Susan Meachen, a romance novelist from Tennessee, made a comeback after faking her death in 2020. Her “daughter” had made a Facebook post in a group called ‘The Ward’ announcing that she had died by suicide and explaining that her last romance novel, Love to Last a Lifetime was available for preorder on Amazon. This was weeks after Meachan had expressed frustration over online bullying. Now, the death hoax she created has acquired a stronger readership than any of her published work. The book community on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram were shocked to find out, through another Facebook post, that Meachan is alive and well.
“I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it’s right or not,” the post reads. “There’s going to be tons of questions and a lot of people leaving the group, I’d guess. 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 doesn’t mean much but I am in a good place now and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin.”
— Be a lot cooler if you did 💫🌪💫 (@Draggerofliars) January 4, 2023
It is not completely clear what Meachen’s motive behind the hoax was. The news of her “death” did not seem to increase book sales. Buzzfeed News acquired a screenshot of a post her daughter shared in February 2021 announcing that sales have been zero despite repeated efforts. She said she will be unpublishing all of her mother’s books.
Needless to say, people are upset. Those who knew Meachen are leaving replies expressing shock and hurt. Some people even claim they donated to a charity auctions and fundraisers for her funeral. They are demanding to know if she will be returning the money they put into a lie. Meachen has since given an interview to a Substack publication called Upstream Reviews, with some strange admittances. When asked if she plans to continue writing, she said, “I’m in a unique position of expertise to write a Romance about a woman bullied into “death” who returns for a fresh start at life and love. As always I can’t promise a happy ending, just an interesting journey.”
Oh my gosh this @upstreamreviews interview with Susan Meachen, the author who faked her own death and then came back. This is the most narcissistic thing I have *ever* seen. I am astonished. https://t.co/PZD6L2v6DB pic.twitter.com/02aSFftAnO
— Jessica Langer, PhD (@DrJessicaLanger) January 7, 2023
The story has since blown up on social media. Online spectators are calling her out for creating a hoax surrounding an issue as sensitive as suicide. Since courting controversy, the post is not publicly available.
If you are in a bad place, mentally, as an author, stepping away is completely acceptable.
Faking your death and accepting donations to your nonexistent funeral, however, is not acceptable. It’s fraud and emotional abuse. No one should buy Susan Meachen’s books.
— Violet Catte Is In An Anthology! (@Violet_Catte) January 5, 2023