Author Event: I Met My Doppelgänger

September 30, 2014 Author Events, Memoirs 42

Greetings, Bookworms!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always imagined that I look a bit like Danielle Fishel, the actress who played Topanga on Boy Meets World (and now Girl Meets World.) When I was 15, a stranger told me he thought I looked like “Topanga.” I was, of course, THRILLED, because Danielle Fishel was (and is) pretty! And famous! I like compliments, okay? Thus, I’ve stuck with the celebrity doppelgänger schtick for 16 years now.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email from my IRL pal Chrissy (of Quirky Chrissy) saying that Danielle Fishel had 1. written a book and 2. was going to be doing a book signing on a Friday night a mere 2 hour drive from where I live. There were a LOT of SHOUTY CAPITALS included in my response. (The odds of me making this trip for any other celebrity memoir <barring, of course, celebrities who are active comedy writers. Hi Tina! Hi Mindy! XOXO!> are slim to none. Clearly, extenuating circumstances were at play.)


I went to the signing and purchased the book because 1. BOOK and 2. Danielle was under contract and not allowed to sign things that were not her book. (I didn’t ask her to sign my face. I bet that would have been allowed. But, you know. Sharpie. Meh.) I met up with my friends Chrissy and Lauren (of Filing Jointly…Finally) at said signing where we mostly behaved like fine upstanding citizens. (Well, Chrissy may have tried to cut in line, but attempting to cheat the system is kind of her thing.)

I was quite surprised at the number of people who queued up at Anderson’s Book Shop in Naperville, IL (holla!) There were 250-300 autograph seekers crammed into a fairly small bookstore. I prefer a good deal more personal space, but I’m willing to make sacrifices. The good folks at Anderson’s handled the crowd admirably, though, it was quite an efficient operation they had going. They went around with post-its so people could have their books personalized. The staff was writing out the names, so I just told the clerk to put “Katie” on my post it. I was telling Lauren and Chrissy that I chickened out of asking the clerk to write “To My Doppelgänger” on the post-it when Lauren rather devilishly pulled a pen out of her handbag. We then had a discussion about whether or not the word “doppelgänger” has an umlaut in it and where it belongs (I thought it was over the “O”. I was WRONG.)

Amended post-it note

Amended post-it note. No umlaut.

When it was my turn, I approached Danielle Fishel bearing a hardcover book with a post-it reading “Katie, My Doppelganger.” (No umlaut. The only thing worse than ignoring accent marks is putting accent marks in the wrong places.) When she saw the note, she gamely smiled at me and said, “You’re my doppelgänger, huh?” To which I blushed and shrugged. “People have told you that?” To which I responded “Yes” in a rather sheepish voice. She then turned and smiled for a photo, and I went on my merry way feeling ridiculous, as per usual, and slightly disappointed in myself that I had not left her a Words for Worms bookmark like I planned. Panic trumps self promotion, apparently.


I’m wearing a Pride and Prejudice sweatshirt and an Alice in Wonderland necklace. That’s how I roll.

Our interaction took all of 10 seconds, and though Danielle didn’t acknowledge our twinly status in writing, she was a remarkably good sport about the whole thing. She didn’t once say “yeah, I can sort of see the resemblance… You know, if I were to gain 40 pounds.” Which is EXACTLY what went through MY head when I saw the photo. Still. Twinsies. And this is why I shouldn’t be allowed out in public. Ever. You’re welcome, Internet!

Bookworms, talk to me. Have you ever met someone famous? Have you ever embarrassed yourself at a book signing? Do you know the proper usage of umlauts? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. So will Danielle Fishel, because it’s her book. Support your favorite look-alikes, would ya?*


42 Responses to “Author Event: I Met My Doppelgänger”

  1. Quirky Chrissy

    So…I didn’t embarrass myself at THIS book signing, but I certainly did at Jenny Lawson’s biok signing at the same location, while getting an autograph for YOU. Also embarrassed myself at an autograph signing for a Chicago Bear. Sigh.

    Side note: I totally could have cut if you had been any farther back in line. By the time I got up there, no one was checking numbers.

  2. Charleen

    I’ve never gone to an author event, celebrity or otherwise. I’m sure I would make a total idiot of myself.

    P.S. – We still need to meet up at some point if we’re both in the Chicago area at the same time (plus Chrissy, ’cause I haven’t seen her in forever). If I’m perfectly honest, though, I can’t promise I won’t make a total idiot of myself even without any celebrities around. Bloggers I haven’t met are close enough.

