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Month: January 2023

2023 starts off with a… sure. Sure, why not.

Posted in Uncategorized

Howdy, pardners. You may remember that in October of 2022, I got into a car accident. No, you know what, eff that, I’m not saying that I got into a car accident because I didn’t get into anything. I was minding my own business and someone else involved me in their car accident. And as a result, I have to have surgery.

Did you know your shoulder could rupture? I do! The orthopedic surgeon I was referred to pointed to this little black triangle on the MRI image and was like, “Do you see that?” and I, in all my medical expertise, thought, why yes, I do, this must be the injury. And then he pointed to a giant white mass that took up the rest of the image and said, “That’s what we want all of this white part to look like.”

I have so much stuff fucked up. One of my biceps is just no longer an option, I guess. Another muscle has a “full thickness tear,” and something is going to have to be done inside my shoulder that involves screws but honestly, I didn’t catch it all because this is so intensely gross that I was going to puke and pass out, probably at the same time.

Now, I’m not just putting this here to overshare and traumatize you with the knowledge that, under the correct conditions, someone might describe your shoulder as “ruptured.” It’s because I have to face the fact that my very productive 2023 might not be as productive as I previously hoped. Before the accident, I had set some ambitious but totally doable goals. I signed two contracts and started working on two books concurrently. One of those books is due March 30, and one is due April 1.

My surgery cannot be put off any longer, and I will have the operation on March 12.

I’m not panicking. You’re panicking.

No, I’m actually not panicking, but I am definitely prioritizing. First comes the legal, contractual obligations. Because I may have an immobilized right arm—my dominant arm—for up to three months, I’m scrambling to finish those books. I carefully budgeted my time in a realistic way, but now that I’m looking at a whole month just thhhttthhhpppttt right off the calendar, things are a little more urgent. I need to put those projects front and center.

Second on the priority list comes the Trout Nation Patreon. Because I have to eat.

And unfortunately, third place is this blog. Which I never envisioned happening. There was a time not too long ago that I considered myself a blogger first, and an author second. For a while now, I’ve hated that I haven’t been releasing chapters of The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp and the Crave recaps regularly. “Things are going to be different in 2023!” I promised myself.


Now, I’m not suspending either of those projects or saying I’m shutting the blog down, but I am going on hiatus here. March isn’t terribly far away, and on top of the time crunch, the injury itself makes it difficult to type, which is basically my entire job. I’ve started typing with my left hand, but as someone who types 90 WPM with both hands, 11 WPM as a beginning one-hander makes me gnash my teeth and curse God. It’s not practical for me to try to work on two simultaneous books, Patreon, and the blog, while typing at the speed of ketchup coming out of a glass bottle.

And did I mention that just days before I was told that physical therapy wasn’t an option and actually someone was going to be slicing and dicing inside my arm, I was cast as Bea in Something Rotten? Which, honestly, is going to be a great distraction for me. The show goes up like two weeks before the surgery, so I won’t have time to even worry about all the things about surgery that scare me, like “what if the anesthesia fails” or “what if I pee the bed the second I wake up, like I did last time?” The theater is very access-aware, so I’ll be choreographed and blocked around the injury, which is also very cool.

So, for right now, just expect that if there are posts here, fantastic, if not, it’s because of all that shit up there, and I’m otherwise on hiatus. In the meantime, I’ve been making TikToks somewhat regularly because that doesn’t require use of my arm. If you’re on TikTok, I’m over there just saying stuff.

Otherwise, cross your fingers that my arm is fixable, nothing goes wrong worse with it, and my recovery is speedy and I don’t miss out on all the good roller skating weather.

Don’t Do This. Ever.: Authors Behaving FUCKING ABHORRENTLY

Posted in Uncategorized

CW: Suicide (but not an actual suicide)

I don’t really know where the fuck to begin this. I can tell you that there will be many, many swears. And by the end, you will probably be swearing, too. In fact, I think at this point, the sun itself should be shouting “FUUUUUUUUCK!” into the void of space.

Remember when I said it would take something really big to make me do another Authors Behaving Badly post?

Meet Susan Meachen. If you run in indie romance circles, you might recognize that name. Susan was an indie romance author who tragically completed suicide after being the victim of online bullying in the indie book community. The response to her death was an outpouring of grief that included people promoting Susan’s posthumous book release in conjunction with her family to raise funds for the funeral. Authors and readers alike banded together to create an online auction to benefit the To Write Love On Her Arms organization. Susan Meachen was mourned by stunned friends within the community, and donations for expenses poured in.


Today, author Samatha A. Cole broke the news in a Facebook post.:

In September of 2020, Susan Meachen’s daughter (supposedly it was her daughter) signed into her mother’s profile and announced that Susan had taken her own life. Devastation from her friends, fellow authors, and readers followed. Allegedly she’d been bullied in the book world to the point of suicide. What followed was rants from said daughter about how horrid the book world had been to Susan and the family wanted nothing to do with the book world from that point on. However, they wanted to honor their mother’s memory by publishing the last book she wrote, which they did. Friends, authors, and readers shared the release.

We grieved for the loss of the woman we considered a friend. I personally was harassed by another author who loves to create drama, claiming I was one of the authors who bullied Susan and drove her to suicide. I was heartbroken when I realized it’d been a few months since I’d chatted with Susan in PMs and wished I’d reached out sooner and maybe it would’ve made a difference for her to know there were people who supported her.

Last night a post was made in Susan’s old reader group – The Ward – from Susan’s profile. And I quote –

“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 doesn’t mean much but I am in a good place now and I am hoping to write again. Let the fun begin.”

