I had never heard of fanfiction until I came across the concept when I was reading articles in The Guardian about Fifty Shades of Grey. I looked it up and found a whole new world of self-published writing.
Apparently an early example of fanfiction was my favourite children's writer Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy) writing about Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. In the internet world, Startrek. Harry Potter and Twilight books apparently dominate fanfiction. However on checking out I found 23 writers actually writing about Sara Crewe, Becky and Miss Minchin on the A Little Princess page and even more incredibly 15 writers on the page for my all-time favourite novel Brideshead Revisited. I read one story which was just a re-hash of Charles Ryder going to visit Sebastian when he had injured his foot but there was another one which had an original take on Charles Ryder and Hooper at the start of the novel. I shall definitely re-visit the site and check out some more Brideshead Revisited stories and see which of my other favourite books have inspired an homage. There appear to be thousands of pieces of writing published on various sites and some interesting associated views on copyright; Harry Potter appears to have the most fans and I read that JK Rowling finds this very flattering although other big selling authors are not so generous.