  3. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I’m ever so glad to hear this story 😀 I’d seen the picture and was kind of dying to hear the tale behind it. This is great, ha ha.

    I’ve acted like a moron while at an event with Green Bay Packer players. I was TRYING to be all nonchalant but I’m sure the manic look in my eyes trumped my coolness.

    Umlauts. I know a thing or two. I’m no expert but I did take a few years of German in high school, so.

  4. Megan M.

    You do look similar! I can’t say I’ve really “met” a celebrity before. A boy band called LFO did a signing in my hometown when I was in high school and I went and got something signed, but I don’t even remember what it was and I certainly didn’t speak to them. I would definitely embarrass myself if I like, used words. I also saw Erik Estrada across a crowded Circuit City (I was stuck on the register.) The smile is dazzling IRL, y’all.

  5. kristin @ my little heart melodies

    Neat! I’ve met a few authors at book signing/talk events—David Sedaris, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Pollan, Susannah Cahalan, Cary Elwes soon!! I loved hearing Rachel Maddow talk about her book Drift a couple years ago in person, but it wasn’t a signing (I got an already-signed hardcover with the event admission).

  6. Samantha

    There are a few authors I’d love to meet. However, my biggest hope right now is that next time I go to a Fall Out Boy concert I can either wait around afterward to meet them or get VIP tickets or something. I feel like they’d be so chill.

    Also, you guys definitely do look alike, especially from when she was on Boy Meets World. It’s a great photo 😀

  7. Kelly

    I love this post so much. SO MUCH! You totally are her doppelganger, even if she was too chicken to admit it in writing.

    As for embarrassing myself at an author signing, I do it every time I go to an author signing. My first one was Dennis Lehane, to whom I stammered out some absolutely asinine things about enjoying his ability to write “Boston speak”. Then there was Jodi Picoult, one of my author IDOLS, who I put my phone camera on the wrong setting for and had to make her retake our photo (unsuccessfully) twice before sheepishly walking away. The list goes on.

    And umlauts: the girl name we had chosen for our kids (who both had the nerve to come out boys) was Zoë, which I was adamant would be WITH the umlaut, or else how was everyone to know she wasn’t “zo”??? Although unfortunately New York state does not allow accents on a birth certificate. So we would have had to make that distinction ourselves. It sounds like some higher power decided I would only have boys for a reason.

  8. Lost in Literature 108

    I had no idea Topanga had written a book! It’s great you got to meet her, and I do see the resemblance.

    I’ve met a few authors and I always feel like a goob.
    I really just don’t enjoy the 10 sec encounter kind of thing. I’m always left unsatisfied or embarrassed about something stupid I said. What I would much rather have is an hour or two over coffee or dinner to have a real conversation with the person. All that gushy small talk just doesn’t do it for me.

    Most recently met Wiley Cash for a talk/reading/signing and it was fantastic. Then I had the short moments of chit chat and getting my book signed, and left, feeling stupid.:)

  9. Carrie

    When I saw Fishel had a book out the other day, I immediately thought of you. So glad you got to meet her!

    A couple years ago my husband and I went to a reading/signing by Glennon Melton (Carry On, Warrior). It’s the only signing I’ve ever been to where people didn’t queue up, but she went out into the crowd, chose someone, hugged them, then chatted for several minutes. (She must have been there all night.) I told my husband we had to have something cool to say when she chose us, so we told her the story about how we met, finishing each other’s sentences and being all adorable (it IS a good story). Being that her marriage was on the rocks at the time, that might not have been the best choice, but she was very gracious.

  10. AMB

    That’s awesome! I totally see the resemblance. I’ve never been to an author event, but I’d probably be too shy to embarrass myself (unfortunately, because that just means I end up missing out on what could be a fun experience!).

  11. Isi

    This was very funny, Katie!
    I do see the resemblance, seriously! 🙂

    I would really haven’t purchased a book written by an actress (or other famous people, I mean), but well, if you like her 😀

    Regarding umlauts, I think they are difficult to use in English. In Spanish they make the letter sound different, so you can’t miss where they have to be. But yes, in other languages they are tricky, the little things 😉

    • Words For Worms

      I always loved that about Spanish in school- if you could pronounce the word, you could spell it. None of those confusing secret letters we have in English.

  12. Annabel Smith

    I’m a little late to this post but I LURVE it. You really do look like her! Love how your cheeky friend wrote that on a post-it – she’s a keeper.

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