From early on, perhaps inevitably, bits and pieces of my own personal knowledge found their way into the work. The company that owned Lancer Books also published a magazine called Swank, and for a while I contributed a monthly column called “Letters to John Warren Wells.” Swank was a Playboy imitation, and my column  was an oversexed version of “The Playboy Advisor.”

You won’t be surprised to learn that, for the first several issues, I made up the letters myself. But before long I didn’t have to, because no end of people began writing in, and their letters were often better than my inventions. A few of them were fairly transparent fakery, but the greater portion were not, and I corresponded at some length with some of the letter-writers, met a few face to face, and let their very real stories inform my future books.

A few very attractive and personable women wrote letters to John Warren Wells, and, well, I blush to admit that one thing led to another. There was, as you may imagine, no great need to spend a lot of time on small talk.
One day in the late 60s I walked into my agent’s office. “Henry,” I announced, “I’ve got a million –dollar idea, and all I need to do is tell you the title and the subtitle.”

“Oh?”

Tricks of the Trade. A Hooker’s Handbook of Sexual Technique.

Henry thought for perhaps thirty seconds, then picked up the phone and called Nina Finkelstein at New American Library. When he put down the phone, I had a deal to write the book for the exalted sum of $7500, more than double the advances the Wells books had been commanding.

The price led me to believe that I ought to ake the project more seriously, and I went off looking for somebody to interview. My friend Dick Watson, a real life Mad Men type decades before anyone dreamed of the TV series, was a connoisseur of call girls, and recommended one as being especially articulate. So I borrowed a tape recorder and went over to her East Side apartment to interview her.

That was okay, but felt too much like work. I made up the other eight chapters.

And wouldn’t you know it? Nina and the others at NAL liked the book just fine, but felt one chapter just didn’t measure up to the rest. It was okay, it could stay, but it wasn’t as engaging and just didn’t come across as vividly real.

Yeah, right. The real one just didn’t seem as real as the fakes.

No matter. The book came out and went into three or four printings. Another publisher made a deal to bring out a hardcover edition.

If there hadn’t been an editorial change at NAL, I’m sure I’d have done a sequel. But someone else took over for Nina Finkelstein, and of course had a vested interest in not commissioning sequels to her predecessor’s successes.

Even so, JWW came out of it fine. His price was now $7500, and both Lancer and Dell were taking books from him as fast as he could think them up and get them written.

Then in 1973 the guy retired.
It was in the summer of that year that my first marriage ended. I already had a pied-a-terre in New York, and I moved into it permanently. And one of the changes I made in my life was that I gave up being John Warren Wells.

I’m not sure why. In retrospect, it seems to me that I’d played out that hand, and setting it aside was by no means premature. Two years later, when my career gave every sign of having stalled out altogether, I would have been happy to be John Warren Wells again, or even kindly old Dr. Morse. But I’d burned those bridges.

If the bridge-burning was figurative, I’d quite literally burned my tangible connection to Wells and his world. Over the years I’d filled two drawers of a file cabinet with the letters readers had written to JWW, and they were a fascinating collection of documents indeed, and one day I decided I owed it to the senders to let go of them. I fed them all into the incinerator.

One could argue that the books of John Warren Wells deserve a similar fate. But I’ve decided that, when all is said and done, they’re my work—and I did everything in my power to make them as good as I possibly could. If today’s eBook readers can find something of value in them, who am I to object?
In the course of the next month or so, I’ll be publishing John Warrens Wells’s body of work as eBooks. As always, ego and avarice are my primary motivators, but I’ve also been influenced by Jill Emerson, who’s been urging for months now that I make the Wells books available to a new generation of readers.

Of course, she and JWW have a history. They dedicated books to one another. Make of that what you will.

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26 Comments
  1. Ruth Harris permalink

    LB, Was Larry Sanders editing Swank when you wrote the JWW columns?

  2. No, and I’m not sure who was. Irwin Stein was the publisher, and it seems to me he made all the editorial decisions. I know I never met Sanders, or heard his name in connection with either Lance or the magazine.

