Susan Meachen just wanted to be a bestseller.
Instead, the aspiring romance novelist reportedly created a legacy riddled with lies.
After allegedly masquerading as dead for more than two years, the author reportedly has come clean about her supposed hoax: She’s seemingly alive and perfectly fine.
On Tuesday night in a private Facebook group called “The Ward,” Meachen reportedly penned a long-winded message explaining her apparently faux fatality.
“I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it’s right or not,” read the post, shared in screenshots by an eagle-eyed Twitter user. “There’s going to be tons of questions and a lot of people leaving the group I’d guess. But my family did what they thought was best for me and I can’t fault them for it.
“I almost died again at my own hand and they had to go through all that hell again,” alleged Meachen, who appeared to be the admin for the private page. “Returning to The Ward doesn’t mean much but I am in a good place now and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin.”
The Post has reached out to Meachen for comment.
The twisted tale apparently didn’t just begin this week, though. Meachen, an author of 14 novels, wove her weave of apparent lies nearly three years ago when, according to Insider, she took to Facebook in September 2020 in a since-deleted post, where she lamented her writing woes to her 1,300 Facebook followers.
At the time, she revealed her gripes with the publishing industry and allegedly admitted to attempting to take her own life. The post also announced that her final book would be published just a month later, on Oct. 30.
When news broke weeks later that the aspiring novelist reportedly passed away, there was a paper trail of grievances that seemingly made the alleged suicide all the more believable.
In a since-deleted Facebook post penned by someone who claimed to be the late novelist’s daughter, it was allegedly announced that Meachen’s page would continue to promote her final novel, a romance titled “Love to Last a Lifetime.”
Per her Amazon bio, the romance author described herself as an “avid reader,” as well as a “wife, mom, meme, and friend.” But considering she grumbled about the hardships of the literary world, the closing line of her bio may be a doozy to some: “I love hearing from readers even if it is to tell me they hated the book they just finished.”
After Meachen’s alleged death, a group of authors dedicated an anthology of stories to the presumably late author, insinuating that her suicide was a result of bullying, one Twitter user claimed.
A number of suicide prevention fundraisers were listed on Facebook, although they apparently never received any donations. It seems that the book sales were headed in the same direction when her daughter supposedly posted a disgruntled message to her mother’s account.
“Unless something changes in the next 21 days, all of moms books will be unpublished,” she complained in February 2021, threatening that the page would go “dark” unless fans opened up their pockets. “Her paperbacks will be going on sale then unpublished. The only way you’ll be able to get the books will be through Audio. Her sales and page reads have been zero for a few months now and it’s a waste of my time to work them every morning after work with zero movement hell we hired a PA to help and it’s not helped any so far.”
Meanwhile, the whole story was supposedly an elaborate lie that some publicly suspected was a promotional ploy. Meachen’s version of “fun,” fans criticized, was apparently slighting other authors and online friends for funeral funds and free, posthumous book editing, according to a report on the site Jezebel.
USA Today bestselling author Samantha Cole caught wind of Meachen’s apparent tall tale, revealing that she was “stunned” that she was supposedly still alive.
“I was horrified, stunned, livid, and felt like I’d been kicked in the gut and the chest at the same time,” Cole wrote on Facebook.
“We grieved for the loss of the woman we considered a friend,” the “heartbroken” writer continued. “I personally was harassed by another author who loves to create drama, claiming I was one of the authors who bullied Susan and drove her to suicide.”
Along with her extensive statement, Cole included over 40 screenshots of messages that were reportedly between herself and a “dead person,” namely Meachen.
When Cole asked Meachen, “What is going on????” she reportedly responded: “Nothing. I simply want my life back. My family was in a bad place and did what they thought was best for me.”
Meachen claimed she was in the hospital “fighting for my life” when her family decided to pen the heartbreaking announcement of her death, per Cole’s screenshots. While the public believed she had passed, Meachen was apparently alive and allegedly working with a psychiatrist “to get in a better place.”
An apparently distraught Cole also shared screenshots of a Facebook profile created with the name TN Steele, which she claimed Meachen concocted to stay on social media under that pseudonym. TN Steele, who described themself as a “want to be author,” joined and later took over “The Ward” page, conversed with Meachen’s family and more — with no one apparently the wiser.
In a 25-minute video posted to Facebook Wednesday, fellow author Cole — who said she was “friends” with Meachen, though not “close friends” — bitterly called her concoction “beyond psychotic” and vowed she’d be more cautious of other writers in literary circles.
“For two-and-a-half years, she sat back and took on this whole new life, not telling anybody in the book world who she was,” Cole said in the video, which was viewed by The Post. “Watching us grieve — her and her family accepted free editing, they accepted donations for a funeral that never took place.”
Cole did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. However, she told Rolling Stone via email that the whole ordeal “tore the book community apart,” adding: “To have it end up being a hoax that was dragged out for almost two and a half years is a slap in the face to anyone who ever supported her.”
“This Susan Meachen thing is so unbelievably disturbing and horrible,” one bewildered fan wrote on Twitter. “What sane person fakes their own death for TWO YEARS and then randomly gets on Facebook one day and just is like hey guys I’m back!!”
“Susan Meachen faking her own suicide and then wandering blithely back online because she ‘got bored’ is so exquisitely insane,” tweeted another.
“Romance writers really are operating on another plane of reality,” they concluded.