St Neots boy with rare condition to have novel published

12 year old Joseph Wills, from Great Paxton, has a rare connective tissue defect and is set to have

12 year old Joseph Wills, from Great Paxton, has a rare connective tissue defect and is set to have his novel published - Credit: Archant

HIS condition affects just 50 people in the world and makes him prone to aneurisms, strokes and blood clots.

But at just 12-years-old, Joseph Wills is set to publish his first novel.

Joseph, who lives with his parents in Meadow Way, Great Paxton, is the only known person in the UK with arterial tortuosity syndrome (ATS) – a disorder that affects connective tissue and has led to him spending much of his life in hospital.

Having ATS means that Joseph’s arteries are stretched and elongated which causes a number of complications and make him more vulnerable to infections.

He is unable to walk for long periods and more susceptible to heart attacks, respiratory problems and strokes caused by blood clots.

All of this means that Joseph, a Year 8 student at Longsands Academy in St Neots, is unable to join in with his friends for sport and other physical activities.

But Joseph, a keen reader and writer of fiction since pre-school, has found a skill where he has an advantage over his friends.

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Thanks to the help of national wish-granting charity Starlight, he is set to publish his first novel, The World, later this month.

Joseph said: “A lot of my friends are into sports and because of my condition I am not.

“But when I’m writing I don’t feel disadvantaged in any way.”

It took Joseph seven months to write his first novel – achieved while attending school.

And thanks to Starlight and publishers Live It, Joseph’s book, a fantasy novel about a teenager who wakes up in a strange village and eventually finds himself caught up in a war, will be on Amazon and in bookshops across the region from June 17.

Joseph said: “I can’t wait to see my book on the shelves in the book stores. I was told I was going to be granted a wish and I chose to have my book published.”

Joseph, who is also a keen blogger writing on issues such as bullying and telling of his passion for reading and writing, is now in the process of writing his second novel.

His mother, Caterina Wills, said: “We’re really, really proud of him.

“It takes a lot of commitment for anybody to write a book but for a 12-year-old with his condition – he could have just given up, but he hasn’t.”

INFORMATION: For more about Joseph, his book and his blog go to