It’s any fantasy fan’s fantasy.
Last week, a Reddit user posted a simple question on the social news site:
“If you were transported into the world of a book, unchanged from how you are now, what book would you pick to enter?”
Redditor Kaladin_Stormblessed had an easy answer. Her username comes from a character in fantasy author Brandon Sanderson’s series The Stormlight Archive.
“The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson,” she wrote, referencing the author’s first book in the series. “Maybe I'd be able to fight with my namesake.”
It was an honest response to a simple question posted on a small corner of a website that receives billions of page views a month. Kaladin_Stormblessed—who goes by Lyndsey offline—could have easily expected the response to be ignored entirely.
But Sanderson is actually a big Reddit user, where he posts under the handle mistborn. And he noticed Lyndsey’s comment.
“This is doable,” Sanderson wrote in reply to Lyndsey’s comment. “Just PM me your real name and, if you want, a description of yourself. I'll put an avatar of you in the second book in the series.”
It was, as one redditor put it, like winning the “Reddit lottery.”
“When I first saw the reply I kind of gaped at the screen for a moment,” Lyndsey wrote in a message to The Daily Dot. “I was at work, so I couldn't do what I wanted to do, which was jump up and down and squeal like the fan-girl I am.”
Lyndsey said she had a very brief conversation with Sanderson in private on Reddit. She said he told her that, when the book comes out, she should “keep an eye out for someone with a name ‘similar’ to my own and that looked sort of like me.”
Sanderson is a rising star in the fantasy genre. He first gained attention for his critically acclaimed Mistborn series, which he published between 2006 and 2008.
But he shot to prominence after he was selected to finish Robert Jordan’s blockbuster Wheel of Time series. Jordan wrote 11 books in the series before passing away from a rare blood disease in 2007; Jordan’s wife hand-selected Sanderson to finish the series.
Sanderson has also made a name for himself on Reddit. He has given advice on writing, helped out with graduate-school decisions, and opined on the decline of Borders.
But a lot of times, he just chats with his fans.
As Lyndsey said:
“He truly seems to appreciate us, and seems to understand how much it can mean to take a few minutes out of his day to make someone else's day so much better (like he did for me).”