Writers Dish On The Topic Of Being “Almost Famous”


A few years ago, I took an LA-to-Tokyo flight. Upon deplaning, I was met by something totally unexpected: a group of smiling Japanese ladies. They surrounded me and shook my hand, while handing me pieces of paper and pens. They kept smiling, while repeating something which sounded like “Ba-ba.” So of course I smiled and nodded back at them, which made the ladies beam twice as enthusiastically.

It eventually became clear that the Japanese women thought I was an American celebrity–some blondish middle-aged celebrity, I guess, whose name sounds like “Ba-ba”. Later my friends and I tried to figure out the name of my mystery-celeb doppelgänger.

I was reminded of that experience yesterday after reading an article about the subject of being “almost famous.” Because let’s face it–we writers seldom become famous, not in that celebrity-level, red carpet read, paparazzi-magnet kind of way. I think Ernest Hemingway might have been the last fiction writer who could legitimately claim celebrity pop culture status.

Imagine yourself as an A-list celebrity. What would that experience be like, do you think? Share with us!

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15 thoughts on “Writers Dish On The Topic Of Being “Almost Famous”

  1. I have been mistaken for two celebrities in my life. One as Alice copper and more than a few times as Criss Angel. both times was when I wore a full-length leather trench coat ith y hair down. (much different than my photo now)

  2. Kathryn, here in Texas we call that being “a legend in his own mind.” Never had the experience, but it sounds like fun. (Are you sure the pieces of paper you signed weren’t promissory notes written in Japanese?)

  3. I used to get compared to Barbra Striesand (but that’s no longer valid). As far as being mistaken for a celebrity, where I grew up, there were lots of real ones, so it never happened. But once when I was returning on a flight from NY, where I’d been at a meeting and was wearing a red power suit, the flight attendant came over and was super attentive, giving me a free glass of wine and taking excellent care of me. Thank God he didn’t ask for an autograph because I had no clue who he thought I was.

  4. If you truly want my opinion on being an A-list celebrity, please contact my public relations firm and/or my personal assistant. Do not try to contact me directly!

  5. Stephen King tells a great story about being invited out to dinner with Bruce Springsteen, who was interested in meeting him. Throughout the entire dinner, Stephen can’t believe he’s sharing a table with a bonafide rock star. In the course of the night, a cute-looking, teenage girl slowly approaches them, pen in hand. You know what Stephen is thinking, but as she reaches their table, she turns toward him and says, Mr. King, may I have your autograph? Bingo! The stuff of writers’ dreams…

  6. If you ever want to see what it would be like to be a writer celebrity, try attending a writer’s conference that’s invited Diana Gabaldon – crazy!!

  7. I used to have people tell me I looked like Don McLean (“American Pie” — the SONG!!!) One night, decades ago, a guy came up to me in a bar and told me that and I politely said no, I wasn’t Don McLean. He cast a couple of furtive glances around to make sure no one was listening, then he got close and murmured, “Okay, I know you don’t want to attract a lot of attention, but you really are him, right?”

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