The inside scoop on the book world, including Stephen Kind, Sting, and more...

Relax, Don’t Do It Reports of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated: In a Los Angeles Times interview promoting his latest miniseries, Rose Red, Stephen King announced that he would soon be ”done” with ”writing books,” adding that he didn’t ”want to finish up like Harold Robbins,” who continued writing into his 80s. ”This story gets recycled all the time and I put no more credence in it now than the last time,” scoffs Susan Moldow, publisher of Scribner, which will release a King short-story collection, Everything’s Eventual, next month and the novel From a Buick 8 in the fall.

Big Deals Memoirist Maria Flook has signed with Broadway Books to write a book about the murder of Cape Cod fashion writer Christa Worthington. ”[It will be] a work of literary nonfiction, not a category true-crime story,” says Broadway executive editor Charlie Conrad, who thought Flook the ideal writer for the project since she lives in Worthington’s hometown of Truro. ”It’ll use the murder to explore hidden truths about a place and its residents.”… St. Martin’s has signed a Sept. 11 book with a twist: Inside 9-11: What Really Happened comes from Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine: ”They did a very vivid reconstruction, and they were also right there when the police first invaded the houses [in Hamburg] where Mohamed Atta and other terrorists had lived,” says senior editor Tim Bent.

Englishman In New York The ever-busy Sting is planning to write his autobiography. But, as is often the case with celebrity book deals, publishers wishing to meet with the rock star’s representatives have had to talk seven-figure advances. Some have jumped, but not all. ”Celebrity autobiography has such a high rate of failure and such a high rate of investment, you have to be careful about it,” says the head of one house who decided not to offer. Sting’s reps had no comment.