Romance Writer Reveals She's Alive Two Years After Faking Death

Romance Writer Reveals She's Alive Two Years After Faking Death

Romance novels have enjoyed a steady, persistent audience eager for the next page-turner that will get every sense tingling. However, with the sweet release of sensuality comes a darker side.

Susan Meachen, author of titles such as His Wicked Way and The Lost Woman, earned a small following online. In a Facebook group called The Ward, loyal readers used the space to discuss her books. In September 2020, members were shocked to learn that Meachen died by suicide. According to The Independent, Meachen previously expressed frustrations with the industry in a Facebook post a month before her alleged passing.

The announcement of her death arrived with news of her final book, Love to Last a Lifetime, published in her memory by her grieving family. They also collected money for her funeral and raised more in the name of suicide prevention. In a report by The Daily Beast, family members accused fellow authors of bullying Meachen to the point of taking her own life. Angry fans subsequently harassed writers they believed "killed" Meachen with their supposed harassment.

But it was all a lie.

On Tuesday, January 3, members of The Ward were surprised to see Meachen's name on the top of their feeds. She was alive.

"I debated on how to do this a million times and still not sure if it's right or not," Meachen's return post reads. "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."

She further goes on to say that she was planning on suicide in the first place, writing, "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."

Naturally, her readers were shocked and confused. Some began to realize they had been scammed. In response to one concerned fan who wanted to know what would be done with the money that was donated to her family, Meachen asserts that there was no fundraiser.

Samantha A. Cole considered herself one of Meachen's peers and friends as a fellow romance novelist. When she learned of the news, she confronted Meachen over DM. In the messages, Cole alleges that she was one of the many writers accused of bullying. She also asked if the writer's daughter who wrote her death announcement was even real. Meachen confirmed that she does have a son and daughter and said, "I'm not worried about the book world letting me back in. I was never really in."

At the same time, other things began to not add up. In screenshots compiled by Cole, a larger story of manipulation began to unfold. Fellow member of The Ward and alleged personal assistant to the supposedly deceased author, Connie Ortiz, attempted to keep Meachen's memory alive in the group but couldn't keep up with the demands of moderating an active space. According to Cole, Ortiz was just as surprised to learn that Meachen was not actually dead.

A user named TN Steele offered to take ownership of the group in November 2022, organizing user activities to keep it alive. As it was soon revealed, Meachen was using the Steele alias to take control of her group and continue posting while pretending to be dead.

After the announcement of her passing, Meachen's "daughter" continued to post on her account attempting to entice people to buy her books and to find an editor to help edit and publish unfinished novels. The account posted in January 2021 that sales dwindled to zero after she passed and they needed a publicist and personal assistant to push her books and their audio companions. When they found neither, the account resorted to guilt tripping readers.

"Unless something changes in the next 21 days, all of moms books will be unpublished," a post published February 2021 reads. "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."

The community has since spoken up about Meachen's passing, demanding that she be held responsible for taking people's money and duping them into thinking she was dead. "While I know you may not be criminalized for this, you ought to be because this is the behavior of a conniving monster," wrote author Sai Marie.

Another author, Liberty Parker, wrote, "I’m sick to my stomach. I considered you part of my tribe!"

According to commenters, they are working on gathering proof of the auction held to cover the funeral expenses in hopes to get refunds sent to the 26 people who allegedly participated. As for Meachen, she has remained silent since the backlash has gotten so big.

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