As many of you know, I created this pen name as an extension of my online fanfiction writing. I've learned so much from writing fanfiction, and I've received so much support and encouragement, I really feel like I've grown as a writer.
However as I found myself branching out into AUs (alternate universe stories) that started to feel more and more like original work, I decided to make this penname.
I don't believe in doing like the author of Fifty Shades of Gray and posting online, then selling. I have changed some of my AUs to original work, and some I haven't. But if I try to convert a fanfiction story to original fiction, I don't post it online anywhere. Then I make the changes I feel it requires. (I never do this, by the way, unless I feel like the story is already nearly original fiction!) Then if I submit the story, I tell the publisher how the story got its start. I think that's only fair.
Would the author of Fifty Shades of Gray have done so well for herself if she'd followed this route? Probably not. But that doesn't really change what I feel is the right way to handle this.
I'm currently working on an AU fanfic story that feels original to me. I'm contemplating taking it the rest of the way. It's not a light decision. I want the story to be the best it can be, whatever it's really MEANT to be. I want that for each of my stories.