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Internet goes haywire over outrageous claims that author faked his suicide

An independent novelist has been accused of faking her own suicide in an allegedly bizarre scheme to deceive her fans and fellow authors.

Author Susan Meachen has been presumed dead since September 2020, when someone claiming to be her daughter posted on her Facebook account saying she had died of suicide.

On Monday, however, the same account posted to a private fan group, claiming that Meachen’s family had faked her death while she was in a mental health crisis and revealing that she continued to post under the pseudonym TN Steele.

“I’ve debated how to do this a million times and I’m still not sure if it’s right or not,” wrote the account announcing Meachen’s return. ‘I’m in a good place now and hope to write again. Let the fun begin.’

Fellow author Samantha A. Cole, who was online friends with Meachen and mourned his alleged death two years ago, expressed outrage at the apparent hoax.

In 2020, author Susan Meachen's Facebook account claimed that she had died by suicide.

Meachen's alleged posthumous book

In 2020, author Susan Meachen’s Facebook account claimed that she had died by suicide, saying her last book (right) would be published posthumously.

On Monday, author Susan Meachen's Facebook account posted to a private fan group alleging that her family had faked her death while she was in a mental health crisis.

On Monday, author Susan Meachen’s Facebook account posted to a private fan group alleging that her family had faked her death while she was in a mental health crisis.

“This is beyond psychotic for either Susan herself or her daughter to be making these comments to knowingly mislead someone who is grieving,” Cole said in an emotional Facebook video on Wednesday.

“Now I’m suspicious of someone I’ve never met in person, who I’m friends with on Facebook, and that’s really sad,” added Cole.

Public records show Susan Meachen, 47, with previous addresses in Tennessee and Georgia, one of which is near her hometown of Eton, Georgia, listed on the Facebook page of the pseudonym TN Steele.

There is no death record associated with this Meachen, and DailyMail.com was unable to find any obituary records for that name. Attempts to contact Meachen by phone, email and Facebook were unsuccessful.

Author Meachen has independently published 10 novels, including Smokey Mtn. Love, Stolen Moments, and His Wicked Way.

Her ‘final’ novel, Love To Last A Lifetime, was reportedly published posthumously in October 2020 with final rewrites by the author’s daughter.

One of Meachen's novels is seen

One of Meachen's novels is seen

Meachen has independently published 10 novels, including titles such as Losing Him & Finding You and Chance Encounters.

A fellow author dedicated a book to Meachen, assuming she was dead, writing 'the world is a little less bright without her'

A fellow author dedicated a book to Meachen, assuming she was dead, writing ‘the world is a little less bright without her’

Since 2020, Meachen has apparently continued to publish under the name 'TN Steele'

Since 2020, Meachen has apparently continued to publish under the name ‘TN Steele’

According to Cole, Meachen’s apparent resurrection caused a firestorm of controversy in the tight-knit world of indie romance authors and fans.

“I spoke to other people who were much closer to Susan than I was, and they were all taken aback by this,” she said.

“They were just as shocked as everyone else when the post appeared on Susan’s group saying that basically she was alive and tired of using her pseudonym,” added Cole.

After Cole saw the Facebook post announcing Meachen’s return, she engaged in a private Facebook chat with Meachen’s account – screenshots of which she shared publicly.

Fellow author Samantha A. Cole (above), who was online friends with Meachen and mourned her alleged death two years ago, expressed outrage at the apparent hoax.

Fellow author Samantha A. Cole (above), who was online friends with Meachen and mourned her alleged death two years ago, expressed outrage at the apparent hoax.

In the exchange, Meachen stated that she was hospitalized when her family announced her death via her Facebook account in 2020.

“I had no control over what my family did. I was in the hospital fighting for my life. But I understand what they did,’ wrote the person who controls Meachen’s account.

The account stated in the exchange that Meachen had remained silent about the false reports of his death while working with a psychiatrist and therapist to “get himself into a better place”.

“I’m glad she’s alive because I don’t want to wish death on anyone,” said fellow author Cole in her video testimonial. ‘But I can’t condone what she did, and I can’t forgive what she did.’

“I was shocked, the emotions that went through me felt like I was kicked in the chest,” Cole said of discovering that Meachen is apparently alive. ‘I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach, I was sick for 36 hours.’

Cole posted screenshots of the private Facebook chat with Meachen's account

In the exchange, Meachen stated that she was hospitalized when her family announced her death via her Facebook account in 2020.

Cole posted screenshots of a private Facebook chat with Meachen’s account, in which the author claimed she was hospitalized when her family announced her death in 2020.

Meachen insisted he remained silent for two years while working with a therapist.

Meachen insisted he remained silent for two years while working with a therapist.

Cole said his main wish is for Meachen to “get the help he needs” and implored his followers not to attack Meachen online over the alleged fake suicide.

Likewise, Cole insisted that his posts talking about the subject were not a ploy to sell books.

“This is not a publicity stunt on my behalf exposing this horror story,” Cole said. ‘Please don’t run out and buy my books because I was hurt by it.’

“Hopefully the world of books can heal from this, it will take time,” added the author. ‘I don’t know who I can trust anymore, except the people I’ve met, who I’m closest to.’

If you or a loved one is in crisis, call or text 988 for confidential mental health support.

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