Romance Author Who Allegedly Faked Her Suicide to Promote Book Returns Like Nothing Happened. "Let the Fun Begin."
"A wife, mom, meme, and friend."
An author of romance novels has apparently revealed she's still alive many months after her announced "suicide," leaving fans and pop-culture commentators agog. Susan Meachen was said to have died by suicide two years ago because she couldn't take online bullying from competitors. But this week, the author resurfaced on her online accounts, claiming she made that whole storyline up.
"Let the fun begin," said Meachen. Read on to find out the whole story, why Meachen said she went through with it, and why—not surprisingly—critical reaction has not been entirely supportive.
"I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it's right or not," says a post published on Tuesday to Meachen's private 767-member Facebook group called The Ward. "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." The writer posted: "I almost died again at my own hand and they had to go through all that hell again. 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."
Meachen has self-published a half-dozen books on Amazon, including Losing Him & Find You, Chance Encounters and Love to Last a Lifetime. Her author bio described her as "a wife, mom, meme, and friend."
"I live in the Southeastern corner of Tennessee with my husband of 24 years with our two cats and our four snakes," it noted. "If you don't see me running around online then I'm normally off creating a world for others to enjoy."
After news of her apparent suicide surfaced, her sales declined. In February 2021, a person claiming to be her daughter posted a plea for buyers to order her mother's books. "Unless something changes in the next 21 days, all of moms books will be unpublished," the post said. "Her paperbacks will be going on sale then unpublished.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."
Fellow romance writer Samantha Cole told NBC News she exchanged Facebook messages with someone claiming to be Meachen's daughter. The daughter alleged that bullying by other romance writers drove her mom to suicide. "It really tore the book world apart," Cole said. "There was a lot of finger-pointing without anybody having screenshotted proof of who the bullies were."
Since Meachen's apparent death, her Facebook page featured posts allegedly written by her daughter, including giveaways and free audiobook codes for Meachen's novels. One post in October 2020 reads: "Sorry thought everyone on this page knew my mom passed away. Dead people don't post on social media I've been on this account for a week now finishing her last book my wedding gift from her."
According to public records, Meachen lives in northern Tennessee. Even though her death by suicide was reported online two-and-half years ago, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office in Polk County, Tennessee, told NBC News it had no record of anybody by that name being reported dead going back to 2020. Meachen has not responded to several media outlets' requests for comment.
Meachen's miraculous revival on her Facebook page has met with criticism from the group's members. "I can forgive many things, but I don't think I could ever forgive you faking your death," author Karen Hall wrote. Cole released a video response on her own Facebook page.
"There was an outpouring of outrage, support for those who were hurting, support for her family, people did free editing on her last book, so her family could release it for her, in memory of her," she said. "There were people who were ripped apart because people started pointing fingers at everyone, blaming people, and I was one of the people being blamed for allegedly bullying her when I had done nothing of the sort." "I need to unplug for the next couple of days and wrap my head around all this and get back to work," she said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out immediately to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. These services are free and confidential.