By Matt Brownell
Are you such a big fan of "The Vampire Diaries" that you write your own stories about the denizens of Mystic Falls? Well, Amazon (AMZN) wants to publish your work -- and it wants to see you get paid for it. The company announced Wednesday that, for the first time, authors will be able to make money on their fan fiction under a new venture it's calling Kindle Worlds.
Fan fiction describes that under-appreciated genre of writing in which amateur authors make use of an already-established fictional universe, often from a TV or book series. At heart, it has always been a way for devoted fans to explore and share "what if" questions about their favorite characters -- sometimes filling in background, other times going far outside the established canon: What does Hermione do on summer vacation? What if Buffy got turned into a vampire? What if Admiral Adama and President Roslyn met The Doctor from "Doctor Who"?