The latest writing deals -- Contracts were signed for books about John F. Kennedy's ''George'' magazine and Jane Fonda

By Matthew Flamm
Updated May 19, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

An Edited Editor
Little, Brown — which landed a memoir about John F. Kennedy Jr. and George magazine by onetime George editor Richard Blow for a reported $750,000 — has scuttled the deal, citing the confidentiality agreement that Blow signed with the magazine. ”I wasn’t aware at the time that he had signed [such an] agreement,” Little, Brown publisher Sarah Crichton said. ”We have been left with no choice but to cancel the book.” ”As soon as we closed the deal, I messengered [the agreement] over to her,” responds agent Joni Evans. For his part, Blow insists the agreement does not apply posthumously and says the book — which he hopes to publish elsewhere — will not be a tell-all but a ”chance to tell people what a wonderful guy John was to work for.”

Fine Romances
Knopf has paid in the high six figures for The Venetian Affair, the nonfiction account of a liaison in 1750s Venice between a nobleman — an ancestor of the author, Italian journalist Andrea di Robilant — and a beauty of a different class. ”It’s a story of two people whose contemporaries are Casanova, Canaletto, and Tiepolo,” says Robilant’s agent, Michael Carlisle…. Hyperion will pay close to $700,000 for Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold’s novel about magician Charles Carter, considered as good an illusionist as the more famous Harry Houdini. Hyperion is also closing a deal with Patricia Bosworth for Jane, a full-scale, unauthorized bio of Jane Fonda.