Being a full time author is a wonderful job, but one downside is that you don't get any employee benefits. One bestselling author, Stephen Spencer found this out to his cost. He was a regular fixture on the bestseller lists back in 2011 when his Paul Mallory thrillers took off, but disaster struck shortly after his third book when he found out that he had a brain tumour.
No longer able to go on the book promotion circuit, his novels soon fell out of the public view and the double whammy of unexpected bills and a drop in royalties kicked in.
When Julia Hughes, a British author, heard about Stephen's plight she started #OperationMallory. She enlisted a dozen other authors, and set about getting the Paul Mallory novels back on track.
Julia had this to say: "Stephen is a fantastic thriller writer, and for most of 2011 he owned the bestseller lists on both sides of the pond. When I saw that he'd stopped promoting, I knew something had to be done so I put together a group of authors to re-launch the series."
That work came to fruition last week with seven brand new eBook covers, five new print editions and a brand new website at StephenCSpencer.com
But a full rebrand wasn't enough to satisfy Julia. Instead, she set about organising the biggest book tour in history inviting readers and writers everywhere to share Stephen's story and show off the new artwork (which was designed by renowned Singaporean artist Clarissa Yeo).
For his part, Stephen has maintained he doesn't want charity. He just wants the chance to reconnect with his readership. To do it, he's giving away his first book, It's Always Darkest, absolutely free. You can download it in any of the major eBook formats here (no registration required).
If you enjoy It's Always Darkest, the series carries on with The Devil You Say, Third Time Lucky and The Middle of Nowhere with a fifth book, Ghost of a Chance, slated for release later this year.
Stephen C Spencer was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, the oldest of three brothers.
Before becoming an author, Stephen travelled the world with the United States Navy. He spent his youth enjoying casinos from Torremolinos to Monaco, but it wasnt until he met his wife Melissa in 2003 that he settled down, and began a family. He's the father of two children, Kaitlyn and Evan.
Domestic bliss provided an outlet for his vivid imagination, and this, combined with his extensive personal knowledge of the worlds most exotic ports, gave birth to the internationally acclaimed Paul Mallory thriller series published by Crimeways.
He now splits his time between the family homestead in Indiana, and the tropical island of San Estaban.
What readers are saying...
"Witty and well paced with an ending " - Kate Farrell, Kindle Book Review
"Fast, exciting and full of intrigue" - Charlie Plunkett
"Spencer really has a knack for the written word." - Joyce Mitchell
"A wickedly dry sense of humour." - Jenny Worstall
"The main character leaps off the page." - Doreen Cox
"Tension-filled" - Joseph Bouchard
"A James Bond with heart, tough and chivalrous" - J Ryder
"Broody and oppressive atmosphere" - Amazon UK Top 500 Reviewer
"Gripped from beginning to end" - Pam Anderson
"It's Always Darkest will pick you up, throw you into the air and keep you gulping for breath until the very end." - Emma Elizabeth Fry
"One of the best thrillers I've read in years." - Julia Hughes