In a comment to my post "What Stupid About It, someone asked what the difference is between someone who writes tie-ins and someone who writes fanfic… beyond the fact that tie-ins are written with the consent of the author/right’s holder.
There’s a big difference.
I was hired to write DIAGNOSIS MURDER and MONK novels. It’s something I am being paid to do. It’s not like I woke up one morning with a burning desire to write DIAGNOSIS MURDER novels, wrote one up, and sent it off to a publisher (or, as a fanficcer would do, posted it on the web). The publisher came to me and asked me to write them.
I would never write a book using someone else’s characters unless I was hired to do so. It would never even occur to me because the characters aren’t mine.
Given a choice, I would only write novels and TV shows of my own creation. But I have to make a living and I take the work that comes my way…and that includes writing-for-hire, whether it’s on someone else’s TV show or original tie-in novels based on characters I didn’t create. Ultimately, however, what motivates me as a writer is to express myself…not the work of someone else.
That’s the big difference between me and a fanficcer.
Given a choice, fanficcers "write" fanfic.