This off-season, Dickey is going back to the books, but this time he's writing for younger readers. The Mets' ace has signed a three-book deal with Dial Press, and the first book that will be published is a young adult-friendly version of his memoir. That book will be released next fall. Dickey's second book geared toward children is tentatively titled "Knuckleball Ned", and should be completed by spring 2014. His third book has not been scheduled as of this writing.
Dickey states that the characters in the second book will be based on his own life experiences, and will also be influenced by the people who were a part of his journey. Although the story is baseball-related, Dickey claims that the book can be appreciated by children who don't follow the game. He goes on to say:
"Reading is something that can really teach a child how to relate to characters and people. There will be dream busters along the way that will try to keep you from being who you are authentically called to be because it looks different. The hope is that you are able to embrace what makes you different and unique and that it allows you to shine."
Whereas some writers listen to suggestions and critiques from their peers and members of the media, Dickey's greatest critics are his four kids. Often, Dickey will show his daughter what he has written for one of his books. If she tells him she doesn't understand what he's written, then he will change it so that other kids can have an easier time reading the finished product.
R.A. Dickey is hoping the Mets can sign him to a multi-year deal. But another deal he recently signed might be just as satisfying to him. His three-book deal will allow him to reach out to children, encouraging them to stimulate their minds by reading.
During the 2012 baseball season, Dickey took opposing hitters to school, educating them on how difficult it is to hit a well-thrown knuckleball. Now that the season is over, Dickey is doing a different kind of education, but this one will benefit many more people for years to come.
For R.A. Dickey, there really is no place like "tome", and if he has his way, his tomes will be read by children long after he leaves the game that gave him so much inspiration for his writings.