Apparently, she’s not dead. TN Steele was a profile she made a month after her alleged suicide. What follows are screen shots from the group, her profile, and the chat I just had with a dead person.

For over two years, Susan Meachen pretended to be dead. She rebranded herself as TN Steele and watched as the rest of the community grappled with the aftermath of her “suicide.” She even reconnected with online friends who were mourning her.

From the screenshots Cole provided, which show her confrontation with Meachen, it’s clear that Meachen has absolutely no remorse for her actions. Scratch that: she has absolutely no remorse for actions she will not own or admit to. She blames her daughter for making the post announcing her death and implies that she’s somehow the victim of her family’s good and loving intentions. “I had no control over what my family did,” she told Cole. “I was in the hospital fighting for my life. But I understand what they did.”

Do you, bitch? DO YOU REALLY? Because what “they” did was make a post TWO MOTHERFUCKING YEARS AGO. You weren’t in the hospital the whole time, fucker! You were setting up a new pseudonym and reader group a month after your faked death. It never once occurred to you to correct the misinformation?


I have compassion for people who struggle with suicidal thoughts and who make attempts, absolutely. We are in a shitty little club together. And if it is the truth that Meachen was going through that? I’m sorry that happened to her. But for what reason, what logical reason, would ANYONE ACTUALLY BELIEVE ANY PART OF THIS FUCKING STORY?! Forgive me and hundreds of other indie authors and readers who are doubting every facet of this bullshit, including the very existence of her god damn daughter.

Above and beyond the horrific toll that grief and suicide take on a community, Susan Meachen’s death by bullying attracted members of an online clique famous for their own bullying campaigns. You might remember that one of these “authors,” Dylan Cross (real name David Daniel Moore), ran a Facebook group called “As The Book World Turns,” dedicated to anonymous posts targeting mostly female indie romance authors. Under a thin veneer of “anti-bullying” concerns, Moore seized the opportunity provided by Meachen’s death and went after readers and authors (including Cole), shaming them for their culpability in the bullying that drove Meachen to suicide. One reader, who had been involved in previous clashes with Moore, has stated that she’d never even spoken to Meachen. Still, she was relentlessly harassed by Moore for allegedly causing the suicide Meachen faked.

And even with all of this going on, and Meachen watching and participating in the indie romance community from the sidelines, she never stepped up and said, “This was a misunderstanding.” She wasn’t dead. She knew she wasn’t dead. “TN Steele” and I have mutual friends on Facebook, friends who were mourning Susan’s passing on their timelines months after the fact. Friends who spoke about the harassment people were receiving. There is no reasonable way to deny that Meachen knew these things were happening. AND SHE NEVER SAID A WORD TO STOP IT.

Suicide is contagious. When one member of a community completes suicide, others follow. Imagine you were a reader or author who struggled with suicidal thoughts, and an internet stranger was relentlessly attacking you for allegedly “bullying” another author into suicide. What might you do under that pressure? What might you feel was your best option? What might your suicidal ideation tell you that you deserved?

There is no way that Meachen, a member of the indie romance community, didn’t know that there would be consequences for crying “bully!” in those circles. This was a malicious act. This was explicitly designed to produce these types of results, from the financial and publicity benefits to the persecution of those Meachen perceived as her bullies. And when Cole, someone who cared about Meachen genuinely, was under attack, Meachen did nothing.

This is not a case of a mentally ill person just not knowing how to handle a situation or do what’s right. This was a person who had an evil thought and followed through with evil deeds. And already, people are claiming that Meachen is the true victim in this. She lied about being bullied into suicide. She took money donated for funeral expenses. She didn’t say, hey, don’t send me money for my funeral. I’m not dead. She took the money. She took the increased promotional opportunity for her “posthumous” release. She accepted free services from editors and cover artists who thought they were helping a member of the community in the only way left for them to help her. She launched a new pen name and interacted with people who thought she was dead for two years. But somehow, somehow, people feel that anyone being angry about this or wanting to hold her accountable for her disgusting actions… ARE BULLYING HER. Placing her in a dangerous situation for her mental health

I am sick, from gums to rectum, of people being held accountable for their actions being described as victims of bullying. IT IS NOT BULLYING TO SAY IT’S NOT OKAY TO PRETEND TO HAVE COMPLETED SUICIDE. And so what about Susan’s fucking mental health? So god damn what? What about the mental health of all the people who mourned her, who tortured themselves with thoughts of what they could have done to help her before it was too late? What about the mental health of the people gleefully stalked and harassed by Moore and his goblin band? Fuck them? Protect Susan? No, go fuck YOURSELF if you care more about a liar, a fraud, an outright ghoul than you do the innocent actual victims in this.

I honestly have no idea where to go from here. How are we, as authors and readers, meant to support the indie book community when someone does something like this, and other indie authors and readers insist it’s victimizing the liar to point out her lies?

Meachen went so far as to respond to a PM from an online friend who, in their mourning, reached out to say that they missed Susan. Susan’s “daughter” responded to comfort this person, who then went on to dedicate their next book to their deceased friend.

Susan Meachen is a liar who disregarded the potentially fatal consequences of her selfish actions, then returns to say “let the fun begin.” Now, the book world is out for her blood. People are considering legal action over the money she stole. Here’s your fucking fun: you’re done. This is so big, it absolutely will follow her offline and into her real life. People will remember this forever and she is irredeemably ruined.

In the most extreme Clair Huxtable voice: Susan, are you having BIG FUN?