I apologize for this blog being a bit late on the day. I have been at Dragoncon all weekend and am lucky to be awake, much less coherent enough to type.
That was my first panel I was on. That's me, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Jeanne C. Stein. The panel rocked face and the house was packed. Hell yeah.
Now, to the topic at hand.
Look, if you want to be a professional writer, if you want to be published, if you want your book on the shelves of a store then knock it off with the fanfic.
I'm not hating on fanfic, but if you have the drive to write and the creativity to develop alternative plots and storylines then quit mucking about in someone else's world and start writing your own.
You can't sell your fanfic. You can't publish your fanfic. You can't truly call your fanfic your own.
What you can do with your fanfic is get sued for copyright infringement. (and before you get pissy at the "greedy" authors you need to understand that if an author does NOT defend (ie: sue you) their copyright then that copyright, by law, can be considered abandoned and fair game to published by anyone WITHOUT THE AUTHOR BEING PAID A DIME.)*
So, seriously, just write your own stuff. Don't be afraid. You can do it. And you will be happier for it.
And who knows, it might just become your first published book.
*this is a vastly oversimplified explanation of the complexities of copyright law. I am not an attorney, nor do I play on on television.