July 3, 2007 | Back to: News

Boy, 11, lands book contract

Joseph Voight, the 11-year-old boy who hand-penned a colorful book about living with Alzheimer's disease, will see his book published next spring, his mother said this week.

"Big things are happening for Joseph," said his mother, Kathy Phillipson of Grass Valley.

When asked how he felt about getting his book published, Joseph said, "Good."

The family recently signed a contract with DNA Press LLC, based in Eagleville, Pa. The company publishes books in the fields of science, science fiction, fiction, fantasy, children's books and academic books.

Distributors include Amazon.com and Independent Publisher's Group Books of Chicago. It was founded in 2003, according to the publisher's Web site, www.dnapress .com.

The publisher will charge the boy $4,200 to publish the book and add $8,000 to $10,000 of its own resources to print 3,000 color copies, Phillipson said. The family also has to pay the costs of a two-month book tour planned for April 2008, when DNA plans to release the little tome, Phillipson said.

Joseph already has raised $5,000 for the project, his mother said.

Earlier this year, Joseph gleaned thoughts he had recorded in journals over a period of two years and used colored pens to compile advice for other kids into 35 pages. His great-grandmother, Dixie Morton Vaughn, 78, has been living with the Grass Valley family for four years and has had Alzheimer's disease for eight years.

"They're going to use his original handwriting," Phillipson said. "He's revising and taking out the yellow (because it reproduces poorly), and all the misspelled words are getting corrected."

Joseph's own words reveal how he grapples with his great-grandmother's disease as she accuses him of stealing her things, thinks his baby brother is her own child and gets angry for small slights.

"It's OK to say ... I hate Alzheimer's disease," Joseph wrote.

Growing attention

Since an article about Joseph's book came out in The Union May 9, KCRA and Fox television have interviewed him, an interview aired on CNN, he received an invitation to speak at an IPG booksellers convention next spring and "The Today Show" has scheduled an interview in April, Phillipson said.

In addition, Children's Highlights Magazine invited Joseph, along with 17 other young writers and illustrators from around the country, to a week-long writing workshop in Pennsylvania next week, Phillipson said. If he goes, he would help write a group manuscript to be published in the magazine, she added.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to which the family belongs, also plans to feature Joseph in a monthly children's magazine distributed in 26 languages, Phillipson said.

But Joseph has had rocky moments, too.

Classmates teased him when the news appeared about his book, he said.

"Some kids are jealous," said Joseph, who will attend Lyman Gilmore Middle School in the fall.


To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail tkleist@theunion.com or call 477-4230.

Trina Kleist

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The Union Updated Jul 5, 2007 02:48AM Published Jul 3, 2007 03:00AM Copyright 2007 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.