  3. great tale, thanks for sharing LB

  4. Roland permalink

    I know , I know, did I think for a moment that I had read all your books, some people forget in there senior years. I believe Larry that you are just beginning to remember, who was I when? Never be it said that there were lost years, I’m beginning to think you are just trying not to overload us with cognitive dissonance in our quest to understand you, but the love remains Roland

  5. The Other LB permalink

    LB, you are a man of many talents. I’m so happy to know you and have the opportunity to learn from the very best. Thank you for sharing this. Always your fan!

  6. Steve Paul permalink

    LB, I’ve been searching for years for a copy of “Their Own Thing” (Dell 8678). Do you plan on reissuing this title? Best wishes!!!! Steve

    • I will if I have it, Steve. Some of the JWW books have had more than one title, and it’s possible that’s true of Their Own Thing. I don’t know at this point. Right now I’m trying to get hold of a copy of Love At a Tender Age. Got one?

  7. Ann permalink

    LB, after this new alter ego that I’d never heard of. I’m more curious than ever. Just how many books have you written? You seem to be the most prolific writer I’ve ever seen. Other writers appear prolific because they have collaborators writing in their name. In your case, you’re doing just the opposite, writing in many names. So, what’s the total?

    • I dunno, Ann. I’m not being coy. I honestly don’t know. It’s hard to say for sure. Sheldon Lord and Andrew Shaw were pen names of mine, but I employed a couple of ghostwriters back in the day, so not all of the books under those two names are mine. How many total? Beats me.

  8. SINNER6024 permalink

    What I know and .65 would get you a cup of coffee if you found one of those old timey vending machines with poker hands printed on the cups. With that said, the more I read about your back story, the days you were attending the school of hard knocks etc I can’t get enough of, there’s a book in it for sure. Dunno if it’s got legs but I do know yer hard core fans would dig it…… Thanks for sharing LB, you rock.

    • Thanks, Sinner. I seem to be writing that book on the installment plan, but maybe some day it’ll come together as a book. We’ll see.

      • Tom B. permalink

        Here’s another Constant Reader who’d buy it forthwith.

  9. Ann permalink

    Thanks for the honest answer LB! Regardless of the number, you’ve been busy. For the record, I love lots of your books, but Keller is my favorite.

  10. juliabarrett permalink

    I’ve heard a little about this and I am so intrigued, Mr. Wells.

  11. Craig Childs permalink

    you have a Jill Emerson page and a John Warren Wells page. It sounds like you will soon need pages for Dr. Benjamin Morse and Wally Brown. You’ve got more personalities than Sybil!

    • Steve Paul permalink

      Dr. Benjamin Morse is listed as having three publications on Lancer (74-813 “The Sexual Deviate”, 74-817 “A Modern Marriage Manual”, and 74-822 “Sexual Behavior of the American College Girl”).
      Monarch listings include 436 “Adolescent Sexual Behavior”, MB-513 “The Lesbian”, MB-518 “Sexual Surrender in Women”, MB-527 “The Homosexual”, MB-531 “The Sexual Revolution”, MB-535 “The Sexually Promiscuous Female”, MB-537 “The Sexually Promiscuous Male”, and MB-543 a reissue of MB-513.

      • Steve, I suspect you’re right; that would have made my approaching Larry Shaw a more logical move, if he’d already published the good doctor.

  12. Sheesh, the trees that died for my sins…

  13. Aha! So I’m not the only one whose faked reality!

  14. Absolutely fascinating. I’m with you on ego and avarice. I’m betting those are the two things that motivate most writers, if we’re honest. Will have to check out one of JWW’s books. Maybe I’ll learn something.

  15. I’ve had a copy of the Dell DIFFERENT STROKES for years but never knew it was a Block first edition. The conceit is ingenious. Half the book’s a screenplay for the supposed film, and the rest is divided between a fictitious production diary and an equally invented interview with the female star. Then, as an intro, you explain that, because of a decision by the Supreme Court, “you will never likely see the film chronicled within.” And so the joke disappears into its own navel. Veeerrrrry clever, Mister Block.

  16. Steve Paul permalink

    LB,

    Did you find out any information on “Their Own Thing” (Dell 8678) ? I was curious

    if this was a retitling of another JWW book.

    Thanks !!!

    Steve

    • I can’t find out anything about it, and am pretty sure I’ve never seen a copy. It’s such a lame title I find it hard to believe it ever existed.

  17. Bill permalink

    What a wonderful piece of publishing trivia!

    It’s worth packaging with the Kindle book

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