Susan Meachen, the romance novelist faked her death to escape social media
In September 2020, a Facebook post from someone claiming to be the daughter of indie romance author Susan Meachen announced the writer had died by suicide.
Ms Meachen wrote what she described as “perfectly flawed” romance novels and had fostered a tightknit online community of readers and fellow authors who supported each other’s work. Then rumours began to spread online that Ms Meachen had been bullied. Fans of the romance writer were devastated, the group marked the anniversary of Susan Meachen’s death for two years. Fundraisers and book auctions were held in her honour and authors like Candace Adams contributed to an anthology of short stories that was dedicated to keeping “bullying where it belongs – in fiction”. Except, that wasn’t the case at all as everything ended this week, when suddenly Ms Meachen was resurrected.
Because just earlier this week, Susan bizarrely reemerged online – sending shockwaves through the community of fans and fellow authors that had mourned her so deeply.
She announced her return on social media – much to the shock and confusion of fans and friends – and admitted her suicide had been staged.
According to screenshots of the announcement taken by members of the Facebook group, Susan wrote: “I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it’s right or not.
“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. Returning to The Ward (her Facebook group) doesn’t mean much but I am in a good place now and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin.”
Of course, when grieving fans and friends saw Susan’s post they were furious.
Fellow author Samantha Cole, who had been heartbroken when she found out about Susan’s death, messaged Susan to try and get her head around what had happened.
“What is going on????” asked Samantha in messages she later shared screenshots of to Facebook.
Susan replied: “Nothing. I simply want my life back. My family was in a bad place and did what they thought was best for me.”
In another message from the newly-revived Susan to her confused friend, she explained: “My books haven’t sold at all. I stayed silent [while] I worked with my psychiatrist and therapist to get in a better place.”
“I think she believed that if she died, her books would get attention,” Samantha told the BBC this week.
“Now, this is a new gamble: ‘Hey, if I come back, that will get everybody stirred up and maybe that will get my books popular’, instead of just being a good author.”
Just after Susan’s supposed passing, Susan’s assistant shared a link to Susan’s newest book to the Facebook group, accompanied by the caption: “Before Susan Meachen passed away, she had written her last book Love to Last a Lifetime.
“She wanted to have it published by her daughter’s wedding. This is it!! It is on pre-order now for $1.99.”
Now, those who bought the book in support of Susan’s family or contributed money to fundraisers are wondering if they’ll be getting their money back.
In a response supposedly from Susan, shared to Upstream Reviews, the author said: “To those who donated I would again stress this wasn’t demanded of them.
“I’m sorry they feel wronged but they chose to DONATE. It doesn’t magically become a loan because they regret it now. “And WHY do they? Because an Author told a Story? The only difference now vs before is I’m alive. They’d rather I be dead?
“Then they’d be happy about donating? That’s what it seems like they’re saying, they’re cruelly wishing death on me.”